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Rabun Gap arts department innovates during COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes, but that hasn’t stopped the Rabun Gap arts department from offering exciting ways for students to create and learn. Innovation abounds in the Arts & Technology as students are getting exposure to new technologies and methods as a part of our nationally-recognized program. 

“It’s an unusual time for arts across the country. Many schools have abandoned arts programs, and even many professional arts organizations are having to adapt,” said Mr. Sean Lakey, arts department chair. “At Rabun Gap, we’ve been able to really hone in on new technology, and our students are excited about all the new things happening with our arts program. I am proud of how our faculty and students are becoming true innovators.  We’re chronicling everything happening in the arts on our new Rabun Gap Arts Instagram page. It is an exciting time for the arts at Rabun Gap.”

The Upper School arts programs are embracing technology with the use of a new recording studio on the second floor of the  A&T Building. Music students and Ms. Allegra Boggess are using the recording studio to record different parts of music and mix them for a harmonized sound. Ms. Boggess is working with chorus students, as well as singers in specialty groups like the Gap 8. Performers in the musical are also using the new studio in an exciting way to bring this year’s musical to the Rearden Stage in a safe way. 

Music students across all three divisions are focusing on music theory. While singing is limited and the use of wind instruments not safe, our student musicians are adapting. Ms. Boggess’ students who typically play wind instruments, are broadening their skills with piano lessons. She has also included FlipGrid, an app that allows students to create videos, into her curriculum. 

The new technology is also allowing for exciting cross-disciplinary projects. This year, students in performance classes will work on developing short variety shows, incorporating the use of the recording studio as well as students in the dance and video classes. Video production students are working with a group of musicians, who are learning choreography from Ms. Heidi, to produce a music video. It’s an approach that is bringing students together and encouraging collaboration.

Dance class students at the Upper School, led by Ms. Heidi Spoon, are wearing masks, and have even taken class outside a few times to enjoy our beautiful campus. Dancers are taking more breaks to accommodate the masks, but are excited to be back dancing again. 

On the visual arts side, classes that are focused on technology - including Ms. Loveland’s Photography & Graphic Design class, and Ms. Mannogian’s Video Production class - are more popular than ever. The art teachers are sanitizing supplies after each class and encouraging responsibility as students are assigned their own supplies for the trimester. Our visual arts teachers are using technology to offer a wealth of resources for their students. 
“While this is all the result of such unfortunate circumstances, I think that in the end, being challenged to find new ways to do things can be helpful. I know that in the future, I will continue to use a lot of the adaptations I have made for this year,” said Ms. Loveland. 

Arts classes in the Lower and Middle School continue to adapt as well. Many classes are being held outdoors and our youngest students continue to thrive as they explore variations on their normal lessons

If you would like to see more of the exciting experiences our students are having in the arts this year, follow along on the new Rabun Gap Arts Instagram page.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.