COVID and the Fine Arts

Kyra Olson

Many things have changed during this year in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect people. Classrooms have spread out and activities altered in all classes and departments.

The fine arts here at CDS are no exception, with Ms. Callahan saying  that “last March, music students instantly lost the ability to play together and create music as a class.” There are many obstacles to overcome to continue the curriculum during this time. 10th grade film student Asher Gonzalez and middle school music teacher Ms. Callahan agree that following safety procedures has been the hardest to get through. Ms. McEvoy, the highschool theatre teacher, was worried about how masks would affect the performances, perhaps making them less engaging to watch, as it would be harder to show expression and make your voice heard. She sees the bright side of it though, saying “in some respects, it’s helping them project” by making them focus more on voice projection.

There have been many changes made in the arts classrooms to maintain a safe environment. Middle school music has “implemented a number of new online resources that support the students” as well as cleaning often and practicing in more spaced out areas. Theatre has also moved to more spread out practices, as well as shifting from performative pieces to more technical theatre activities in order to keep safe distances.

Each branch of the arts have reacted differently. Theatre decided to take it in full swing, creating a pandemic centered production while still conforming to safety procedures. Since all the seniors went ALP November 16th, the performance was put on hold, but was finally recorded December 4th. Art continues to work with these safety precautions and music hopes to present a live performance in the spring, but it is yet to be confirmed. Film continues to work on projects and Gonzalez remarks that “it forces [them] to be more creative than ever which will help [them] after covid be much more creative than [they] ever were before.”

Thankfully, many students have taken the change in stride. Hailee Spoor, a tenth grade art student has said “After getting used to this new normal, class feels like it’s still going well” and an ALP student from that class, Kelley Mulfinger has said being online “makes it harder to interact with other students, and get feedback on the art” but she still feels that the class is going well, and sees it as a relaxing part of her day.

Students taking school online has majorly affected the Arts. In music, it has proven very difficult to include them in group playing, as there is so much noise in the classroom, and there’s no way to hear if the kids are playing correctly through the computer. Ms. Callahan says this is especially prevalent in band class, where “the instruments are so loud, they overpower the zoom sound capabilities and the sound completely cuts out or lags.” The same problem with lag time has been occurring in Theatre class when trying to do a scene with a person out of class.

Though the pandemic has affected everything, the arts don’t seem to be letting it get too in the way. Life can still be enjoyed along with the necessary safety precautions. Though CDS has put many rules in place to keep the school safe, it’s good to see that the arts can continue.