How Art and Music Classes are Handling the Coronavirus Situation

How Art and Music Classes are Handling the Coronavirus Situation

As a consequence of the growing coronavirus concern, Montgomery County schools have been closed and classes have shifted to remote learning. Many teachers have experienced a manageable adjustment by using BlackBoard and email to communicate assignments and making classwork more technology-based. 

However, this transition to virtual learning is not so simple for some disciplines, particularly those based in art and music. For those classes, teachers cannot merely shift all work online, for much of what they do involves more tactile or auditory activities, often requiring an ensemble of students to be together at once.

To get a glimpse into what some art classes are planning on doing, The Harriton Banner interviewed 2 of Harriton’s art students: Clara Zhu (Art 9H) and Sarah Lee (Ceramics).

What is your art class planning on doing during this online learning period?

Clara Zhu: Art 9H is starting a new project at home, using one-point perspective to create our dream bedroom. 

Sarah Lee: Our ceramics teacher, Mr. Ranieri, is planning on giving us assignments with an emphasis on flexibility. He said will we be assigned projects and will build sculptures out of materials we have at home in place of clay.

How do you feel about having art classes online? How do you think this will impact you and other students?

CZ: With having art classes “online,” we are restricted by the materials we can use; for example, we were almost finished with a printmaking project but had to stop it for now. However, it does give us a chance to be creative, finding ways we can use the resources at home to create art.

SL: I miss throwing clay on the wheel. One of the main reasons why I took ceramics was because it [was] very hands on and relaxing. At home, I don’t have a pile of clay that I can use or glaze to paint with so it’s difficult to do anything for that class. I’m sure my other classmates miss our class too.

What assignments have you been given so far?

CZ: We [have been] assigned to watch videos on one point perspective, practice using it, sketch thumbnails of our room and then create the final product.

SL: For ceramics 5H, I recently was [given] an assignment due next Thursday where we have to make sketches for our next project. He would like us to send him our sketches from multiple POVs. In addition, he said we should make a sculpture using materials like construction paper, pencils, etc. to make [our] sketches come to life.

As for band and orchestra students, they have been assigned to practice the repertoire that was intended for the spring concerts. The music teachers have asked them to listen to professional recordings of the music and to continue to work on music goals they established earlier in the year. The music teachers are, however, being flexible during these weeks as some students do not have their instruments and/or music with them at home.