Many people have been getting in touch to ask:

What is Orchestra going to be like at West for Fall 2020?

(September 3 update)

Orchestra class will still happen, but obviously in a much different form than “normal.” The two big changes: 1) students will be grouped according to arbitrary “cohorts” (by grade) rather than by ability level or the particular orchestra class I would have placed them in, and 2) orchestra classes will only be 18 weeks, as students will only take four classes at a time instead of eight.
On your schedule you will see “Orchestra 9,” “Orchestra 10,” or “Orchestra 11/12.”
Classes will meet online at set times, with some all-together work (technique, warm-ups etc. that I will lead and students will follow—it will look something like me leading an exercise video I’m afraid), some small-ensemble work with students divided into small groups by experience level (this can’t really be done “synchronously” over the internet, but there are some nifty online tools whereby one person can record their “part” over the tracks of others, in something akin to a musical Google doc), and some individualized one-on-one assignments where it would be more like a tiny remote private lesson with feedback. I will also be incorporating more music theory and history than I might ordinarily, as these lend themselves so much better to online instruction.
I am working diligently on creating these courses in Canvas, the new Learning Management System—the place you will go for all of your classes. It’s pretty versatile and allows for us to do a lot. I will have more information for you soon!

Mr. Thomson


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