Sanger Unified music teachers spread holiday cheer virtually

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Singing songs with friends and loved ones is a favorite holiday tradition.

All the music teachers in Sanger unified are singing and playing together on the video — including Band teacher Joshua Witrado and Visual Performing Arts Coordinator Jennifer Determan-Lewis.

“Before March none of us were really video editors I would say, but that has become a necessary part of the job now,” said Determan-Lewis.

She says they’ve never done something like this before.

“It began with our process of deciding what kind of videos we were going to do for our elementary music students. Every week we release a couple of videos. Usually, it’s not quite this large of a scale, it’s usually a handful of people. It might be a sing-along, it might be a rhythm exercise. It could be anything music-related. But we decided we wanted to close out the school year that involved all of the music department,” said Determan-Lewis.

Each teacher records their part separately from home.

“As we record these things individually it’s very isolated and you have a vision of what it might look like but you don’t know until it’s completed,” said Determan-Lewis.

One of many challenges faced every day by school music teachers and students in the pandemic.

“If everyone’s unmuted the audio is going to cancel each other out. That’s really dependant on being teacher-led and then if there’s opportunity for students to unmute to share back,” said Sanger Unified band teacher Joshua Witrado.

Until technology allows students and teachers can sing and play together at the same time, they play along with their recordings.

“I put a click track at the beginning so they can play along to it,” said Witrado.

A different way to spread holiday cheer together.

“The whole situation was just another way to do what we already do,” said Witrado.

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