Music department shares concerns with online classes, cancels shows

August Lawrence, Staff Writer

The Music Department has had to rethink its entire instruction process, abruptly canceling all band rehearsals and converting as many classes as possible to an online format after City College’s campus closure due to COVID-19.

Many are concerned whether the switch to online courses will affect their ability to perform as well as they do in “live” classes.

“Taking an Ear Training midterm is kinda hard not to do in person,” said Drummer Aeron Price.

Ear Training classes teach music students to discern different notes from each other and how they blend together to make up different chords or melodies.

This semester, which was his last at City College, Price played in two big bands and a jazz combo.

He has already passed musical tryouts at Northridge, Fullerton and Long Beach but struggles academically and is unsure if he’ll be accepted due to his poor grades, especially now with classes only available online.

He prefers a face to face setting and is unsure how well he will do. Price thrives on “[the] accountability of going to class.”

Dr. Clark is a really good teacher but his classes are hard,” Price said about music theory professor John Clark. “It’s going to be hard to take the class without him.”

Music teacher Eric Heidner is concerned about how the campus closure will affect students who practice on campus with department-owned instruments. 

“The [jazz] ensembles are in limbo,” Heidner said. “So much is up in the air right now.” 

Cancellation of rehearsals and upcoming shows has been a disappointment to many.

Brass major Douglas Swane was greatly affected by the shock of everything coming to a sudden halt.

“We’ve worked so hard for all these performances coming up,” said Swane. “It’s a shame… but better in the long run.”

Swane is in three City College bands and several jazz combos and is used to playing with a variety of people on a daily basis.

“I’ve been practicing every day on my own… a lot,” Swane said. “It’s really hard to get a lot of people together.”

Still others, like trumpet player Sergio Rodriguez, are focusing this time on expanding themselves. Rodriguez has been enjoying exploring different art forms besides music.

“I like to draw, I make shirts,” Rodriguez said. “I use other outlets. It’s another way of expressing yourself.”

The coronavirus has left many feeling confused and disoriented, it’s unknown at this point what the Music Department’s next step will be.

“It’s kinda like taking the rug from under our feet,” Price said. “But they were smart to cancel everything going on, you can’t be too safe.”