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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Choir class adjusts to virtual performing

    By Ryan Sieh | Staff Writer

    Choir Director David Pitts

       “I have no idea. It has never been done before,” said choir director, David Pitts.

       Adjusting to the pandemic has been a new experience for Gabrielino High School’s students and teachers, and certain classes have found it difficult to simulate a new “normal.” 

       Some classes are easy to attend through a screen, as if it was still conducted in real life. However, classes like choir need to be physical, as such a class requires engaged students and synchronized music.

       It has been tough for the teachers, since they have been planning classes and engaging students through virtual activities.

       “This is a difficult adjustment. The students find it hard not being able to sing together in a group,” Pitts said, “Because of latency, it is impossible to all sing at the same time on Zoom or any other platform.”

       Gabrielino would normally host concerts, but the current pandemic seemed to have put everything to a standstill. However, this was untrue for the choir classes.

       “We are working on putting together a Virtual Holiday Concert. Each singer records themselves singing their part. It is put together, like the Brady Bunch windows, to form a virtual choir singing together,” Pitts stated.

       Teaching virtually for choir has had its fair share of difficulties and problems. 

       “The students can’t sing together or hear others singing unless it is pre-recorded,” Pitts said, “I have no idea how each section of singers sounds together.  The ability to hear each other in a classroom and adapt, vocally, doesn’t exist anymore.”

       For students, Zoom meetings could become tedious and physically draining, so Pitts created a solution to keep students engaged. 

       “I continue to teach them songs as if we are still together.  They are still preparing for a performance, it just happens to be on a different platform,” said Pitts.

       Freshman Maggie Huang also had her opinions and thoughts on adjusting to virtual choir class. 

       “The differences between virtual choir and in-class choir is that if you’re in class you will be able to sing with others and listen to other people,” Huang stated, “Another difference is that in virtual class you’re kind of focused more on yourself and you’re only hearing yourself which makes it more hard for some people. The only similar thing between virtual and in class you’ll be singing with music in your own voice.”

       Recently, the school administration has begun to push for hybrid learning, and Pitts was asked what he would do if there were in-person classes. 

       “Choir is a performance class. Performance-based classes don’t have a textbook that we use. Every year is a different set of performances. We will find a way to continue to perform together one way or another. We will probably continue to do virtual choir performances,” answered Pitts.

       The choir classes have shown what a class adapting to different learning situations looks like, and how even physical classes can still be managed, even if there are some difficulties.

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    Choir class adjusts to virtual performing