Life as a Music Student During COVID-19 and What it has Taught Me!

Have you ever wondered what it is like as a music student during COVID-19? I mean how do we play our instruments, how do we not catch COVID-19 when we are around each other, how do classes based on performing work?

These are all questions I had too when this virus arose. It consists of all the same things as a normal music student would do, except fewer in-person classes, fewer performance opportunities, and fewer people in classes, which makes it kind of difficult to get the experiences we need. However, with the graciousness of the OU School of Music staff, we have been able to have performances still this school year, but they’re just to a camera, and recitals are only allowed seven guests, but nonetheless, we are still performing. However, I am not going to lie, it has been very hard for many of us, including myself.

Thankfully, though, I have wonderful people around me in my classes and in TBS that help me get through each day. I still have made some wonderful memories throughout this COVID-19 school year because of all of them. It has allowed me to do a lot more self-reflecting on who I am as a person. It has taught me how to handle emotions, and it has taught me just how valuable people and in-person interactions truly are. It has taught me how one small act of kindness can go a long way.

I always knew this, of course, but it clicked a couple of weeks ago when I was just having a terrible day. I told myself I deserve Starbucks because I mean who doesn’t when they’re sad? When I pulled up to the window, the person in front of me paid for my drink and it almost made me cry. I went from so sad one second to so happy the next. In conclusion, COVID-19 has not been beneficial for school, and really for most things, but it has been extremely rewarding in regards to me learning more about myself, so I think it hasn’t been a total waste.


Annabel Phillips

Spring 2019, Delta Zeta

Getting Closer!

It’s April! Hopefully, you didn’t get fooled too hard on the first, the funniest day of the year. To start us off, here’s some trivia about April: It’s the first of the four months to have 30 days, and it’s the second of five months to have 31 days. It is the Grilled Cheese month, Garlic Bread month, Florida Tomato month, and Soft Pretzel month, among many, many others (seriously, they’re just making sh*t up now).

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On behalf of the Delta chapter, we hope you have had an excellent and restful Easter holiday. I’m sure some sort of link exists between hosting in-person chapter and Jesus rising again, but I’m not funny enough to find it. We continue to reintegrate our chapter into the OU and Norman community, whether it be through service events or through kicking butt at softball. Although they’ve been reinstated for almost a month now, I’m still SO grateful to have in-person chapters back into my routine. Singing the loyalty song over Zoom just didn’t hit the same.

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As the semester continues to ramp up, so has our focus in serving the community through coordinated service projects. Big shout-out to Matthew Browning, who has been working his butt off putting together the Westheimer service project at the OU airport. Also, by the time this blog will be posted, several members of TBS (including myself) will have participated in the Big Event, further illustrating our commitment to bettering the OU community. If you really think about it, if I talked to you while at the Big Event, and you’re reading this now, then you will have talked to the ‘future’ me and now you’re listening to the ‘past’ me…? Wait, why is my nose bleeding? (Also, I SWEAR I didn’t know a picture was being taken until it was too late, and I misjudged where I needed to be in the second pic. Please don’t bully me.)

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Members of TBS have also been participating in Intramural Softball! So far, we’re undefeated, neva lost. Jokes aside, the practices and games have been really fun to be a part of. It’s really nice getting the blood pumping on the diamond with some friends, unless you’re taking 80 mph grounders to the arm (thanks, Zach). If I’ve intrigued you, the season lasts practically the rest of the semester, and you can sign up anytime to register for games. We’d love to have you out there with us!

As I mentioned earlier, the semester is definitely ramping up. I know personally, I’ve been feeling pretty burned out, and the lack of a Spring Break doesn’t help. If you feel like you have no one to turn to in times like this, please know that isn’t true. At Delta, we’re all in this together – anything you’re going through, someone is going through it with you. Let’s rely on each other as we near the end of one of the most bizarre pairs of semesters. You can do this!


Drew King

Delta Eta, Spring 2020 

Things That Make Life Sweet

  1. Taking a bath!

Listen, I know there are a lot of bath haters out there–but trust me they are amazing. My
favorite thing is to light a couple of candles, use a good-smelling bath bomb, or salts, and relax.
Something about putting your head underneath the water is so cathartic and peaceful. I liken it to
being at the ocean or putting your ear in a shell. Baths help me to sleep, and they sometimes help
with my soreness. I feel like a new woman when I come out of a bath. If you are worried about
bathing being dirty, you can always take a shower, beforehand.

