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Music Educators Navigating Mask Mandates and Social Distancing

Raymond Goodrich, President of Lafayette Music Co. outlines the challenges music educators are facing this upcoming school year, and how they are addressing these unique times.

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 2:27 PM
Updated: Aug 6, 2020 2:46 PM

One thing that has been tossed to the wayside during the Covid-19 pandemic is music. Venues closed, gigs cancelled; and for students, a lot of unknown.

"Music is really important to a well rounded education," says Raymond Goodrich, President of Lafayette music, "Students that have interest need to be enrolled. They need to be engaged in music education as early as possible."

Raymond and his staff are once again gearing up for another school year, getting students fitted for band uniforms, among other musical tasks. It's a school year with a lot of unknowns when it comes to music education.

"What happens in curriculum - and so band directors continue to communicate with each other," explains Goodrich. "We've had a few meetings here with some of those individuals to talk about, 'Well what are you gonna do; what are you gonna do?' sharing ideas."

For example, distance learning has its own set of challenges. But in Lafayette parish, students will have access to a computer program called "Smart Music."

On the online program, Goodrich adds, "So I can plug in my musical instrument and record it on my computer into a program and send it to my instructor."

Now while students have been fit for jackets they've also been fit for masks, and if you know anything about music and instruments and how they work, you know with these masks, instruments don't work (genius, I know).

But for when students are able to social distance, like when playing outside, any instruments may be equipped with their own "masks."

"Instrument masks," explains Goodrich, "For lack of a better description. These are coverings that would cover the bell of the instrument to keep air droplets from flying out into the environment."

According to the Lafayette music man, the bands will play on...one way or another.

Adds Goodrich, "Teachers are being incredibly creative to make sure they're being efficient and that they're curriculum is written such that their students can benefit from day one"

Goodrich also mentioned when his team goes out to different schools for equipment service, they too have to have to take temperature tests and health surveys, and wear masks as do the students they interact with.

Lafayette music also adheres to industry recognized cleaning guidelines for their instruments. Those guidelines can be found here: https://nafme.org/covid-19-instrument-cleaning-guidelines/

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