Making Sure the Music Plays On

Making Sure the Music Plays On
Posted on 02/18/2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented particular challenges for teaching music in schools and Old Saybrook is no exception. But music instruction has continued, thanks to the district’s support as well as the seriousness with which its teachers have taken the health risks. One of those teachers is Old Saybrook High School (OSHS) music teacher Jeremy Taylor.

“[M]usic is very difficult to teach online because of the limitations of video conferencing,” he explains. “[I]t’s been explained to me—it’s just simple physics—that there’s going to be a delay.

“And when you’re in conversation with somebody, it feels a little awkward,” he continues. “I know we’ve all gotten used to that—you just wait a little longer before you reply and you can’t interrupt people like you usually do.

“But in a musical setting, it’s impossible to play in sync with somebody over the Internet,” he says. “There’s a delay, and the delay is on the order of like 300 milliseconds—it’s not a ton. But it does make it impossible to actually play music together in any sort of collaborative way.”

Over the summer, as it looked as though Old Saybrook schools would open in person, “we got very excited about the prospect of [teaching] in person with our students,” Jeremy says.

But the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention didn’t have much advice on how to do that safely and, at the time, neither did the state.

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