BRIDGEPORT, ILLINOIS (WTHI) - Remote learning has been hard on many students, especially those involved in the arts and music. However, despite, the challenges, one local music program is adapting well.
The music department at Red Hill Junior-Senior High School is just one local school that is quickly adjusting and finding success.
Kristine Hasewinkle is the music director there. Like many music programs across the country, Hasewinkle has faced many challenges during the pandemic.
“It was awkward and we definitely had to train the kids," Hasewinkle said. "You come in, you sanitize your hands, you get your instruments out, you go sit down, you put it together, but you don't play. You keep your mask on until we are ready to play the first note.”
She saw several of the elementary school students drop their music classes during the pandemic. However, most of her middle and high school students stayed involved and have adjusted to the new normal.
During the short period of time when the school had remote learning, the students would submit recordings of themselves playing for class. Luckily, the school is fortunate enough to have experienced mostly in-person classes. There are still challenges that come with this and Hasewinkle believes this time has been hardest for the seniors.
“It's been very rough for the seniors," Hasewinkle said. "All the senior things they would get to do within band and throughout the school they haven't been able to participate in. Watching them, it breaks your heart."
Emily Pegg, a senior clarinet player, is preparing for college auditions during this difficult time.
“It's been really upsetting that we have had so much taken away from us," Pegg said. "I know that my fellow seniors are really upset about it as well."
Although she misses performing at concerts and playing in the pep band for football and basketball, she learned that the best thing to do is to be optimistic.
“Everyone is so positive during this pandemic especially our band director," Pegg said. "She's always had a positive outlook on everything.”
Pegg commends her director for continuing to show encouragement to all of her fellow students and making this year fun despite everything going on.