In the weeks after last year’s Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans experienced one of the most explosive COVID-19 outbreaks in the country. Since then, music has largely been missing from a city that depends on it.
Sonya Robinson, co-director of the arts education nonprofit Artist Corps New Orleans, says one reason why music education has been slow to start back up in New Orleans is the disproportionate impact the virus has had on African Americans.
Public schools began to gradually reopen in late September, and by mid-October, the district’s 45,000 students had the option to learn in-person at least several days a week. While the district doesn’t offer detailed guidance on how to teach music during the pandemic, it is permitted: Bands and choirs can practice outdoors as long as they remain socially distanced and adhere to their school’s maximum group size.
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