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Teaching in the time of COVID-19

Northwestern faculty take acting training online

Social distancing has made classroom education a challenge, and perhaps even more so for programs in theater and music performance. Northwestern University faculty are employing technology to bridge the physical divide and deliver instruction and performance feedback online.

School of Communication professors are available to speak about their online teaching efforts, and how remote learning is a good fit for some of the arts.

Jon Haas, academic advisor and music theatre lecturer can be reached at or by phone at 312-330-4401

Quote from Haas:

“I, as well as many of my colleagues, have plenty of experience teaching music theater voice instruction remotely. Several of my professional students live in New York, and we have weekly lessons in an online environment.

“Because of the one-on-one nature of voice lessons, transferring to a remote learning environment with the ability to hear the voice, see the posture/breath structure and make immediate adjustments will result in the meaningful progress that we would make in our live classrooms.

“For our weekly voice lesson, students are sent recorded audio tracks of the piano accompaniment to their assigned repertoire, and all papers and voice journals are submitted online. We are excited to continue the great work started this year with our Northwestern undergraduate voice students.”

Cindy Gold, professor of theatre can be reached at or 224-234-5991.

Quote from Professor Gold:

“I think the camera work will be very exciting, especially since many of the available acting jobs will be on camera. I’d say at least 50% of my own auditions in the last year were video submissions, so it’s terrific that our undergraduates will get early experience with this. My third-year students are working on Chekhov, and the intimacy and the focus on subtext will be fascinating to see so closely on camera.

My ‘Business for the Artist’ class is perfectly suited to remote learning. I’m going to be inviting professional friends from Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, to meet virtually with classes and speak about their work. With productions halted, this is perfect timing to allow them to share their expertise.”

University updates on the class schedule and public programs will be posted regularly to Northwestern’s COVID-19 Update website.