After an abrupt in-person school closing this past spring due to COVID-19, Massapequa High School opened up on September 8th, 2020 with the hybrid learning model.
Despite the difficulties regarding COVID-19 precautions and hybrid learning, Massapequa is still making music with an active chorus, band, and orchestra.
Various changes have been made to the music teacher’s style of teaching due to some students working from home and students at school.
According to the orchestra teacher at Massapequa High School, Mrs. Spagnuolo, students have been doing an adequate job at staying safe. “Students have been really great about wearing their masks, keeping to their spaces, and wiping their spaces down,” Spagnuolo said.
Music rooms have been designed with music stands that are spaced 6 feet apart. However, playing and singing further from others can cause students to feel uncomfortable since the sound is more noticed among the ensemble.
Mrs. Dempsey, the choir teacher, exclaims the difficulties with the new format of music at school. “As far as safety protocols for choir, we are currently singing 12 feet apart with masks. This is very challenging for our singers because it feels like you are basically singing by yourself.” Dempsey comments.
Ms. Greene, Massapequa High School’s chorus teacher, states that the students were “borrowing instruments from other schools within the district as well as purchasing more instruments to accommodate everyone.” The Massapequa school district has made things clear as to not share instruments. Instead, they placed a protocol in all brass and woodwind instruments that need to have personal protective equipment (or PPE) for their instruments.
Greene claims that Massapequa High School has “created other methods to cover the instruments.” They have been using “puppy pads, t-shirts, and various sized pillowcases.” They do this in order to keep everyone safe while playing the instruments that need to be blown into.
Massapequa High School cares about all of its students including the students that partake in music courses. Despite the current circumstances in the world, everyone is doing their part to stay safe and continue learning through exciting and innovative methods.