Rosemont Middle School has abundant electives taking place this year. One group that has been in place for a while are the music classes. Each instrument has its place in one of the five programs: Concert Band, Advanced Strings, Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, and Chorus. Rosemont has been trying its best to keep performances and practices like usual, while maintaining district COVID policies.
One issue that came up this year was that students playing a wind instrument must wear masks indoors. The music director initially purchased special masks with a hole inside that allowed students to play their wind and brass instruments. However, the shipping process for the masks took over 2 weeks and then was completely postponed because of delivery issues. Therefore, after a few weeks, the director decided to make students play outdoors because the Glendale Unified School District made masks optional outside. So, Concert Band and Wind Ensemble have been taking music stands and chairs outside to make this possible. Now, all the classes are running smoothly.
There are usually annual events that are held for the music classes at Rosemont. However, most of the performances in the first semester have been canceled due to COVID-19. Usually, there would be a pancake breakfast in September, where family and friends come to the amphitheater to watch the students play the songs they prepared. After watching the performance, they would line up to get their “pancake breakfast” while also donating money for a good cause. However, having a lot of people in the area, who would have to take their masks off to eat the pancakes after the show, would be too exposing and dangerous. Still, the music electives are making up for this by taking a video of all the songs they have been working on so far.
One student of the Wind Ensemble, Lynnsie Woo, states, “Being able to practice together as a group is nice because we get to hear each other play and match our sounds with each other.” Another student in Concert Band, Christine Nam, explains, “The bad things are probably being more prone to getting Covid-19 with the masks off, while at the same time, it’s easier so I could get more air to breathe and make my flute sound more clear. Sometimes the sun is in my eyes but I can’t really do anything about it, which would be one of the negative things about doing it outside.”
Many students agree, there are definitely good and bad things about doing music classes outside. Rosemont Middle School is trying its best to ensure that all faculty and students are safe and to set a perfect example for other schools to follow.
Christina Park, 8th grade
Rosemont Middle School