Page 23 - FIS World June 2021
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  He’s also learned that composers and publishers are being more flexible with their live streaming and video recording rights in order to give educators the tools they need to keep students musically active.
“Composers have made themselves more present on social media in order to encourage and engage with music teachers and students – especially those who haven’t been in school at all this year.”
Grade 10 student Peter W., who plays the saxophone, has been able to schedule online lessons with world- renowned musicians and take part in different online masterclasses, largely because those same musicians are not currently doing in-person events.
Music Classes
Other Oberursel campus teachers have also found opportunities as educators to turn the pandemic into a constructive teaching moment. “I have had to become an out-of-the-box thinker, creating new ways to teach music concepts using no vocalization and with limited space.'' says Sarah Woodburn, Elementary School music teacher. “I have also incorporated instruments into my lessons more often this year, much to the delight of my students!”
The forced changes have allowed students a new avenue in which to tell their own personal stories through dance, drama and music.
Upper School music teacher Adie Blaquière has found that distance learning means more individual projects and some creative technical solutions.“Where I would normally have students gather around the piano to see what I am doing, I now use an iPad set up over the keyboard that works as a video camera. Not only has this been tremendous when implemented with Zoom, it will also be a great tool when classes resume in person as it will give my students an unobstructed
view of my demonstrations on the smartboard by using Airplay.
Most of us have seen incredible Zoom choirs online at one time or another, but what we don’t see are the hours of technical editing and performance precision needed to produce such flawless video recordings. With a ban on all indoor singing at school, the Upper School choirs have created virtual performances under the direction of Debra Damron and with help from the FIS Media Team. Ms. Damron meets with her students individually and in small group rehearsals over Zoom and has produced amazing performances that the students are very proud of. Choir students have also done a lot of work on their own using practice tracks and making recordings of their pieces before their individual recording for the final virtual video.
Like band and choir, the time lapse online makes orchestra rehearsals difficult if not impossible. However, orchestra director Julie Borsodi and her assistants have been meeting with students from Grades 1-12 individually via Zoom to continue working on their pieces and to discuss music. They miss playing together live, but the individual time spent together on Zoom allowed Elementary School orchestras to put together a recorded performance in December and the Upper School orchestras are currently preparing their parts for a recorded performance this spring.
Looking back on this past year, it’s truly amazing what our Performing Arts faculty and students have been able to achieve. Every teacher and student now has first hand experience of using new technology for their dance, drama and music teaching and learning and have continued to be active and proactive throughout the pandemic. The Performing Arts at FIS have evolved and the shows go
Rita Merrick
FIS Performing Arts Assistant
With current restrictions on playing musical instruments and singing in groups, music teachers on both campuses have had to get creative.
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