HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas — With band rehearsals resuming next month, local school districts plan on ‘masking’ up their instruments to keep their performers safe.
While sharing musical instruments at school used to be normal, the pandemic changed that.
”We have a lot of instruments but not enough to put in every child’s hands,” said Edinburg CISD, Fine Arts Director Melinda Villarreal.
Just like many school districts, ECISD stopped that and is looking for alternatives for in-person practices.
“We’re working as a district perhaps to rent instruments so that we can make sure our students are not disengaged,” said Villarreal.
Villarreal said as a precaution band rehearsals will be held outdoors and instruments will be covered with a cloth to prevent air particles from spreading.
“Directors are also taking this opportunity to teach students hygiene behaviors that they are going to be expected to work with and bring into campus when we start in person,” said Villarreal.
Meanwhile, Mcallen ISD is using every online tool possible to help their students continue learning music.
“There’s a lot of apps that we’re learning and getting a chance to implement,” Head Band Director Elizabeth Gomez.
The average price for orchestra equipment is between $1,000 to $3,000.
Gomez said the district is also helping students with financial hardships get an instrument.
” It is a financial investment to be in our programs but many of the students have school loaned instruments, there are some instruments they buy or rent themselves,” said Gomez.
School officials said each student will be required to have their own instrument and music classrooms will be cut by 50% capacity to minimize the spread of COVID.
Schools assure all loaned instruments will be disinfected before being given to a student.