2. Trees, Trees, Trees.

If you are ever feeling down, you should soak in the beauty of nature by observing a tree.
I like to gaze intently at them as I walk around on campus; however, laying
underneath a tree is a whole different experience. The differing textures in them fascinate me. I
especially like to watch the light filter through their leaves. When they are layered underneath
the sunlight, leaves seem like a paper mache collage. The smell of nature (so long as you don’t have
bad allergies) is refreshing to the senses. If you are lucky, maybe the grass you are laying on is

3. Singing with the Homies

I love me some Emily White singing the star-spangled banner, but seriously, singing with
your sistaus hits different. From “I Ain’t In Checotah Anymore” by Carrie Underwood to “One
Last Time” from Hamilton (yes, we just sang that), any song is great if you are with fwends. I
personally hold concerts for my roommates when I am in the shower because I love them that

4. Have a COCOA

When I say Cocoa, I don’t mean that bean powder on the baking aisle at Walmart, I mean
my CAT. By MY CAT, I mean Cameron’s cat. I enjoy her screams from downstairs, demanding
me to throw her ponytail holder, which she probably dipped in water before. In addition to this,
delight, she is what I call a chicken-loving cat. You thought Matthew Smith could eat more
chick-fil-a sandwiches than anyone else. You would be wrong. Cocoa absolutely loves chicken,
especially from chick-fil-a. And yes, she will slide into some DMs for that chicken. More than
anything, her beady and terrifying green eyes bring me joy. If there ever was a photogenic cat, it
would be her. Do not have a Sammy, Sammy likes to eat duct tape.

5. Buy Some Plants

Despite my evident brown-thumb, I have managed to keep a couple of unfortunate plants
alive. My first plant was Lola Marie, she was a money tree and what I would call a survivor. She
was knocked over at least three times and two of her trunks die. I find that to be rather
inspirational. They probably help you breathe better, although I am not an environmental
scientist so I can’t say for sure. They do bring the outside, inside and make for a welcoming
atmosphere. If you are attached to plants, like me, you can even find funny names for them.

6. Being a Grandma

Grandmas are baddies, no denying it. What they do best include the following:
crocheting, quilting, embroidery, and painting. I have started several crocheting projects,
namely a huge blanket that will probably never get finished. Something about doing the same
thing over and over and over and over and OVERRR again is fun. I also love painting because
you can make whatever you want, with any colors you desire, and sometimes it still turns out
okay. Anything that I ever make usually is given to someone. I enjoy thinking of others and
making them my own masterpieces.

7. Re-arranging Your Room

There is never a better time to change your life, and sometimes that time is NOW.
Whether it be 8 am or midnight, re-arranging your room can be very stress-relieving. Something
about moving heavy furniture around clears the mind and soothes the soul. As a freshman, I
looked up to the members of KKY and TBS for helping us move in. I like to re-live that every
time I get tired of my room. Especially when my TBS roommates help.


Coffee is wonderful for multiple reasons, the first being that it causes blood sugar to
crash. Now, you may be thinking, Emily that is depressing. BUT it is not, because I get to buy
extra stuff with my coffee to eat. I have spent at least $120 at Starbucks in just a month. That is
12 trips, by the way, but it is okay because I am getting stars. And with stars, I can get more
coffee. In the wise words of a sleep-deprived freshman, “Coffee makes me an enlightened
wizard!” It also gives me crippling anxiety, but sometimes I also have flurries of passion and will
not stop talking. Drink responsibly, folks.

9. Laying on the Floor

When I am feeling down, the floor is always downER. How much lower can you get that
Flo Rida, well it is easy, you can get to the flooooooorrrrrrr. Just lay on that carpet, and you will
feel so much better. My favorite activity on the floor is staring at the ceiling. Everyone needs a
good ceiling stare; you should try it.

10. Hannah Talks

Now then, there is a lot going on in this blog post. I would even say this has deviated
from its intended purpose, but it at least made Emily White laugh her head off laying on my
floor. I like making people laugh, one good way to do it is creating a Hannah Talk. Hannah Talks
are unique to the ONE AND ONLY Delta TBS chapter. You could probably turn everything I
said into a Hannah Talk because that is the only way any of what I wrote makes sense. Yet,
Hannah Talks are the best, they make so many people laugh. We all need a good rolling chuckle.


This is a bonus feature for my Delta Etas out there. Wherever you might be, just know


Emily Cobb

A Year In Review

Early March marks one year of the Covid-19 pandemic drastically affecting all of our lives. When I left campus for Spring Break in 2020, I didn’t think it would be almost an entire year before I would finally be able to gather with my sisters again. Only a few weeks ago, the Delta chapter was able to meet for an in-person chapter for the first time since our world was changed. The energy in the room was electric, an environment that I previously took for granted but will now be forever grateful for.

