Fine arts teachers at SFA get creative amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Fine Arts Teaching in the SFA Building once again

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Where there is a will there’s a way. Budding musicians and dedicated faculty find a stage where they make it.

Under the pine trees or beneath a large tent outside the SFA music building, students share their love of music.

“Nobody wants to learn music over the internet. It just doesn’t work,” said Dr. Gary Wurtz, director of the School of Music. "They want to play their instruments with each other. Sing with each other. Perform with each other "

Research from other universities, ingenuity, and patience got the job done.

“I think it’s working,” said Wurtz.

Some faculty put their handy skills to use and built partitions.  Hallways are no longer eerily quiet.

Music comes from practice rooms thanks to a few rules.

“When they go in, they spray it down with this spray bottle. They wipe everything,” said Wurtz.

His research showed that a room should remain vacant for at least 30 minutes between students. A log-in sheet hangs on the door.

Misters are used too, often operated by Wurtz himself. Everyone pitches in.

The music plays on, but there remains a missing participant recognized by orchestra director, Dr. Gregory Grabowski.

“One of the policies we’ve adopted for in terms of social distance and safety issues is not having a live audience. And since we have some of the equipment to live stream a performance we’re working on doing just everything that way.”

Dr. Inga Meier, assistant professor for the School of Theatre is learning all about that.

“We’re doing it through zoom.”

In the School of Theatre, intimate moments on stage are replaced with virtual performances.

“He’s in his living room,” said Meier while pointing to her laptop of a student on the screen. “On a couch actually. And he has a green screen. We’re going to basically send it through a specific software.”

So, actors can interact despite the separations.

Rehearsals are underway for virtual and live performances.

In the meantime, anyone craving a live performance can stroll by the music department most any afternoon and you’ll have your own personal concert.

WEBXTRA: Fine arts in a pandemic

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