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Online MT coursework -- how is it going?

TwelfthmanTwelfthman 195 replies43 threads Junior Member
I would love to learn about student experiences with online MT coursework for acting, singing and dancing:

1. What does the student feel is gained & / or missed compared to their prior experience?

2. What's been most challenging?

3. In what ways has the curriculum been altered to focus on aspects that are more easily conveyed and / or worked on remotely versus what the curriculum had planned to cover?

I greatly appreciate how everyone is rising to this health challenge and diving right into remote learning! Terrific spirit.
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Replies to: Online MT coursework -- how is it going?

  • TwelfthmanTwelfthman 195 replies43 threads Junior Member
    edited March 19
    I forgot to mention, my daughter (still in HS) started online classes this past Tuesday and my son in college starts classes next Monday.

    She has a ton of work... perhaps even more than what they had previously (if you exclude all the work associated with preparing for and putting on a production -- this is a huge loss so far).

    For non-production work, I don't know how the curriculum has changed, but they are doing a lot of work on British accents; I know they were planning on doing some of this, but perhaps they upped the amount of work on it because it was easier to tackle this through some of the online lessons and assignments posted?

    Cheerio!
    edited March 19
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 334 replies0 threads Member
    My son is on extended spring break. They start back up on Monday. I have been asking him what they are going to do about the classes but all he has so far is doing his private voice lessons via skype. He has no idea what the rest of his course load is going to look like.
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  • BrennaKBrennaK 156 replies1 threads Junior Member
    My daughter is a freshman BFA MT at Shenandoah and so far it has been a learning curve, but learning is continuing. She is even in rehearsals for a play. All of her classes and rehearsals are video via Zoom. She's feeling a little overwhelmed by some of the "outside of class" assignments. Activities that would have been completed during class time are now being reorganized to: film this on your own and send it in, which makes sense, but with most of her professors doing that it has added a lot to her plate. This will be a very interesting time for programs and the students.
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 334 replies0 threads Member
    BrennaK wrote: »
    Activities that would have been completed during class time are now being reorganized to: film this on your own and send it in, which makes sense, but with most of her professors doing that it has added a lot to her plate. This will be a very interesting time for programs and the students.

    I suspect that is is more difficult for the professors, too. How do you rehearse via Zoom?

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  • BrennaKBrennaK 156 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @TexasMTDad Yes! It is really difficult for everyone, but I think that everyone is doing the best they can under these circumstances. Her rehearsal is a play that doesn't have a ton of characters, so right now I think it is just acting scenes over zoom, obviously no blocking happening, lol. I have no idea how rehearsing a musical would work right now.
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  • speezagmomspeezagmom 453 replies2 threads Member
    @Twelfthman I'll report back in late next week. Classes ramp up on Monday for Molloy/CAP21. My son is skeptical about how this will work for classes where they have a scene partner and also for rehearsals. They are going to do rehearsals 3 days per week via computer. It'll be interesting!
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 334 replies0 threads Member
    Update: Montclair has asked students to clear out their dorms by this weekend. My son is flying up to clear out his (and his roommates) dorm as his roomate can't travel. Roommate's mom is paying for storage unit for my son's troubles.
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  • lithpoollithpool 432 replies14 threads Member
    Coastal had an extended spring break and will start with online classes on Monday. It will definitely be interesting to see how they're going to do acting and dance!

    @TexasMTDad I'm surprised that they only gave you til this weekend to clear out dorms! That's crazy! But, I am glad you're son is able to clear it out for himself & roomate!

    Stay healthy all!
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  • mindatworkmindatwork 168 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Syracuse will start online classes on Monday. We opted not to go up to clear out his room this weekend; we'll wait until May when hopefully it is safer to travel.
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  • CMB625CMB625 412 replies8 threads Member
    My daughter won't start online until a week from Monday as her school has an extended break. However she already has heard from her dance teacher and she said they have to do more work now including a journal and other assignments. This does not make her happy...
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  • TwelfthmanTwelfthman 195 replies43 threads Junior Member
    My daughter has always maintained a journal as part of her acting coursework, but she has never done one in her music and dance classes (and I don't believe she has had to add that yet). However, she [and her classmates] has been asked to put down in writing the thoughts she used to share as part of class discussion in choir.

    Summing up this week, she said it felt as if she had a lot more work than she used to have... maybe it's getting used to the new circumstances / assignments coupled with the fact that she's doing a lot more on her own. She still has designated "virtual classroom" time but so far, there are fewer hours spent this way and much more time working on their own. My guess is "classroom time" went from ~ 23 hours to ~ 9 hours. I'm sure all the teachers are adjusting too.
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  • upstagedupstaged 36 replies0 threads Junior Member
    My D's online classes started last week. Like @Twelfthman said, my D feels like she has more work to do. She says most of her teachers are saying, "Since we're out of class, read this/write this/watch this/analyze this," while she is thinking, "But we ARE in class!!" She's had the most technical difficulties with her only Gen Ed, a science course.

    On the bright side, I can overhear part of her voice lessons, which are via FaceTime, and she says I'm welcome to watch her ballet class! We have converted the living room into her ballet studio by rolling up the rug, shoving the furniture aside, and propping up a big mirror. She thinks the class will now be geared toward using a small space. (She took tap last semester, thank goodness!) For her Keyboard Skills class, our home piano is better than the weighted keyboards in the college practice rooms. I feel bad for the students who don't have a keyboard at home; they were told to make one out of paper!! I don't see how they can learn anything that way.

