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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Music still heard but played virtually

    By Tyler Dang | Staff Writer

    Orchestra and Band Director Melissa Romero

       Virtual learning has affected everyone, but Melissa Romero, Gabrielino High School’s band and orchestra teacher, found herself adjusting to the change very well. From new activities to rehearsals, she discovered how to keep things going.

       For the music department, activities have become more difficult. Since virtual learning impedes on the ability to see or perform with each other, it became tougher to practice and rehearse.

       “Since we are not able to rehearse altogether, I have definitely had to supplement what we do in class with some alternate activities,” Romero remarked. 

       However, with this alteration in teaching, Romero had implemented a plan of her own to make sure her students get the practice they need. She created fresh activities in order to keep the classes focused. Some of which are music theory, listening activities, and projects that students are not accustomed to.

       “We still designate one day of classes for rehearsals, which includes students being broken up and working in their instrument sections and working together, rehearsing altogether with everyone on mute as a way to address issues in the music,” said Romero.

       Of course, within the music department, there is the same issue with Marching Band. Their practice was extensive before COVID-19, with rehearsal in the morning and sometimes after school. Though, with the presence of the virus, continuing this routine was unrealistic.

       Even so, band members had been optimistic, as it was determined that at the end of the year they would meet up to rehearse together again.

       “Marching Band students have been awesome in that they all decided at the end of the year to have an after school rehearsal one day a week to be able to play together,” Romero cheerfully commented.

       Marching Band has also been working on a neat project. Set into groups, students were told to design and plan their own marching show.

       “The Marching Band students are also working on a show design project, where in groups, they are having to plan every aspect of the marching season from schedule and budget, to uniform and prop design!” she exclaimed.

       Still, with virtual learning, there was no practical way for band or orchestra to perform or participate in tournaments. 

       However, Romero stated, “There are opportunities through different music associations to be a part of virtual shows and competitions.”

       Nonetheless, Romero and her students are confident that they will get through this period of time successfully. Although the times have been tough and activities have become more difficult, with their optimism arose hope.

       “Not everything we do works,” Romero said, “but it is important to remember that everyone is learning how to navigate this new world, and there are definitely going to be some bumps along the way.”

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    Music still heard but played virtually