As the 2021-22 school year begins, choir classes have returned to in-person instruction. Students are allowed to sing indoors and together, masks optional. Last year, classes were typically spent outside or in the Performing Arts Center and students were required to sing with masks. Classes were small and spread out.
“It’s so freeing,” Choir Teacher Jennifer Robbins said, “It feels like choir again.”
Robbins speaks about how exciting it is to be able to sing in her own classroom again, though she has expressed some fear over how her students would react. She said she was unsure of how students would react to larger class sizes.
Robbins’ main concern, however, is keeping students safe in the bigger classes. She still tries to social distance as best she can in her classroom, moving the chairs farther apart and taking trips outside.
“I want to make sure there’s a culture in a class for everyone to feel comfortable,” Robbins says.
Although Robbins has fears for this year, she also mentions the excitement she feels. The bigger classes, she feels, are more dynamic and fun to be a part of. She also said she misses having virtual students in a Google Meet to help.
“I say I don’t miss it, but a part of my brain still does!” Robbins says.
Students also appreciate in-person classes.
“I pretty much didn’t have time in a day for choir, so I attended it on Mondays and Tuesdays online and it was very difficult,” said Sophomore Lilian Poskozim. She explains how it was a lot more difficult to get things done on time in a virtual environment. She also felt there were difficulties getting vocal instructions.
Poskozim discussed how she was happy about being in choir every day of the week. Even though she preferred having smaller classes, she says that she’s fine with bigger classes.
“I like having smaller classes but with choir it’s a group thing,” Poskozim said. “It’s a lot easier to do that when there’s more people supporting you.”
Upcoming fall and winter concerts are being planned, including a collaboration concert with University of Minnesota-Duluth students. Until then, choir students will be working their best to expand their skills and sing with heart.