Artesia High choir teacher finds ways to let her students sing together

New Mexico News

ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) – Despite the challenges of online learning a New Mexico Music teacher is determined to keep her class in sync and engaged. “It’s definitely very different because what you hear on a screen is not quite what you hear in person, or what you hear on stage,” said Bailey Rutherford a Sophomore.

Distance learning for students has been difficult from the start, but for a high school choir director it meant a whole new set of obstacles. Artesia High Choir Director, Susie Parker had to become a technology expert almost overnight to make her class still happen. “I usually have a couple of different computers running so I can see, I sign on as a student so I can see their view, then I have a view as a teacher going so I can watch the delay,” said Susie Parker the Choir Director.

She had to find ways to get her 84 students to sing together. Internet delays and buffering made it almost impossible. She found ways to make it work by singing into multiple accounts to match the delay. Choir students have something to look forward to each day. “It’s not ideal, not the senior year that we’re not in school in person making memories, but our virtual memories are going to be cherished just as much,” said Madison Parker a Senior.

“I’ll do my math, I’ll do my science then I’ll do my history, but this gives me something to look forward to other than that it kinda gives me a brain brake” said Ryleigh Greer a senior.

The choir students say all the obstacles they are overcoming to keep class going is making the group stronger. Now they are composing a concert from 84 different homes. “We’re in a group setting, you can rely on your neighbor a whole lot more and so I think they’re a lot more vulnerable,” said Susie Parker.

The students said they are preparing for all virtual competitions this year so they are trying to perfect their performances and use the technical difficulties to their advantage. “Even though we are not together and we’re not singing together, it’s nice to know that we can share our passion together, even though in this time where it’s hard to share anything with anyone,” said Kyler Beltran a senior.

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