Covid-19 lockdown give, takes away opportunities for student musicians

The cancellation of Pennsylvania schools during the coronavirus pandemic is changing the course of student musicians and activities.

The recent coronavirus shut down in March is causing student musicians to adapt to a new change along with the cancellation of many performances and events. These musicians are using the time of quarantine to their advantage.
Souderton’s Art and Soul Fest event was originally scheduled for March 14. However, all social events and performances were cancelled that weekend for safety precautions. Senior leader Avery Gallagher worked on putting together the event showcasing a walk-through display of the Souderton’s art program. She worked with junior leader Gina Smyth.
“The whole premise of having Art and Soul was to give the arts program at Souderton a chance to shine,” Gallagher said. “We have so many brilliantly talented students who are so passionate about what they create.”
The planned event was supposed to include numerous art forms such as painters, singers, clay molders, actors, dancers and musicians. Performers had been preparing since the beginning of the year.
“It’s the one night a year they get to showcase what they’ve been working on and spread some joy to the whole community. We want to embrace our fellow classmates, expressing themselves in so many different ways,” Gallagher said.
West Chester University shut down its campus after sending students home for spring break on March 10. The music program was forced to cancel multiple concerts and courses, setting the music students back in education.
Music education major Trent Detweiler takes 15 classes, 13 of them are music which is “normal” for a music major.
“I’ve been a musician since third or fourth grade, so about 10 years,” Detweiler said.
Since the shutdown, Detweiler had to adjust to the new system of online classes. “Most ensembles have completely given up on playing together,” Detweiler said. “So, instead, we are learning the history of our music pieces and how to be a better teacher.”
Like other Pennsylvania schools, West Chester is losing at least a quarter of the school year. This not only sets back learning, but the “college experience,” according to Detweiler.
“The biggest loss is definitely not being able to see my friends or live the ‘college life,’” Detweiler said. “Online classes are definitely a change, but it’s something we all have to get used to.”
Although the shutdown has been a setback for some students and performers, the time in quarantine has been very useful to senior Toren Goering.
“I’ve written music for a very long time, but I’ve been making music for three years,” Goering said.
The pandemic has given Goering the opportunity to “learn new instruments and work from home.”
“I don’t really play many instruments, but I do sing,” Goering said. Goering produces his own music that can be streamed on apple music and spotify.
“I use GarageBand to produce my music only because I don’t have a computer,” Goering said. “As soon as I have [access,] I’ll use Logic Pro X.”