Video Technology Brings Music Classes to Village Students


Diana Gish/KMXT

Tonight at the Gerald C. Wilson auditorium, music students from the Kodiak Island Borough School District will perform the last in a series of three concerts. One unusual feature of this year’s spring music concerts is the inclusion of students from the district’s village schools. Music students from the villages are flying in to perform alongside the students from Kodiak. What’s even more unusual is that the students from the villages get almost all of their music instruction by video conference.

District director of instruction Marilyn Davidson, explained that the long-distance music classes are something new this year. She said that the parents in the villages wanted their children to have the opportunity to study music.

(District Music 1 "We wanted to … wide music program.")

And the program, Davidson says, has been more successful than anyone had imagined.

(District Music 2 "The superintendent said … absolutely incredible.")

That was demonstrated Tuesday night when orchestra students from the villages played a series of songs and then joined with the Kodiak students for a district-wide finale. Tonight’s concert will feature the band students from Kodiak and the villages. The same video technology that enables students in the villages to study music, will be used to broadcast tonight’s concert live to their families and friends.

Davidson said that if bad weather stops the village students from flying in, the district’s tech staff will use technology to make sure that all of the students play in tonight’s concert anyway.

She said its that kind of innovation that has made the cyber-space music classes a success.

(District Music 3 "I’ve watched Katherine … as they do.")

Before tonight’s concert, the students from the different schools will spend the day together rehearsing. For the village bands it will be their first performance on an auditorium stage. It won’t, however, be the first time they’ve seen their band teacher Dale Lhotka, in person.

(District Music 4 "Phil Johnson our …relationship that’s authentic.")

Tonight’s concert featuring all of the district’s band students will take place at 7 p.m. at the Gerald C. Wilson auditorium. For those unable to attend in person, the concert will be streamed live tonight via video conference. You can find out how to watch the concert by going on the school district’s website.

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