By Kouki Onnagawa
As we all know, the development of Covid-19 worldwide has a massive impact on our everyday lives. Even though education persists amidst this health crisis, there are many restrictions on the education system. For the second time this school year, all classes are virtual this semester, with all courses being online E-Learning. This has brought massive changes to many classes, with shorter school days, independent learning classes and a 100% online-based education. No other school course has been hit as hard as the creative courses.
Visual arts, band, strings and drama courses at Harbord have been dramatically changed as teachers adjust to this new reality. The fundamental basis of creative courses like learning how to draw or play an instrument is negatively affected by these new restrictions. For many courses like drama and visual art, in-person learning is the best way to learn, develop and practice such skills.
While online learning does give students freedom and independence when it comes to course work from the comfort of their homes, creative courses are best experienced in person. Imagine a band course without the band, the strings course without an ensemble and a visual arts course without canvases and paint. During these times, it can be hard to stay motivated. Working alone to create art or music can be a monotonous task; it can take the enjoyment out of an otherwise enjoyable experience. In many courses, fun learning experiences are often replaced with independent work, like music theory. However, there have been many successes; students like myself, have enjoyed learning new skills and interacting with other students through this medium of art.
One amazing project done in my art class was the mental health pamphlets. Students were to visually express the impact of Covid-19 on mental health by creating a pamphlet discussing personal challenges and social issues regarding this matter. This project allowed us as students to use our creativity, experiment and try out different drawing techniques we have learned during class. Our in person art classes have also had discussions about mental health, especially the effect of mental health of youth in quarantine. I felt like this was a great, relevant project that was still enjoyable and rewarding even during quarantine, and online learning.