Student Musicians Return to the Stage

Students of the Music Department Get Back on Stage for Studio Classes


Studio Class held in Fine Arts Hall

Jolie Nguyen, Staff Writer

With the wide spread of COVID-19, Georgia Southern University has encountered several different hardships. The music department is also struggling of trying to create opportunities for student to go on stage.

In the music department, when concerts and ensembles were canceled, that cost most students the opportunity to perform on stage, which is one of the most important activities for music majors.

After a full term of cancellations, students of the music department can finally gain their ability to go back on stage and perform in this Spring term of 2021 for their Tuesday studio class. 

On Feb. 3, 2021, the first studio class in the auditorium happened with three performances from students with different instruments. By doing performances on stage, students not only have a chance to perform in front of everyone to practice overcoming their nervousness, but also receive feedback from their peers and professors. 

“I think it’s really helpful for all of the music majors. This semester, I am going to be performing my junior recital which consists of me playing for 30 minutes in front of 10 audience members. At the start of the semester, I was worried that I would not be able to adequately perform in front of people. Now that we are able to perform once a week, with an audience, I feel much better about my junior recital,” Derlie Morales Nunez, junior in the music education-piano major, said. 

For music majors, performing is compulsory and it is not suitable for performance majors to graduate without being able to perform. By performing on stage regularly, students will be able to gain more confidence and receive feedback about the necessary technique and dynamics that can help them in practicing their pieces. 

“It’s not really fair to say we’re getting authentic performance degrees without performing. We are so much more apt to practice well when we know we’re performing in front of our peers, so our return to the stage will be such a beneficial element to our learning,” Taylor Levesque said, a junior in the music education, choral major. 

During the Spring and Fall term of 2020, when the pandemic was still at its peak, faculties received little information about the disease, therefore, it would be a risk to continue performing on stage. Because of that, cancellations happened and everything was moved online. 

“From the very beginning, our number one concern has been the health and safety of the students. When we went online last march, there was so little information about the effects of aerosolization particularly among wind instrumentalists and vocalists. There was speculation and assumptions, but nothing concrete needed for real decisions,” Dr. Russell Brown, Associate Professor of Music, said. 

“I am happy that we are making strides to normalcy in the music department,” Nunez said. 

For the Spring term, after reevaluations, faculties decided to let students go back on stage and use the space that is large enough for students to still maintain their social distancing policy.

Getting students back on stage is one step closer to normalcy in the music department. It is necessary for performance majors to be able to perform and get feedback from professors and their peers. 

“For this spring, we were able to reassess what worked best for our needs given our resources and assets. The most underutilized asset at Armstrong was the auditorium in the Fine Arts Hall. Furthermore, the students listening could easily spread out since it’s such a large space. In essence, we want to be able to perform in front of one another and listen to one another in a safe environment guided by informed decisions,” Dr. Brown said.