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Lawrence Township teacher able to make and teach music at a distance, says virtual learning works

LAWRENCE, Ind, (WISH) — An orchestra director in Lawrence Township keeps practice happening no matter how many students are playing from home.

From extra hours after school to tuning instruments to recording videos for students at home, Amanda Camacho is going to great lengths to make sure her students have the same opportunity at home as they would in the classroom.

Seven of the thirty 31 advanced orchestra students are in class, the rest choose to learn at home. In total, Camacho has 200 students and more than half are virtual.

There is one big challenge, students on Zoom must remain on mute the whole time. When everyone plays together, students at home can hear and feel like they are playing along with the orchestra.

During a portion of each class, Camacho will work with the students physically in the classroom while students at home work on an assignment uploaded online. She has the ability to check on the Zoom students and hear how they sound.

This is Camacho’s sixth year as the orchestra director at Fall Creek Valley Middle School and is focused on doing what she can with what she has.

“I think we will be a little behind from what we normally would have done,” she said. “By that, I mean with the tuning and the types of music that we can play and presenting new music to them without them getting frustrated, that’s something that I am trying to have that balancing act. I don’t want it to be too hard but I want it to be challenging.”

All students play virtually from home on Fridays.

There are plans for an outside concert at some point this school year, even though most orchestra’s don’t go outside. Camacho says that’s a big motivator for students inside and outside the classroom.