Singing safety

MCHS choir teacher Galvicius helps prevent COVID-19 by making sure his students are safe while singing

Brianna May, Staff Writer

McHenry Community High School Choir teacher, Derek Galvicius, walks into the auditorium to greet his students as they walk in. They come in with their masks and music in-hand ready to sing and be safe in the process. Galvicius also starts up the Zoom call for people who are unable to attend the in-school classes. This is very difficult for him because he can’t hear how those students are doing. What did Galvicius learn? Choir is a very difficult class to teach over Zoom after all.

With the choir being over Zoom, there are many difficulties and these are showing as the year goes along. “One of the most difficult things is that I can’t hear the ensemble” Galvicius states. He says that not being able to hear the choir is the hardest because he can’t hear if you need to go over a part again or if you need to work on a specific spot. Another one of the harder things is hearing the balance in the choir, “In choir, you have to have balance and over Zoom, we don’t have that balance,” Galvicius explained. With the school giving the go-ahead for some classes to go back, Galvicius has to take extra safety precautions in his class. “With us being able to come back in I am making sure we are all being responsible and safe while we do so,” Galvicius stated. Choir is facing unexpected challenges this year that has challenged Galvicius’ teaching style. 

With students now being able to come back, there are many challenges the students are facing along with Galvicius. Galvicius is having many of the same problems as the students. “I feel like I’m eating my mask trying to get enough air in to be able to sing” Megan Depauw, a student who has been going into choir explained. The students that are going in are finding it harder to sing with the masks on and are finding it harder to participate in choir at the moment. The students that need to wear glasses are having a harder time than the ones who don’t need glasses. “It’s hard for me because I have glasses so they fog up easily and I can’t see my music,” Depauw stated. When students go in, they need to take extra precautions while singing and need to be 6 feet apart and wearing masks constantly. “Because we are so far apart I can’t hear the other people in my part and don’t know if I’m doing well,” Depauw informed on how they are so far apart when they are in the auditorium and are farther apart. 

The students on Zoom think they are safer and they have some problems as well. The students that are on Zoom can not hear the piano very well. “It’s difficult because I can’t really hear the piano well enough to get my notes for the songs’ ‘ Rachel Disalvo, a student who has been on zoom the whole year so far stated. The people on zoom cannot hear the other people in their part and maybe having many problems in trying to get their notes. “it‘s weird that I can’t hear my other parts to see if I’m singing the right notes” Disalvo said. Many students have been having problems with getting their notes and staying caught up on their music. Galvicius has tried to make sure that the students can get as much help as they need to. 

At the end of the day, the students know that Galvicius is always there for them even when it might be a little harder to do their classwork. Galvicius knows that the students and himself are going through a hard time and are trying to make it as easy as possible for everyone. The students who are going back are staying safe by wearing masks. Even if it might not be the easiest thing to sing in, they are doing it anyway so that they can keep doing the class that they love.