RMHS Music Programs Adapting to COVID-19

Return to Building Will Be a Boost

William Xia ('21), Orbit Contributor

In light of COVID’s social distancing protocols and requirements, music groups at RMHS are finding ways to adapt to the obstacles they are facing.

Music programs at RMHS are being impacted the most by online schooling. While regular classes are able to replace content with online counterparts, there is no replacement for performing in person. As there is a slight delay on Zoom, students are not able to sing or play instruments in sync online. Not to mention the fact that some students may not have access to their instruments. Finally, the general reduction in meeting time makes it harder for students to memorize their parts.


Members of both band and chorus groups can attest to these new obstacles. “I don’t think they [the bands] are getting enough practice time,” says Josh Bedingfield, RMHS senior and drummer in the jazz band. ”It’s especially bad for band because it’s way more important to play 30 minutes every day, rather than 80 minutes occasionally.” 

Choral groups are being impacted in a similar manner. “When we do online rehearsal, we don’t sing together,” says Gracyn Rafuse, RMHS senior and choir member. ”We all practice by ourselves and stay muted… it’s still really hard to know if you are singing the right notes/ staying on rhythm.”

Though the music programs have been setback heavily by quarantine, they are finding ways to make up for it and slowly regaining their footing.

Despite these setbacks, music groups are still finding ways to practice together in person. Though these rehearsals are very important to music groups in a time like this, they are still heavily regulated. According to the Marching Band’s COVID policies, all students must have a mask or face covering, all participants must remain at a distance of at least 6ft, and equipment must not be shared. These regulations are especially important because most students are not able to wear a mask while playing their instrument. Rhythm and string instruments, however, are not bound by masks. This allows the jazz band’s rhythm section to play in person at the school during class time while the rest of the band participates virtually. Some chorus groups are also able to practice in person, but they also have to follow strict guidelines. “Because we are all spread out it’s hard to hear each other, making it hard to blend with the rest of the group.” says Rafuse.

With the return to in-person school set for October 26th, things are looking up for music programs at RMHS. In-class music groups will be allowed to perform with the portion of the class present that day. Even students who can’t wear masks while performing will be allowed, as long as proper distancing protocols are followed.

Though the music programs have been setback heavily by quarantine, they are finding ways to make up for it and slowly regaining their footing.