OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — Over the last few weeks, we have been watching how schools, teachers, and students have been adapting to learning in a pandemic. In Old Saybrook, music teachers are making some changes to the way they teach to keep the rhythm alive while keeping students safe.
In Old Saybrook, their music teachers have been following multiple COVID-19 safety researchers and their findings all summer long. Director of Choral Music for Old Saybrook Public Schools Jeremy Milton tells News 8, “we were all worried we weren’t going to make music.”
They were able to continue music class with a few additions and a lot of changes.
Music teacher Jeremy Taylor tells News 8 he takes his students outside for part of the class: “I borrowed some field paint from athletics so these little white circles are where we [put] the kids.” Taylor painted white circles, all 12 feet apart, to mark social distancing spots for students.
Unlike normal classrooms, the distance apart is doubled from six to 12 feet.
“When you speak in a normal tone of voice, your mouth will generate aerosols. If you were to yell there would be more; if you were to sing there would be more,” he explained.
Students singing in music class generate the most amount of aerosols, therefore increasing the spread of germs and the risk of spreading COVID-19 to surrounding students.
Aside from bringing some classes outside, Milton says they’ve introduced new masks to the students singing in class.
“What this does is create more space in the front so when you take that deep breath in that mask doesn’t go into your mouth.”
It’s a new way of operating in a music class for students and teachers, but ultimately safety is their top priority.