By Alex Gendron
Everyone most likely is aware of COVID-19. This disease has had a detrimental effect on our society as a whole. There is not much that people can do to stay sane while in this crazy world. Despite all of this chaos, many countries have allowed children to go back to school. These schools have also allowed these people to participate in activities during school whether it be cross country, soccer, or even jazz band. Yes, that’s right. They have allowed jazz bands to play in school despite the circumstances. That’s not to say that there haven’t been limitations on what we can and cannot do, but I feel that it’s good that kids can still express their love for music and playing an instrument despite the effects of COVID.
One thing that has changed is the amount they can play. The jazz band teacher Brendan Carniaux stated, “Due to COVID, they have requested that we play only 30 minutes or less each day.” This affects the jazz band a lot as they only have a set amount of time that they can practice each day, meaning they might not be able to cover certain aspects of music that they would like to cover. Another thing that has changed is the modifications to instruments. In order to play a wind instrument, students now need to wear a certain mask with a hole in the middle so they can blow into the instrument, and they need to put a cover over the opening of the instrument where the air comes out. Both of these modifications have made playing much more difficult; the mask gets obnoxious over time, and the cover makes it so students have to play louder for a sound to come out.
There are a lot more changes to the jazz band. The number of songs that students focus on has decreased down to only one due to the limited amount of time students are able to practice together. The band is also limited when it comes to the number of people that can play at one time. In order for everyone to play at the same time, the students must be outside. Many people in the jazz band have expressed that they wish that they could play more like last year, but COVID seems to be temporarily blocking those hopes.
Overall, I believe that Mr. Carniaux has handled the situation extremely well and with a lot of intention. There are a ton of modifications that he has had to make in order for the jazz band to continue operating, so it is very impressive that he has been able to successfully make all of the accommodations. Lots of people are very appreciative of the jazz band and grateful to be able to play it during these circumstances. Other people believe that the modifications are not necessary in order to play. It is pretty crazy to think that COVID would affect so many aspects of life that we would not think would happen. However, the most important thing is that we can still do the things we love no matter the circumstances.