How the Conservatory of Music is operating for Phase 2

While many music students remain remote for the spring semester, some have the chance to start in-person classes.

Kate Bomar, Staff Writer

In an email sent out last December, students in designated courses from cinema and media arts, journalism and health sciences along with other essential majors were told they could come back on campus as part of Phase 2. This left students in the Conservatory of Music confused about how classes would continue for them this semester. Music students are only a minority of those who have returned to Biola. Although there have been a few renditions to the conservatory of music for this spring semester, most classes are still in remote learning


Students in small ensembles and string quartets with no more than four people are allowed to meet off campus once a week. However, there are very few in-person classes according to Robert Denham, the area coordinator of theory and composition. Denham says that a few classes had previously been online, so the transition was not too difficult for those in specific. 

Introduction to Music Production: Pro Tools is a communication music class that is a part of Biola’s Phase 2 reopening. This class gives students solid theoretical and technical knowledge of recording and mixing with digital audio workstation, according to its course page


Daisy Perrigan, a sophmore music therapy student says online learning has been upsetting because of her missing out on the in-person experience. Music therapy is a newer degree program which teaches students how to  develop musical and clinical skills to assist people towards a healthier quality of life. 

“It helps that I really love our instructor Mr. Ron Borczon, and the six of us that are currently in the program,” Perrigan said. 

Nate Alberda, a sophomore commercial music major, is a part of the Phase 2 group returning for his Introduction to Music Production: Pro Tools class. 

“It was a shock to come to campus and see all the changes made to promote physical distancing,” Alberda said. “It is nice to finally be on campus, though, and see my friends again.” 


While many students are continuing remote learning, there have been quite a few college students across the nations who have decided to transfer to schools that are in person, according to Third Way

Perrigan says that she has not thought about transferring to another school, but she understands why some people have. 

“It’s definitely a challenge to do music online, but I would hate to leave Biola,” Perrigan said. “I know that I’m getting what I need even in an online format. I feel like if I transferred I would really miss Biola and it would be too different.” 


Even though hundreds of Biola students are still continuing in remote conditions, Denham says that those in the Conservatory of Music can still succeed. 

“A lot of students aren’t taking advantage of office hours, but professors are there,” Denham said. 

Though most music students are not back on campus, professors are willing to be of resource to online learners

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