    They are currently working on monologues in one of her Acting classes, so that lends itself well to the online format. Another help is that she can see her classmates on her screen, which makes her feel less isolated. However, it is definitely hard being away from all of them.
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  • CaMom13CaMom13 2368 replies15 threads Senior Member
    My D has completed one week of online classwork at NYU. Curriculum hasn't changed at all which is pretty unfortunate as some MT classes just don't translate well to remote learning - but the school wants to keep employing all the faculty which is the right thing to do. The teachers have added on work in just about every class - I think that seems to be true across the board that the move to online classes involves additional assignments and out of class work but the amount of in-class work stays the same. Zoom makes a huge difference as the students can see and hear each other but the lack of in person interaction is painful and sad. Also, many classmates have families whose income and health have been put at risk by covid-19 which is both sad and scary. Overall, she is making the best of it but the online learning is less than ideal and that's putting it kindly. That said, this is an unforeseen national crisis so we're not complaining.
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  • TwelfthmanTwelfthman 195 replies43 threads Junior Member
    My D has not in school for two and a half weeks. Having a virtual class is better than nothing. Online learning gets smoother each week.

    Theater classes are more frequent but more individual work at this point. They've decided to put on a radio play.

    Voice lessons are done virtually, equivalent to before.

    Dance classes have increased from four hours to six hours in part to make up for some classes missed.
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  • MTSongbirdMomMTSongbirdMom 224 replies0 threads Junior Member
    As @upstaged and @Twelfthman commented my D has also seen an increase in work outside of class...more analysis and writing. Her two gen Ed professors don't do technology so no actual classes anymore but much more work. She really loved her religion class which was discussion based and is sad because she misses the interaction and doesn't learn as well from reading. Vocal work has all translated well to Zoom. Dance is limited with small spaces to move. But they are still learning and engaging.
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  • TwelfthmanTwelfthman 195 replies43 threads Junior Member
    @CaMom13 and other NYU parents. I read that (made national news) Tisch School Dean Allyson Green e-mailed the student body on March 18, saying that they would not be getting a tuition refund, and later sent another e-mail on the matter in which she attached a video showing her dancing and singing to “Losing My Religion” in a living room. Are the students upset with the quality of their online classes or just upset that it's not in person or both of these? Any other perspectives on online courses there?
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  • CaMom13CaMom13 2368 replies15 threads Senior Member
    @Twelfthman - I like Dean Green and I think the whole dance video was her being authentic and trying to share some joy in a dark time but it didn't come across well to many parents and students who were (and are) emotionally pretty on edge right now. Tisch is run and peopled by artists - it's one of its greatest pros and sometimes one of its drawbacks. I can see why some people were upset but it didn't bother me. The communication from NYU over Spring Break about the decision to force students to move out of dorms on short notice was *very* poorly done and that did bother me. They were responsive to concerns expressed by parents about that and have been accommodating for students from far away.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with the actual remote classes being taught. I think remote learning suffers by comparison to in-class learning and they're working from a curriculum designed for on-site group instruction. Being in your home and trying to get instruction through Zoom is inherently less fun and compelling than in-person instruction and this is just not what the students are used to enjoying. However, the teachers are working out the kinks, playing with things and trying to make this semester work better. Again, this is a public health crisis and everyone at NYU is personally affected - no one had a plan for this - so you have to expect some rough spots. Hoping things will continue to improve.
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  • TwelfthmanTwelfthman 195 replies43 threads Junior Member
    @CaMom13 Thank you for that perspective, and for re-affirming the online classes being offered at NYU.

    From what I can discern, all schools are working from a curriculum designed for on-site group instruction (if another MT program was "prepared" for this, I would like to know about it), and a lot of schools forced students to move out of dorms on short notice, not just NYU. We're an unprepared nation for this health crisis and have been in reactive mode the whole time; even if we were more prepared but still without sufficient reliable testing, antibody-rich plasma, or vaccine, probably the only thing that would have changed, given the virus' stealth nature and level of contagiousness, would have been a slightly earlier "move out" timetable right?

    In recent weeks, governors are attempting to identify college dorms, hotels and any unused hospitals or apartment buildings that can be refitted by the Army Corps of Engineers with tight turnaround times. So student housing was immediately critical.

    The teachers are just trying to make the best of an undesired (but current) need to provide online training; NYU students shouldn't feel as if it's just happening to them.

    From what my D shares with me, performances are hurt the most, and theater classes are a close second; dance and voice are suboptimal but surprisingly are working in the short-term as long as families without computers and internet connectivity are having these provided to them for online learning as well as other required safety net services.

    I asked my D about class times:

    hours in person before COVID-19 ... NOW ... online hours after COVID-19
    23 for weekly classes ... 9 at first NOW ... 17.5 (and will likely stay there)
    4 for dance studio ... 1 at first NOW ... 6
    .75 for voice lessons ... NOW ... 1

    The teachers seem to be really concerned about their students mental well-being and are taking time to connect to them.

    I'd love to learn the focus of the online theater classes as well as related offline assignments and work. @upstaged mentioned working on monologues.

    Theater students are such social animals; they're like in a virtual cage right now.

    A silver lining in this cloud is being able to see my kids much more than before. But this is a serious situation, and my heart goes out to anyone directly affected by the Coronavirus... wishing everyone the best in this very difficult situation.
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  • BoogieMaBoogieMa 71 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Thank you @CaMom13 and @Twelfthman for this conversation. My D is a senior weighing her options right now (waiting for just one more notification: NYU) and one question we've been asking students along the audition trail is, "How does this school/program respond in a crisis?" I was thinking about #MeToo and rape on campus and of course had no way of knowing that this pandemic was on its way. D auditioned for NYU at Unifieds so we have had no opportunity to ask MT students this question. I am grateful for your candid answer and impressions.
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  • tsamuiquetsamuique 263 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Thank you all for this info. I'm particularly watching NYU as that is where my S is committed to enroll this fall, so thank you, @CaMom13 for chiming in!
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