La Conner Weekly News - Your independent hometown award-winning newspaper

Online music classes have different rhythm


December 9, 2020

AND THE BAND PLAYED ON, BACK IN THE OLD DAYS – Way back in March the La Conner school pep band could pile in a bus, go over the mountains to Spokane and pep up the high school girls basketball team and its many fans in the arena. In La Conner, practices were in a room, together, without face masks. Those were the days, my friends. Stay masked and away from each other to hasten their return –Photo courtesy of McKenzie Clark

The Gilkey Square tree lighting. Fall and spring concerts. Regional music educator festivals. Christmas wreath sales. Pep band. Maybe Disneyland.

COVID-19 wiped the 2020-21 school music calendar clean, leaving La Conner Director of Bands and Choirs McKenzie Clark and his students to make music on-line.

That is a challenge for an essentially face-to-face endeavor.

When meeting in person, music classes begin with call-and-response warm-up exercises. Clark sings or plays a line; students repeat it. Online, he sings or plays – and does not hear a thing.

“Students are muted because of...

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