Band and Orchestra Return to Normal

Members+of+the+orchestra+practice+in+person.+

Bryce Shoo

Members of the orchestra practice in person.

Samantha Freehling, Scribe Reporter

During the quarantine, while many classes struggled through the trials and tribulations that come with learning through Zoom, courses that rely on in-person interactions, like band and orchestra, were even more drastically affected.

Ensembles are based upon combining single sounds to form one collaborative piece, which is seemingly impossible to imitate when only one person can speak on Zoom at a time. Music teachers had to get creative to adapt to this uncharted and inconvenient environment. Mrs. Carlson and Mr. Inendino both implemented various strategies to build connections with their students. They are very excited to be back in-person this year and are eager to have the opportunity to perform again. 

“There’s so much nonverbal communication that happens when you make music that you miss out on when you’re playing along with a recording,” Mr. Inendino said. 

Transitioning from Zoom meetings to a regular year wasn’t easy for many musicians. Practicing apart from each other for over a year forced students to relearn how to play in a group.  Doing so requires musicians to listen to both themselves and the ensemble simultaneously. 

“Playing in your room at home is very different [from] playing with your friends in person,” stated Mr. Inendino. “When you’re playing at home oftentimes you’re listening very closely, but it’s a different kind of listening, and you’re also not watching a conductor at all.” 

A member of Schaumburg’s band, Peyton Caster believes that the pandemic has affected students’ work ethic and growth.

“Virtual band really affected accountability the most, even with cameras on, no one really had to play their music,” Caster stated. “There was no drive from others to sound good.”

Remote learning encouraged Mrs. Carlson to look for new topics and skills to teach that did not require an ensemble to play together. She constructed lessons on different musical eras and music theory. 

“Creating lessons that were orchestra related, but weren’t really orchestra,” said Mrs. Carlson. “Using orchestral music, but not being able to rehearse.”

Last year presented educators with another dilemma, lesson planning. Most years, teachers have some sort of idea of what each day will look like. With the pandemic, they had to restructure their entire teaching method and constantly revise their lessons. 

“Not having any sort of pre-planned curriculum, [I was] making the curriculum up as I went,” Mrs. Carlson stated. 

Sonali Sharma, a member of Schaumburg’s orchestra, recalled missing the interactive and conversing with her peers during remote learning. 

“During online classes, I missed the collaborative environment orchestra naturally manifested,” said Sharma. “That made me want to practice more and put forth all my effort.”

The return to normal was warmly welcomed and appreciated. Both orchestra and band feel that being in the classroom makes for a much easier and more engaging musical experience. 

“Just being able to tune the instruments and just have it be so much easier,” said Mrs. Carlson. “I didn’t have to plug a bunch of stuff in; [students] were just there.” 

It’s safe to say the music department is more than happy to be back in-person. Be sure to check out some of the upcoming holiday concerts and experience live music once again; the band and orchestra are eagerly looking forward to it.

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