Music department adjusts to home learning



Candice Anvari staff writer
Due to the transition to online learning, all band and orchestra classes are no longer able to do in-person group practices. Since the implementation of  Home Learning Plan 2.0, the band and orchestra students had to begin adjusting to conductor Bill Bradbury’s new way of teaching.    
In order to continue practicing, the students must complete assignments in which they listen to, analyze and play the music pieces given to them by Bradbury. In some cases, the students must submit a video of them playing a certain portion of music. Sophomore Eli Ramer, who is in band, believes home learning is not disadvantageous to their music education because they are doing relatively the same assignments they’d be doing in class. 
“We are still playing our instruments and listening to good music. Home learning doesn’t mean we can’t still get a good music education,” Ramer said.   
Junior Sam Wolf, who is in orchestra, has mixed feelings about the adjustment to online learning because he believes it has its ups and downs. 
“I like being able to work at my own pace and have a little more free time on my hands, but I miss seeing all my friends in band and in my other classes,” Wolf said. “Virtual learning can be a little awkward and confusing, but it is what it is. I guess it’s important to keep moving forward.” 
Bradbury encourages his students to spend their time at home working on bringing their individual abilities to a higher level.
“Playing in an ensemble is enjoyable, when everyone knows and plays their parts well. It’s easy to hide and rely on the rest of the ensemble to cover for you when you don’t really know your part,” Bradbury said. “When each member is proficient, you can tell the ensemble plays well as individuals, too.” 
Ramer is finding it difficult to motivate himself to consistently practice playing the euphonium. He believes that’s his main issue with home learning, but he believes they are still getting a good education in music through Bradbury’s adjustment to online learning. 
Sophomore Kate Kotlyar misses seeing and playing music with her friends in orchestra.
“It can get lonely at home, and at some point you run out of books to read, shows to watch and even homework. I miss being in a physical classroom,” Kotlyar said. 
The same sentiment is shared by Wolf because he was looking forward to playing music with his friends in the school musical, “Chicago.” However, Wolf believes students must make due with the online learning adjustment because there are students at other schools who are less fortunate.  
“I think this online learning is working pretty well. It’s important to remember that underserved school districts are struggling in this pandemic to deliver education because of their lack of access to the internet,” Wolf said. 
Wolf mentioned that band and orchestra may, potentially, be doing a virtual concert later in the year to bring light to the situation. Bradbury believes the idea will need an advanced technology format.