The Music Never Stops
By Katie Duncan – College of Education
Students frantically rush around to prepare for their high school music concert, nerves floating in the air and the hum of the audience settling in to watch the performance.
This was the old normal.
Now, students, teachers, and loved ones, log on to their computers to watch the students on a virtually produced concert. This was the new normal for Jackson Bores’ high school music classes.
Bores was a student teacher at Todd Beamer High School last semester and was tasked with providing students the musical learning experience they needed in the virtual format. Bores studied secondary education and music through the College of Education and the School of Music at Washington State University.
Like most student teachers during COVID-19, Bores was forced to get creative and, in spite of the virtual format, make the most of his experience.
Plus make music.
“COVID made it so that I missed a lot of normal student teaching opportunities, but it also allowed me to practice things I might not have been able to otherwise,” Bores said.
In order to bring some normalcy to the students, Bores and his teacher-mentor figured out how to create a virtual concert: A time for the students to shine and show all they know through the computer screen.
Bores said there was a lot of learning and adaptation as he attempted to bring music education to his students. In order to produce the virtual concert, he had to learn audio and video editing while teaching his students how to record themselves and their audio and video for the concert.
It was then up to Bores and his teacher-mentor to put all the student’s recordings together to create the full concert.
“I was teaching my mentor the audio editing portion, while he was teaching me the teaching portion,” he said. “There was a tradeoff throughout the semester.”
A wild success would be an understatement for the concert.
The students were thrilled to see their performance, family members were able to attend from all around the world, and faculty and staff watched the concert in awe and amazement. The parents, students and administrators appreciated the sense of normalcy of seeing their students shine in a new virtual format.
“We are seeing the chat boxes the whole time and people are just excited and happy that they are able to see something like this,” Bores said.
Following the concert, Bores and his teacher-mentor received notes from parents from all over the world, from the east coast to Korea, who had seen the concert.
While the student teaching experience was challenging, it taught Bores valuable lessons that he said he can take into his career going forward, the biggest lesson being connection.
“Reach out to kids, connect with kids,” he said. “It is equally, if not more important now, than when we were all in person.”
Bores is currently serving as a substitute teacher in the Federal Way.