How COVID-19 Has Affected Musicians
By Austin Hebert ’22, Arts Editor
While the coronavirus pandemic has affected many lives in many ways, it has severely impacted musicians’ lives, largely for the worse. During the lockdown and quarantine period, the venues where musicians played were shut down. Now, although some of these places have reopened, restrictions on playing wind instruments remain; but they are weakening.
In the Jesuit High School Band, we only play outside, maintaining social distancing and putting bell covers on the wind instruments. In the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, a small orchestra in which I play on Saturdays, we are no longer allowed to play in our normal room at Loyola University; instead, we now play at the UNO amphitheater because it is open-air, and it allows for spreading out between the musicians. This orchestra has also manufactured face masks with a hole and a flap covering to be able to keep masks and still play.
In addition to these high school groups, colleges and professional groups have also been slowed by the Covid-19. Both Tulane and Loyola transitioned to Zoom meetings for their music classes at the end of last semester, but have recently begun transitioning to in-person learning. Also, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has just recently begun to have Zoom concerts. Since much of their audience generally consists of the elderly, many of whom are unfamiliar with Zoom, attendance has not been what it once was. Covid-19 has certainly impacted musicians for the worse; however, situations are improving for musicians on the whole.