Ask a Student: Jennie Turner ('21)
by Liz Dobbins (’21)
In mid-March, the coronavirus transformed Westminster students’ educational experience. What was once interactive, in-person learning shifted online in order to help decrease the spread of COVID-19. Westminster students and faculty did their best to ease the transition, but some classes were harder to adapt. We talked with Westminster music major and business minor, Jennie Turner (’21), about her experience moving online.
Overall, how was the transition to online learning for you?
“The transition to online learning as a music major has really showed what Westminster’s faculty and staff are made of. It has almost felt like living in two worlds—I am a music major and a business minor, and last semester I had an even blend of music and business classes.
“Switching to online for my business classes was fairly easy. Much of our templates were already done online. Although the discussions became more difficult, the professors made it clear that they would still be available for all students who wanted them.”
What were some limitations you faced with your music classes?
“Most of what we do in music classes requires students to meet and be together—things like choir, orchestra, jazz band, opera studio, and private lessons. Private lessons and coaching, took a few tries to get right. Part of the problem is that there really isn’t any good technology for doing skype lessons. All video chats have a lag that makes music extremely difficult, the microphones are not designed for singers (if you get too loud, sometimes they just stop working), and you can’t fully see the other person.
“My professors and I eventually found ways to continue lessons and make progress. I loved that all of my teachers put in measures to make sure that disadvantaged students would not have their grades impacted unfairly.”
What do you think you missed out on most moving online?
“Choir was especially difficult because we had to cancel our Italy trip that we had been preparing for all year, and the school and students had made payments for. It was heartwarming to see our professor Dr. Quinn come up with ways to make the semester meaningful by putting together a way for us to record one of our songs as a virtual choir (which was not easy).”
Do you have any takeaways about the Westminster community from this experience?
“The biggest takeaway for me was the support that the professors showed to me and their other students. They were helpful when I had to unexpectedly move housing due to COVID-19 in the middle of finals. They went above and beyond to make learning music online a meaningful experience. The transition into online learning would not have been possible without professors who care about their students.”
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster College’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.