Music student opens up about challenges with remote classes

Michael+Shove+sits+in+front+of+his+electric+piano+on+Sept.+26+in+his+home+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+Shove+composes+his+own+songs+and+enjoys+experimenting+on+his+piano.

Madeleine Sydkvist

Michael Shove sits in front of his electric piano on Sept. 26 in his home in Santa Barbara, Calif. Shove composes his own songs and enjoys experimenting on his piano.

Dylan Grausz, Staff Writer

City College student Michael Shove lives and breathes his passion for music.

Music is his oxygen. Everything in his life is about music and music is part of him.

“What really stood out to me was how Michael got perfect scores on everything,” said Linda Holland, Shove’s theory and musicianship professor. “I do not usually have a lot of students start off getting perfect scores on every single assignment.”

Shove took all his prerequisite courses last school year, giving him the opportunity to take solely music classes now. 

Holland loved how Shove had a good music background coming in. She can see how passionate he is about music, but since they haven’t known each other long, she doesn’t want to pin him down just yet.

Classes this semester have panned out differently than he had anticipated.

Music major Michael Shove decides what song to play on his electric piano on Sept. 26 in his home in Santa Barbara, Calif. Shove, a fourth year City College student, has been taking all his music classes online since March.
Music major Michael Shove decides what song to play on his electric piano on Sept. 26 in his home in Santa Barbara, Calif. Shove, a fourth year City College student, has been taking all his music classes online since March. (Madeleine Sydkvist)

Shove is a second semester piano major. Currently, he’s taking ear training, beginning piano, and beginning musicianship.

“I take choir as well and that is super interesting,” Shove said. “We have to record our parts separately and then send them in as a file.” 

His professor then takes the files and puts the parts together. It’s all about adapting and being flexible with how to operate during these pandemic times.

Although classes have proven challenging for Shove and his choir classmates, City College has provided the EarMaster app to study intervals and chord progressions. The software judges the pitch made by students and stores it electronically.

Shove also utilizes Zoom to go to office hours with his professors.

“Not having the same visceral satisfaction of playing music with other people,” is one of the biggest disadvantages of taking online classes Shove said.

Shove has been in school bands since starting as a music major at City College, but chose not to join this semester.

Even with the need to adapt, Holland feels the lack of face-to-face meetings is frustrating.

“It is sad not having as much of an opportunity to talk to students outside of class. I would like to know my students on a more personal level,” Holland said.

The pandemic is not changing the material that Shove is learning, only the way it is being taught. The enthusiasm he has for music is what motivates him everyday to study the subject, whether it be in person or online.