Music and Theater Department Panel


This week we had the pleasure of visiting with Ms. Hall and Mr. Rexroat in the Music and theater departments of Jerome High School. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions submitted by the journalism department.

  1. Do you feel that you receive the proper amount of funding from the school compared to other activities like sports? 


Ms. Hall – I feel like in comparison to how big our groups are, we are not. We have more kids but less money. So apples to apples, no. Do I need more money? Some years, but some years no. 


Mr. Rexroat- It’s less problematic for me because we charge for tickets and make a decent amount of money from ticket sales. I manage to keep things in order. We have a lot of kids in our program and we would like more funding. We also don’t bring in as much money as athletics. 

2. How has practicing changed because of the coronavirus?


Ms. Hall- A lot. So, for choir we can’t practice in my classroom because of spacing. We are in three to four locations and we don’t do small group locations anymore. And today we had to record our songs because we don’t have concerts. 


Mr. Rexroat- We are trying to use this study written for high schools and it has specific demands and we want to keep the kids safe and stuff. Rehrasels only last for half an hour and we have to space people out. It definitely affects us. We don’t have facial expressions and we can’t do a performance properly 


3. Why do some songs make me sad?


Ms. Hall- That’s a great question. Music is used as a gateway to our emotions. If it makes you feel sad it was the person’s intent. 


Mr. Rexroat- We have personal experiences. We have personal experiences that affect us. 

4. What encouraged you to become a music teacher and what motivates you the most to keep going during the pandemic? 


Ms. Hall- I had a really inspiring choir teacher in high school that made me feel valued and it gave me ambition and I had the talent and I followed her recommendations. 


Mr. Rexroat- I have a similar story. I had powerful experiences doing drama and definitely wanted to be a part of that again. And we do what we do because we love the art and we want it passed on to other people. 

5. How is vocal health maintained?


Ms. Hall- Hydration is a big one. Keeping your vocal cords hydrated. Proper rest. Eating the right foods. Avoiding yelling and screaming and smoking. 

6. How can the performing arts help students work together and cooperate and learn how to become a team?


Mr. Rexroat- I feel like I sorta feel like collaboration is so essential to what we make because it is a collaboration between visual artists and directors and all these different disciplines and to make a play work you can’t work alone. The greatest plays are true collaborations. They learn how to work with other people by being in a play or a choir. 


Ms. hall- Involving each other becomes a family where you have someone who has your back and makes the intimate moments in songs because you are sharing it with people you care about. 

7. Question for Theater- Why do you think it’s important for children to learn drama?


Mr. resroat- I think that by doing theater you learn a lot about what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes. It’s a process of learning empathy. You sorta have to live through someone else’s experience and not judge them for it. I try to get the students to play the characters objectively. Why are people behaving badly? You create a lot of empath something the world needs more of. 


8. Why is music such a get away for people?


Ms. Hall- I kind of feel like it’s the same. It’s just a place where people can kind of get ready for stress or other things. So they can escape and forget about everything else


Mr. Rexroat- It’s spiritual. 

9. What is your favorite play you’ve ever directed?


Mr. Rexroat- I loved our production of The Crucible. That one was really great. Bye Bye Birdie was really good. That was the same year. It was really good. Twelfth Night. There is a sweetness to that. It’s my favorite of the comedies. As You Like It is great too. 


10. What is your favorite song you’ve ever had your students sing?


Ms. Hall- Probably Carnival that we sang last year.