How has band and orchestra adapted to the Zoom setting?


Photo provided by Kyra Allen

The orchestra class from last year performing at one of their concerts. Band and orchestra are hoping to release recordings of songs to make up for not being able to hold concerts.

Now that we’re a third of the way through the second quarter, new classes have gotten into a groove and figured out how to adapt to the Zoom setting for the first time. Some of these classes that just started a few weeks ago are band and orchestra. 

Doing music classes is far from ideal for everyone involved since trying to practice pieces of music with the class over a computer screen tends to not work as well as people may hope. With sounds coming in at different times, whether they intend to or not, the class will never always be in sync like they would in person.

To solve this problem, both the band and orchestra class begins the day by entering breakout rooms with players of the same section where they tune their instruments while being muted. Then, a section leader will be the only person unmuted where the rest of the group can play along while being muted themselves. Later in the class, students will come back to the main room where their teacher, Mr. Davies, will play a recording that students will play along to while being muted.

Senior Alice Kang, a cello player in the orchestra, shares, “We can’t hear each other which makes it hard to ‘make music’ together which is unideal because that’s one of the most fun parts of being in a music class.”

Lui Blomberg, a senior in band, also feels similarly about the unideal situation of this format. “It is also disappointing that we cannot actually play pieces as a band as we always do,” Blomberg expresses, “Playing on your own could never be compared to the music we make as the whole band.”

Playing on your own could never be compared to the music we make as the whole band.”

— Lui Blomberg

However, just like everything else, not everything about the situation is unideal. Kang stated that they have had more time to use online learning sites to practice sight reading and theory which they haven’t been able to focus on in class normally. Blomberg shares that they are able to record all of their songs which is a cool experience as they’ve never done that before this year.

The current circumstances aren’t stopping them from sharing their talents with the community. Both band and orchestra are hoping to put together a piece that would be shared via video and recordings soon!