Making Music in Masks

Foran’s Music Department takes new precautions to prevent the spreading of COVID-19


Twelve Feet Apart: Choir students sing outside standing twelve-feet-apart as it is their new normal. Photo Courtesy: Isabel Blanco

Katherine Parker, Editor

     With tough times come adaptations, and Foran’s music department is doing the most to ensure this season during the Coronavirus pandemic is possible. 

     With new guidelines, it makes creating music that much harder. Members in both choir and band have to follow specific protocols even to use their instruments. 

     Students have to remain at least 12 feet away when singing or using loud voices alongside wearing a mask. 

     “It’s not ideal,” says choir director April Scepanski, “but our priority is keeping everyone safe.” 

     Scepanski, new to Foran, believes that it will all come with a bit of coming used to, but following the rules is essential.

     “[The protocols] make things harder,” says choir president Isabel Blanco, “however we are constantly coming up with new solutions allowing us to work together.” Blanco says she has gotten used to the way choir has worked in the past couple of years and says COVID-19 takes the class to a whole new level, “I’m glad we are staying as safe as possible while still being able to do what we love.” 

Instrument Masks: Students in band are required to wear masks made for their instruments when playing. Photo Courtesy: Aidyn Toledo

     The choir is not the only part of the music department with new protocols; the band also has to follow new protocols regarding their instruments. Most band instruments require the musician’s breath, which causes one problem; the transmission of germs. This is why it is now necessary to wear masks designed for the instruments as well as bell covers. The masks, which are provided by the school, have a built-in flap and a hole for the instruments to fit through.  

     “We are glad that we have the resources we need to make band possible at school,” says band director Jessica Turner, “Having the appropriate masks as well as bell covers allow us to rehearse indoors in addition to our outdoor rehearsals. It is a new environment, but we are glad to be playing music.” 

     “It does make things harder,” says senior band president Mark Paine, “It’s harder to stay together and hear each other when we’re so spread out, but the fresh air is nice, and it’s a good workout.” 

     Paine’s optimism is among the many students, and teachers have for these new precautions. Having to adapt to new situations is something everyone has to get used to, but it’s for the best.