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Music educators evaluating what class might look like this fall

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jul 08, 2020

With what school will look like this fall still up in the air, choir and band directors are rethinking how their classes will move forward.

The Louisiana Department of Education is not allowing bands or choirs to play or sing until phase three of the state's education plan.

Though students might not be allowed to sing or play instruments until phase three, music educators are still looking to hit the right notes this upcoming school year.

Victoria Atkins is the choir director at L.J. Alleman Middle School in Lafayette.

Atkins said, "We have a wealth of music educators in Lafayette Parish who have been meeting via Zoom this summer, brain storming, giving each other links to sites with documents we can use if we're virtual, blended or in person."

Atkins believes there's a lot more to a student's music education than performing. She is hopeful students will continue their love of music and wanting to learn about their instrument.

"We can teach our kids how to be better ensemble musicians through solo work," Atkins said. "We can teach them how to be better ensemble musicians through music history lessons. We can teach them things now so when we can do things the way we've done them before, it will be so much better."

Chloe Fontenot, a student going into her senior year at Lafayette High School, knows this year will be different, but she's still looking forward to her favorite class.

"We're really big on show choir, concerts open to the public, performances and it's definitely going to be different," Fontenot said.

Fontenot believes it's important for music education to continue so students like her can have an outlet to express themselves.

"We're more than students just put in the same class. We really have a strong bond together," Fontenot said.

Atkins said, "All of us in Lafayette Parish are so thankful to be here with a supportive community who genuinely cares about arts education and music."

Right now, Colorado State University and The University of Colorado are studying aerosolized particles and how they spread in instrumental and vocal performances, as well as speaking.

The results are expected to be published on Friday.

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