Adjusting to the Pandemic: Choir

Adjusting to the Pandemic: Choir

Maddie Arno and Katie Goyette

With unknown expectations as students returned to school, many wondered how the arts program could function under a pandemic. Not knowing what the year would hold, students walked through the doors of Lakota West High School with nothing but masks on their faces and backpacks over their shoulders. Schedules were constantly changing, new students were confused about classroom locations, and teachers were given many guidelines to be followed. Every aspect of the school was constantly changing, and it felt like one big “wing it” situation. However, the students were excited to be back and were ready to learn. 

As a result of COVID-19, restrictions were set in place to improve the safety of students and staff members. Band and choir students were still able to play and sing outside while remaining a safe distance apart. Standing farther away makes your instrument or voice more noticeable to the people around you. As a result, students who are more shy and introverted might feel uncomfortable. The distance made it harder to hear others, which caused problems in timing and pitch. Despite the distance, being outside had some benefits. Students were able to hear how they sounded which allowed them to notice what changes needed to be made. The volume and audio of their voices and instruments were able to be heard more clearly. Halfway through the first full week of school, the Governor of Ohio, Mike Dewine, came out with less strict regulations that allowed choir and band to continue class inside.

Even though masks and the restrictions affected students playing and singing, that didn’t stop them. They were determined to safely continue their talents throughout the school year. After being able to practice inside again, choir classes are held in the theatre and band in the band room. To stay a safe distance, seating was arranged like a checkerboard, students all sitting on the black squares on the board. So far, Lakota West High School has done an amazing job at keeping safety a top priority and following the regulations. Many students aren’t a fan of the changes made to their classes during the pandemic. Masks can sometimes be annoying and get in the way of many things such as singing, playing, and can make it harder to hear when someone is talking. Although, we’re still very lucky to continue learning and experiencing the activities we enjoy.

After interviewing with the band director, Andrew Carr, he explained the restrictions perfectly by saying that “it’s not better, but it’s a good combination of safety and being able to experience band”. His statement also goes hand-in-hand with all the regulations we are under overall. Even though things might not be ideal, we have to stay positive and do our best. The performing arts program has excelled at communicating this through their work and efforts.