Woodstock High School’s Band Program: How They’re Dealing with Online Learning

Staff Writer:

Connor McPhillips

Photo Credit; Woodstock High School’s official Facebook Page. Pictured here is Mr. Loehr along with some members of the Woodstock Marching Band

As of the beginning of August, Woodstock High School of Cherokee county signed up for the 2020-2021 school year. However, halfway through the month of August, Woodstock once again had to shut its doors due to the infamous COVID-19. School continued, though, as an online learning routine for the following two weeks. Most classes found the switch to be not too harsh on the learning aspect of the classroom, however the Woodstock Band program had its own hurdles to jump. There were questions such as “how will we perform, in a class video call?” or “will we actually be able to play our instruments?”. Such questions were answered once online learning began. Bob Loehr, the head of the Woodstock Band program, decided online assignments and weekly class calls were the best way to go. “The class doesn’t make you play actual pieces,” said freshman Brayden McPhillips, “but rather have you work on air flow and how to correctly play your instrument.”. So far, the main assignments in the online band class have been submitting videos of playing a scale on your instrument, or a simple quiz going over what was discussed during the weekly video call; nothing too fancy.

As of August 31st, Woodstock High School has decided to create a hybrid schedule, where half of the school will be online one day while the other half actually attends school. Woodstock’s band program found a way to make this easy on everyone by continuing online learning as it’s already doing, but also by covering the bells or openings on the instruments with a piece of fabric. Basically, a mask for the instrument, if you will. The piece of fabric prevents particles from the mouth being released into the air without being filtered, such as a mask does for us. It’s like a screen door for your back porch. But anyways, the online learning program for band classes has been going well and students seem to be enjoying it. “I’m just glad I don’t have to play as often as I used to” said a senior from the Symphonic band.

There’s no telling how effective this new system will be other than actually performing it. Until then, we know that Woodstock’s Band Program, along with the rest of Woodstock High School, are doing their best to protect its students and staff one step at a time and as safely as possible.

Photo Credit; Woodstock High School’s official band program logo

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