Pandemic Reflections (IU Jacobs School of Music)

By Janette Fishell, DMus

While maintaining safe protocols and enjoying a nearly 100% avoidance of Covid among faculty and students, our department enjoyed a relatively ‘normal’ Covid pandemic. We continued to teach most of our students in person, albeit with radical social distancing, glove-wearing for faculty and extended passing periods during which air was circulated and keyboards were disinfected. Only one of my students decided to complete her degree online, but as she was nearly finished with her doctoral studies, we have been able to navigate this through Zoomed lessons. This fall we did return to a more ‘normal’ routine -still masked but with some loosening of other restrictions and protocols. As luck would have it, we experienced one of the most successful recruitment seasons this fall, so our studios and classrooms are bursting this year. Everyone seems so excited to be back together again – singing in ensembles (masked), giving, and attending, live performances and listening to each other in weekly studio and Colloquium. I attach our recent studio recital program and poster, giving you an idea of some of the extracurricular projects my students have busied themselves with. Last year’s Organic Voices was recorded and is on our department blog if you are interested.) This year I teach Organ Pedagogy in the fall and Pedagogy Practicum in the Spring and it is truly inspiring to see the next generation of teachers emerge with so many new insights into pedagogy. My own creative life has been ticking along. On a personal note, I made the decision during the early days of Covid that I had to find a project to keep me going and I was lucky enough to get a university grant to underwrite the a recording project that will ultimately be the complete solo organ works of Petr Eben During those long months of no concert career I prepared and recorded 3 of 6 cds and am so grateful to have had that motivation.

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