How Covid-19 has Affected Music

Zoe Schell, Staff Writer

 

-Jaziah Mack is a saxophonist in the freshman band

 

For the past year, nothing has been normal with the Covid-19 pandemic and our daily lives. We’ve had to adapt to all the challenges that came our way and right now one of them is being able to breathe around people.

As far as we know, the most common way of contracting the coronavirus is through respiratory droplets. With that, the main component of both band and choir is breathing. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety protocol measures ensure that you have to wear a mask in a public place. Mask wearing is even more important for band and choir members because they’re projecting their air so it all has to be covered. That includes the mouth and nose, along with any bell openings for band members (excluding percussionists).

Topeka High band director, Eric Bradshaw, and choir director, Ashley Greenlee, spoke about how Covid affected the way they perform. They both said that Covid restrictions impacted their classes “In almost every way.”

Both the band and choir have been hit hard with not being able to perform in person or with an audience. At the beginning of the year, they didn’t have any in-person concerts due to spacing issues and restrictions on time being together in close quarters.

Normally the band holds live performances and concerts quite regularly in a year. Due to all the limitations from Covid-19, this year the band instead only played at one football game. Instead of playing on the field during halftime, they could only play from the stands.

As for the choir, they too are unable to perform live concerts or for an audience. So far any performances involve a musician either recording themselves singing or playing and adding voices or other instruments/parts with it to create an ensemble. In both regards to band and choir classes, the time limit is restricted to only playing to about 30-minute segments. That’s because of spacing rules and capacity limitations.

Both teachers point out that, along with being able to play, traveling and socializing are key parts of music and those classes. They shared concerns about this but also some hope for how this will impact students in the future:

“A large part of the band experience is being with friends at sporting events, on trips, making music. I am very proud of the students for persevering and sticking with the band. It is our hope that it will make all the traditional things we do, mean even more in the future,” said Bradshaw.