A music professor’s take on the transition to online


Jacob Lofton/The Lion's Roar

Music courses have had major changes due to the COVID-19 outbreak. All music majors are required to give a performance every semester for their final grade, but due to the cancellation of school, all spring performances have been cancelled.

Throughout the university, COVID-19 has affected school life and the routine of most classes. Music professors, specifically, have had to make drastic changes during the transition to online classes.

Daniel Cassin, lecturer of cello, discussed the changes he has made to his music courses.

“I have met my students online several times before COVID-19, since I commuted from Baton Rouge to teach, so the transition to online has been very smooth,” shared Cassin. “Though Sound quality can be less than ideal, applied lessons can work well this way.An instructor can see and hear real time what one needs to,and this interaction obviously is critical to the teaching/learning experience.”

Cassin shed some light on how the situation has affected music majors.“I am very pleased to see the resiliency of my students,”stated Cassin. “They are coping well with the day today changesthat we are all experiencing.”

Cassin explained the challenges that may surface when not being able to practice music on campus.

“It’s more difficult for the larger class meetings and ensemble courses, like chamber orchestra, chorus and band,” shared Cassin. “Here, you have groups that must participate simultaneously, or play together. This makes ensemble playing impossible,largely due to internet latency issues.”

Apart from most majors,music can be difficult when being taught as an online course. In many classes,professors have been able to lecture over Google Meet and have typed assignments and submissions. However, music majors are mostly graded on performance.

Cassin shared advice for anyone enrolled in music classes during this online semester.

“I believe that the most challenging online teaching issue facing us is the absence of non-virtual personal human interaction,” said Cassin. This Collective experience is the most significant component of the musical art form. Asteachers, artists and musicians,we must be able to share the emotional power of expressive communication of spirit in the presence of one another.”