Hearing the laughter and conversation among my friends immediately lifted my spirits and reminded me of the best part of this organization, the people. The past year has made me exponentially more grateful for every moment that I spend as a member of Tau Beta Sigma. I have loved the opportunity to watch the Membership Candidates begin their journeys of becoming full members of our chapter and learn what it is like to be a part of our community. I am incredibly thankful that I was able to be physically present to watch my little surprise his little and introduce her to our family that is more than excited to welcome her.

Big and Little

Even the little things like making a motion, watching Hannah talks, or singing at the end of chapter are all things that can be done over zoom but are just so much better when we can be together. In the short time that we have been able to meet in person, I have already made so many new memories and I am looking forward to the memories we will continue to make as a chapter in the future. Seeing my sisters behind a screen can never truly replace the feeling of seeing their faces in person, even if it is partially covered by a mask and six feet away. I am more optimistic than ever that our chapter will do great things, regardless of the obstacles that are put in our path.


Cameron Dickey

Spring 2019, Delta Zeta

BIG (and Little) Love!

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the sisters of the Delta chapter certainly proved this to be the case when we participated in our second degree this Sunday. After not having any in-person events for almost 8 months, we were all elated to be able to safely participate in big-little reveal as well as spend some time with our sisters. The MCs learned about the important characteristics that a sister of TBS embodies, as well as what it means to have progressed this far in the membership process. The second-degree experience was made more special by the presentations of the TBS National Executive Team, and while we all miss in-person rituals, the zoom experience was memorable and effective in conveying the importance of the second-degree ritual and the next steps of the membership process.

After our second-degree experience came one of the most memorable days of the MC professes: big-little reveal! The MCs had no idea that this was coming, so the surprise made the entire experience that much more fun for everyone. Each Delta Eta who took a little got to come up with their unique way to reveal their identity to their littles, and the ideas we came up with were spectacular. Ranging from pool noodle sword fights and Kahoot games to personalized poems and monologues, no two reveals were alike, but they all succeeded in welcoming our newest family members in meaningful, memorable ways. All of the sisters present at the reveal could feel how exciting it was to be in one place again — the energy in the room was almost tangible. The Delta chapter is a special group, so the chance to get everyone together in a safe way was rejuvenating, inspiring, and downright fun.

Today was especially meaningful to me and my fellow members of the Delta Eta rush class. It sounds cliche, but it feels like it was yesterday that we were going through second degree, finding out who our bigs were, and meeting the rest of our families. The gravity of the situation didn’t hit me until I was standing in front of my little, Kate, and welcoming her into our family. It’s a truly special moment to reveal to a sister that they are the newest member of a family tree that extends for decades.
As a whole, the second-degree experience was a day I will certainly never forget. The connections between the sisters in the Delta chapter are special bonds that are especially important in challenging times such as these, and the chance to safely see our friends, bigs, littles, and sisters again gave everyone in attendance a renewed happiness.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Delta I am fond of you!

Zach Yarbrough
Delta Eta

Happy Valentine’s Day!

On behalf of the Delta chapter, Happy Valentine’s Day! We are so excited to get back to work this Spring and introduce our Delta Theta membership candidates to the ways of Tau Beta Sigma. #TheAdventureContinues as we explore new, safe ways to give back to our affiliated organizations and Norman community. Although we are missing in-person chapter like the way we are missing warm weather right now, we are so grateful for the opportunity to meet with our sisTAUs every Monday night via Zoom. 

Last Sunday, we successfully hosted and completed the First Degree Ritual online. It was so wonderful to see so many familiar faces during the online portion and to see some new faces from the Southwest District Council! The Delta Theta membership candidates then met with our President Jacob Stiller and our Vice President of Membership Emily to receive their pins and goodies! 

It has been a treat getting to know our new rush class. The Delta Theta membership candidates recently elected class officers to represent them as they continue their guided journey to sisterhood. Avery Stein, who serves as President of the Delta Theta rush class, was a competitive tap dancer for nine years. We love that so many membership candidates have used fine arts to bring joy to those around them. Our active members are so proud of the Delta Thetas for their persistent enthusiasm and contagious happy energy!

While hopeful that we will resume in-person chapter, seeing everyone’s faces is a perfect cure to the Monday blues. For now, we will enjoy our snow days and snuggle with our pets. We hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!


