The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



A Behind the Scenes Look at Performing Arts Classes in a Pandemic


Photo Courtesy of SLOHS choir teacher Julia Wallace.

Performing arts students at San Luis Obispo High School have been constrained to the limits of virtual learning due to COVID-19  like the rest of the student body since March of 2020. 

So what does it mean to be in a performing arts class that once relied solely on in person instruction? 

“It’s been tough teaching choir online, but it’s getting easier as time goes on! We basically do the same thing we do in class in person, just with everyone muted on Zoom. I also do a lot more listening assignments and creativity projects over Zoom than I would in person. I just want my students to enjoy music and have a creative outlet.” said Choir teacher Julia Wallace.

Choir students record individual parts without the instant feedback or gratification that once came with in person performances. 

The students then submit the recordings to the teacher to be edited by music editor Paul Burke.

This past December, the choir held a concert consisting of two songs: “White Winter Hymnal” by Pentatonix and a compilation from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.  

Sophomore Lindsay Smith has participated in several performances throughout the school year. 

“Choir has had a couple performances, there’s been one in the drama club and we’re currently preparing for a ‘show’ in choir and a play with the drama club!” said Smith.

However, other performing arts students don’t have the same routine as choir students.

Band students, such as senior Kayla Alltucker, miss in-person instruction.

“I definitely prefer learning in person because being around people is a lot more fun than just seeing them over Zoom. Plus you get to do a lot more activities when in person,” said Alltucker.

In terms of what they do in class Alltucker said, “I don’t believe we’ve had any performances but we record what we’ve been working on and sometimes share with the class.”

Despite massive setbacks, performance arts students continue to make steps forward in creativity and expression through projects and other assignments. 

 “In Musical Theatre we have a ton of fun assignments as well as preparing for our performances and shows. We do creativity projects where we will explore or create these different things related to music and theatre. We also do listening journals where we listen to a song and describe how it makes us feel and what we think of. The class is incredibly creative and so much fun, I really love it” said Smith.

Alltucker is certainly not as positive about other assignments as Smith is.

“We get to watch cool videos sometimes which I guess you could consider a benefit,” said Alltucker. “however, band is truly an in person activity because you can’t play group tunes if you’re not in a group.”

Overall, performing arts students continue to hold out hope for the rest of whatever’s left of virtual learning and the eventual return of in person instruction.

The show must go on.

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