Creative Minds Take To Online


Amanda Mourelatos, Editor in Chief

The most creative and hands on teachers lie in the Fine Arts department, but does that mean the screen is stopping them from creating? Absolutely not. If anything, it’s putting their creativity to the test to see how they can manage their own lives and their lives as teachers.

One of Sahuaro’s many musical masterminds is Mr. Marrs, the orchestra teacher. To keep his mental health in shape, he said, “I have been getting up early with my wife each morning to take the dog for a walk to keep myself in good spirits during quarantine.” He also took on many house projects such as painting, replacing doors and floors, and adding rocks to his yard. To top it all off, he “taught a 2-week online music camp called Rocky Ridge with students and teachers from all over the world.”

In class, Marrs has kept his students busy with playing their instruments every day and yoga in the middle of some classes. They’ve also been using various programs, such as  SmartMusic and Breezin Through Theory that Marrs said “will hopefully make remote education more fun and interesting.”

Another musical genius at Sahuaro is the band director, Ms. Engel. She has been doing yoga every day since April and taking this time as “a  chance to focus on myself and to tune out the rest of the world for a designated amount of time each day.” Depending on how she’s feeling, she can choose different practices to either push herself or relax her body and mind. Plus, it doesn’t take up too much space in her house.

“It’s important to always find the silver lining in situations like the one we’ve found ourselves in now,” said Engel. Her band classes are using the same programs as Marrs’. “In Marching Band in particular, we’re using our time away from the field to learn the ins and outs of the marching arts through listening and critiquing projects, drill writing projects, and music writing/arranging projects,” she said regarding her 1st period class.

Outside of the music world, but still within the expressive and visionary realm is art teacher Mr. Long. He’s been experimenting with digital media and taking on art projects during this time. “That solitary lifestyle can be very lonely at times, so I’ve made sure to check in on my friends and family,” he said. He has also been bingeing shows and movies and playing video games with his friends and brother.

“I’m really wanting to give my students the opportunity to talk about and show off artwork that they resonate with and are interested in,” he said. So Long has been assigning monthly projects that ask students to find visual art online that interests the students. His students, of course, have also been creating their own artwork and sending pictures.

It’s easy to say that these teachers have passed the test and their innovative energy has blossomed even more, despite the lack of face-to-face interaction.