Rewind the clock back to fall 2020 when the whole school was preparing for a hybrid learning model. Teachers were adapting their curriculum for both in-person and remote learning styles. Each subject matter tackling hurdle after hurdle as they reshaped their lessons for the coming year. In preparing for the start of school, music teacher Kate Lee’s primary focus since day one was the hands-on aspect of music education. Trying new instruments and experimenting has always been essential to her experiential curriculum. However, the reality of ever changing COVID protocols made traditional music collaboration a real challenge.
Technology during COVID has been a wonderful tool for many classrooms and subjects. Kate’s focus was to not overdo the technology; screen time is always a factor and top of mind for both parents and teachers. But musical collaboration and creativity was able to grow in the form of Soundtrap, an online platform for collaborative music recording and editing. Here, students have been able to share and collaborate on their own musical compositions.
Kate’s biggest success was simply getting students into a functioning, workable, and musical space. Ample space allowed for cohorts to work together in making music and creative expression. Even the challenge of not singing indoors was solved by threading a microphone through a window and onto the adjacent outdoor landing.
Students aren’t the only ones learning from this past year. Almost everyone from every career has needed to pivot for some aspect of their essential duties. For Kate, that was moving to the front of the room, “With my style of teaching, I’m very much in the background – I’m a coach and I let the kids take the lead. And that really pushed my comfort zone, because when you’re creating content you have to be the focus.”
This has been a challenging year for both teachers and students as they adapted to new and creative ways to learn. There have been challenges and stresses, but there have been successes, highpoints, and of course, music.