National Hug A Musician Day!

Posted on November 13th, 2020 by acsrochester

This year has brought about a unique set of challenges for educators, including how to safely continue our music education program. We know singing and playing instruments is incredibly important for students at AC, and instead of saying “no” to music education, as many other schools have done this year, we’ve worked hard to ensure we can continue to make music, while keeping all of our students safe.

It’s amazing to watch our students adapt to these new changes. As part of our adjustment to safely continue music education at AC, all of our musicians wear masks, do not sharing music, sit 12 feet apart, and all of the chairs wiped down after they leave. We have also made our classes even smaller, which highlights the individual more. This means students who, in previous years, may have been shy and played or sang quietly alongside their neighbors are now learning to be more confident. Similarly, without that immediate feedback from other musicians right next to them, students are becoming aware of how much they’ve relied on that in the past and have already noticed a difference in how they’re learning. Everyone is becoming more of a leader in the group, and as a result, our sound is improving by leaps and bounds. Yes, it was an adjustment and it was challenging, but we’ve kept our core value of “fostering resilience” in mind and worked our way through it to come out stronger.
In the midst of this pandemic, there is nothing quite like hearing voices singing. I’ll never forget hearing the 4th graders, who are in chorus for the first time, singing during their first rehearsal in the CPC. It was magical. They overcame all of the obstacles we threw at them and continued to make music. That is what it’s all about.  — Rachael Sanguinetti, Music Teacher
This year, technology also plays a more important role in music education as a medium to both learn and perform. Because we will not be able to host live audiences this year, we are working on recording our groups in order to present our body of work to the community. We are only in the beginning stages of this process, but we are excited by the new dimension this adds to the musical experience for most of our students, who have never formally produced a sound recording. We hope this new process will benefit students by opening their minds to new possibilities in terms of ways they can apply their musical skills.
In Lower School music, in addition to developing music-specific skills, we are also focusing on social emotional learning (SEL) goals: taking turns, opportunities for leadership, creativity, and collaboration through musical activities. For our youngest students, we’ve focused on creative movement in response to music, taking risks to share rhythm patterns or creative ways to keep the beat. For older elementary students, we are working on rhythm stick activities to develop rhythmic skills, as well as coordination, timing, and collaboration. In a time when we can’t physically touch, this work has been really meaningful and engaging for our students.

 

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Posted in: Art, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School

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