School music programs hit a low note, but look to the future

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 5:46 PM EDT
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OLD TOWN, Maine (WABI) -School music programs are adapting to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We spoke with Shianne Priest, music teacher at Leonard Middle School in Old Town about the changes she’s made.

Students will submit weekly videos of their assigned songs they practiced at home.

In-school lessons will be without instruments.

Instead they will focus on learning the language of music, rhythm, listening to recordings, and going over problems the students might encounter when practicing at home.

The school's five bands and choir haven't been able to play together since March 16th.

Performing together through video calls isn’t a viable option due to lag.

”We hope that enough of them continue to hold on the joy that it brought them before Covid-19 and the joy that it will bring them after COVID-19. My students and I keep talking about how awesome it’s going to be that first concert back and how that’s going to feel.”

CDC guidelines for music programs prohibit wind instruments and singing inside. Percussion and string instruments are still an option, but are often limited by how many instruments are available.

Outside, students must be 14 feet apart to play.

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