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Maine Schools share how they are offering Band instruction during the COVID-19 Pandemic


UPDATED 10/14/2020

Ashland District School, Ashland

Click HERE to see an article on how they made music education a priority.


Belfast Area High School, Belfast

Currently the band is going outside exclusively to rehearse.  Students are spread out to 14′ or more usually in a long line.  One class I had to make two rows because it was too far apart from one end to the other single file style.  I have ordered instrument ppe’s that will allow us to play indoors safely.  Flutes, clarinets, saxes have a cover that goes over the entire instrument.  Brass players will have bell covers.  All wind instrument players will have a disposable mask w/a slit cut to feed the mouthpiece through.  Percussionists and bassists wear masks all the time w/o exception and I disinfect mallets and sticks after use.  Chorus class has been outside as well following a similar format.  I think students should be able to sing indoors with masks on and spread to the same outside distance (most at one time in the room is five).  During inclement weather days and remote days I supplement rehearsals with music theory lessons on counting, notation reading, conducting, and listening to and responding to pre-recorded performances.  Other units of study will include composition, music history, ear training, keyboard theory and playing (piano).  Students are given online work as well that includes a weekly online practice log/journal that they need to fill out and include a video recording of them playing excerpts of it as proof, Music First lessons/material/assignments (this is an online subscription), lessons and practice quizzes.  It is my hope to have small group “run out’ performances like caroling (band and chorus) and to perhaps do a live stream using new school YouTube channel during the winter (not sure of copyright with live video and performing, so I need to investigate that further).  I also intend to do a much larger thing in the spring on the football field and perhaps organize it to be a band night, chorus night, jazz night, etc.



Biddeford High School, Biddeford

At Biddeford High School we pushed band off until second semester hoping things will get better, if they don’t we will concentrate on everything but playing the instruments in person, and have the students practice and play them remotely. 


Calais Middle/High School, Calais

We used CRF $ and purchased 30 guitars and 30 ukuleles.  These are easy to wipe down and students are still learning to play music.


Caravel Middle School, Carmel

Unfortunately we are not able to offer in person band this year which, coming from a music background, breaks my heart.  Our band director is however providing private lessons through Google Meets.  Although it is for fewer students, he is able to be more responsive to the student needs.  Our students are in person two days a week for four hours so there is ample opportunity for students to meet in the virtual world.


Clinton Elementary School, Clinton

We are utilizing outside space (for now) and also doing band virtually with our remote kiddos. Our music teacher is also doing a virtual choir with our students. 


Dexter Regional High School, Dexter

Our band has gone to purely percussion instruments (everyone is a drummer).  We purchased a large amount of drum sticks and drum pads for the band students.  This way, they are still in the band, learning music & performing music.  Obviously, we are hoping this is temporary.


Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth

Our band is rehearsing out on the football field 14′ apart every day.  We have two cohorts so only half are there in a single day which is around 20, total is 40ish.  We have markings on our football field at 14 feet apart, the band practices there when the weather is good. When we have bad weather our teacher is having lessons by instrument sections with a much smaller group to work with in the band room. He is being very creative, and just going over the music notes and once in a while playing by section. Mr. Calandro also runs smaller sectionals outside with an ed tech.or sub monitoring the rest of the students working on theory, music appreciation, etc.  We also purchased the Smart Music program so that kids could be rehearsing and working on individual assignments and turning them in that way. 


Etna Dixmont Elementary School, Dixmont

Elementary fourth grade band is now a percussion ensemble. Everyone has their own drumsticks and we are using Lowe’s 5 gallon buckets as the drums.  Actually very cool.



Gardiner Regional Middle School, Gardiner

We are doing small group lessons and practice virtually. Select Chorus meets virtually twice each week and chorus/band is currently outside 14+ feet away from each other


Glenburn School, Glenburn

No band here. Utilizing Music Teacher in regular education setting.


Greenbush Public Schools, Greenbush

We are not currently offering band and won’t during COVID.


Hermon High School, Hermon

Smart Music


Machias High School, Machias

Machias Memorial High School has significantly modified the course schedule.  Rather than run an eight period day or modified block, we are running two classes per quarter.  Band and chorus have been scheduled for the fourth quarter in hopes that we will have solutions by then. 


Nute Middle High School, Milton, NH

We are on a hybrid schedule, and the teacher is having the students zoom in on their at-home days to play their instruments.  So they are always playing from home.


Mount Desert Island High School, Mount Desert

Our music teachers have shifted to scheduling individual lessons with students for at least the first semester.  With some of the academic classwork being done asynchronously in all of our classes it’s easier to pull students for 15 minute lessons.  Those lessons are in person for the instruments that can be safely played in relatively close proximity (percussion, strings, etc) and using google meet for voice and instruments that students blow into.

We are using Wednesdays as a flex day and plan to get the entire band together to play out on the stadium field a few times so they can make music together.

I’m sure our instrumental teacher Michael Remy would be willing to talk the schedule through with any other teacher.  Let me know if you want me to share his contact info.


Ocean Avenue Elementary School, Portland

K-5 school, band has been available to fifth graders. We turned our band teacher into a music teacher to offer more to all students in grades K-5. 


Mountain Valley High School, Rumford

We focus on the recording arts and stringed instruments with social distancing. 


Sebago Elementary School, Sebago

We are only offering it to those students who were involved last year. Groups are much smaller. Students stand side by side but 6′  apart in a single row all facing in the same direction. The teacher wears a mask and shield and stays 14′ away when possible.


South Portland High School, South Portland

We are outside, 14’ apart, with covers on the instruments.


Harrison Middle School, Yarmouth

Harrison Middle School – Yarmouth (grades 5-8): Once a week, virtual band instruction to students on days when they are doing remote learning (we are in a hybrid model). Virtual, once-a-week instruction in sectional groups as well.


Yarmouth High School, Yarmouth

14′ apart on any outdoor flat surface we can find.  Right now, it’s the outdoor basketball courts or a section of the parking lot.  Not sure what we’ll do now that the weather is getting colder.   


York Middle School, York

Our school has shifted to fully remote band instruction due to the constraints related to distancing with live instruction. We are a 5 – 8 school in the hybrid 2-1-2 model where students attend either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday. On their remote days, they access their band lessons. For Beginner Band (5th & 6th) this is based mostly on instruments (trumpet, clarinet, sax, etc.) since they need a higher level of instruction. We combined 7th & 8th sectionals of Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion. In person instruction is not happening other than an initial opportunity for our Band Director to meet with some of our 5th Grade academic groups so they had a chance to hear some about Band and encourage them to join.


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