BY: PAMELA STERN
Members of the Spring Creek Youth Symphony (SCYS) and Abe Stark Primary School (PS) 346’s in school band are participating in real time remote lessons on Zoom with their instructors. “The virtual lessons have been going quite well. Our biggest challenge, of course, has been technology. For some of us this was a brand new experience,” said Mark Thrasher, Director of the SCYS and PS 346 in school band.
Thrasher explained that one of the challenges that both the instructors and the students face are WIFI connectivity issues. “It’s the uncontrollable problems. Otherwise the overall artistic quality of the music lessons has been good. The instructors are able to have one on one time with the students. This isn’t always true in a traditional classroom environment where you could have four students of varying abilities taking lessons together. The private Zoom lessons have allowed for a more individualized path of instruction,” said Thrasher.
Through Zoom, the instructors can screen share with their students and review chords, notes, music sheets, the proper way to hold the instruments, and how to create the correct musical tones.
Drums instructor, Martin Fischer went over tones with his student and showed him how and what movements to make for the base stroke using their right hand and what movements the left hand needs to make, while counting properly and adding the foot part in as well.
Trumpet instructor, David Schneck demonstrated for his student the proper way to play a note. As he proceeded to review the sheet music, he explained to her that by sitting up straight the notes will come out correctly.
In a similar fashion, Larissa Blitz, a violin instructor, explained to her students that holding the bow the correct way will also allow the notes to come out flawlessly.
In preparation for their End of Year Performance Zoom concert, the students are also learning the process of recording, downloading, and uploading videos to Dropbox.
Thrasher is confident in his students that they will have a full program of music ready to play for their end of the year performance.
Screenshots by: Pamela Stern