Fine Arts Preview: What to expect in your virtual choir class
Taking part in fine arts programs like choir, band and orchestra are a rite of passage for many North East ISD students. Starting the new school year in a virtual learning environment has left some wondering how they will learn alongside their peers. Audrey De la Cruz is one of many NEISD music educators who has worked tirelessly over the summer to ensure every student receives a creative, collaborative online learning experience.
While things are going to look different this year, the Bush Middle School Choir Director says she’s doing everything she can to make sure every student’s choir experience is as traditional as possible.
“We are completely dedicated to making this virtual experience as close to ‘normal’ as possible,” said De la Cruz. “We will still sing. We will still create. We will still provide an outlet for emotional expression and understanding. We will not sacrifice the content, or the connection, just because a screen separates us.”
Students in NEISD choir programs across the District will have access to how-to guides and videos that have been curated to help make choir class as collaborative and engaging as possible. Virtual classrooms have been constructed to help students and parents easily navigate music literacy tools through apps like Flipgrid, S-Cubed and Zoom. The spring semester came with a significant learning curve for students, parents and teachers. De la Cruz is confident the fall semester is going to revitalize the virtual experience.
“For most in our profession, we didn’t know what would be an issue until it was an issue,” said De la Cruz. “Teachers have had the summer to learn about digital resources, and many resources have been made to help alleviate the issues we discovered in the spring. We will continue to adapt as new virtual challenges arise.”
The 2020-2021 school year will come with its own set of challenges. Regardless of the circumstances, the NEISD Fine Arts team is committed to creating lessons and memories that will outlast the COVID-19 pandemic. De la Cruz believes that starts with embracing a positive mindset.
“I am always up for a challenge and I believe that this situation, as scary as it may be, will be a true measure of resilience for all of us,” said De la Cruz. “What I am looking forward to most is watching my students use their music to help adapt and thrive through an unfortunate part of our history, and what their musical expression will gift them. Our school administration and our teachers, especially in NEISD, have our community’s safety as their number one priority.”
Posted on 8-11-20