The pandemic has changed the society of our school from smaller classes to distance learning. One area that completely changed when we were in school was the Choir department. All 4 of the Choirs: Concert Choir, Treble Choir, Trojan Choir, and Belles Voix have completely flipped from the “normal” structure, which was to learn music to sing at a concert to something even more.
When we had in-person learning, there was not a ton of singing; if there was any, it was all conducted with masks on and for a short amount of time. The curriculum and atmosphere of the choir classes have changed completely, as it is more based now around team-building and focusing on what we can do. Now, obviously, students are in the choir to sing, but the beauty of being at home is that you can.
The district saw this in action with the Concert Choir’s performance of “Flanders Fields” for the Veteran’s Day virtual program. Every Concert Choir member had to submit an audio recording and a video. Mrs. Thietje then put them all together by placing the audio recordings together and muting all video recordings, so all you heard was the audio recordings, but had everyone’s video recordings shown. All in all the whole process took 30 hours for Mrs. Thietje to create the virtual choir performance.
Previously mentioned was the idea that the choir curriculum has changed. Choir members are now having the opportunities to produce Group Projects and focusing on having the choir feel like a “family.” When Mrs.Thietje was asked about her plans for Choir moving forward, she responded, “We are going to work toward a virtual concert sometime in the late winter. It’s a slow process since the students are singing at home while on mute. While working toward performance is one goal in the choir, an even more important goal is to build community with one another. So, we are taking it as we go and pulling back from any goals that feel unattainable in the time of COVID and pivoting to what IS attainable. The whole class is based on people so we will keep re-assessing based on the needs of the students. My hope is that I can provide equitable experiences rather than equal experiences based on previous years. This year is all about re-imagining what our class can look like.”
Even though COVID has rocked the world, Mrs.Thietje and the students of choir are still maintaining a positive attitude and are continuing to grow.