Kelsey L. Cook

Delta Zeta, Spring 2019 

That’s A Wrap!

Approaching the new year there are numerous opportunities to ponder our goals and resolutions. Anticipation is a popular theme with new year’s as opposed to reminiscing. Recently though many people were eager to learn what all they had listened to throughout the year. Wrapped playlists flood social media in December as a tribute to the hundreds and thousands of minutes spent listening to the creative works of various artists. Were you surprised by the newly discovered artists and genres that have always been there with the tap of a button? Beyond the personal playlists that summarized the year in song others share their popular additions. There is intricacy when it comes to algorithms that recommended new music. However, some of the best music can be discovered through friends and family. Not every song you hear is going to be your favorite. But you never know when you are going to come across something that inspires you. I would love to hear some of your wrapped playlists! That’s a wrap on our most liked music.

Additionally, there have been other significant attributes to the year besides playlists, such as the plentiful pictures, and people that shared incredible memories with us. Scrolling through my camera roll many recordings of auditions and projects take up large segments of the day. Clearing these performances was relieving and motivating. There were remarkable progressions and successes that were achieved through focus, determination, and deadlines. The featured photos displayed through widgets also remind me of great memories throughout the year. Norman saw snow in early February that was exciting to capture as a Texan who had not seen real snowfall. Welcoming the class of 2024 in September was exciting as we began the academic year. Many screenshots of breakout rooms and Zoom meetings also showed how our chapter bonded amid the unconventional circumstances. All in all, I am so thankful to have spent the year with incredible friends and family. That’s a wrap on our photo albums.

Activities over Zoom have been Delta’s means of connecting. Outside of the camera frame, there have been so many contributions that Delta has made to the community. Football games have called for The Pride to perform in small socially distanced and masked pep bands. Increased precautions while serving sandwiches and collecting recycling has ensured our involvement in making gamedays run happily and healthily. Writing to frontline healthcare workers was an event held over Zoom for activities and prospective members to give their thanks for dedicated service. Sharing our experiences through the Rivermont pen-pal program gave Delta the opportunity to connect with our friends at Rivermont Assisted Living. Participating in these activities and others has been very exciting. I cannot wait for the semester ahead of us. That’s a wrap on our activities.


Matthew Frontz

Delta Eta

10 Daily Affirmations for Anxiety

As many college students can attest, 2020 has been extremely stressful and a bit of a downer. Our navigational skills through a global pandemic, injustices within our social institutions, and other worldwide events have made for quite the journey. With much uncertainty, fear, and doubt clouding every day, students might find themselves wondering if they can power through finals and finish the semester strong. I have also faced numerous struggles in an attempt to reach the finish line. There are days and nights where I wonder, “Am I good enough to be doing this?” “Am I smart enough to do well on this exam?” “Am I enough, in general?” Here at the Delta chapter, we are on a mission to lift ourselves and other sisters of Tau Beta Sigma up and into a positive, nurturing environment. If you find yourself struggling, here are some daily affirmations and some calming exercises to bring peace to you as we complete this Fall semester! 

1.) “I am doing my best.” 

2.) “I choose to be happy and to love myself today.”

3.) “My possibilities are endless.”

4.) “I am brave, bold, and beautiful.”

5.) “I deserve to not only survive but thrive.”

6.) “Today is going to be a great day/ Tonight is going to be a good night.”

7.) “I will be kind to myself and others today.”

8.) “I am becoming more confident every day.”

9.) “Perfectionism is a lie. Start messy.”

10.) “The only way to fail is to quit. I will not quit.”

To be transparent, I say each of these affirmations to myself every day when I am getting ready for classes in the morning. Reciting daily affirmations out loud can boost inner confidence and develop a stronger sense of self. We must say kind things to ourselves so that kindness may be given to others. Sometimes, it is not easy to believe in such positive words and objectives. You might find yourself wondering if you are deserving of that positivity, especially when facing an obstacle. You are always enough for love, you are always enough for inner peace, and you are always enough to be here. From all of us at the Delta chapter, we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break, and we wish you so much success on your final tests and exams!


Kelsey Cook

Spring 2019 Delta Zeta 

The Adventure Begins

The Delta Chapter has packed their bags and prepared to take the road less traveled. Formal rush week is in full swing amid the challenging circumstances. This semester all chapter activities have been navigated through video conferences and digital communication. Creative ideas have granted the successful execution of the chapter’s service in the band and community. The Rivermont pen-pal program has been a highlight of our aspiration to stay connected with our friends at Rivermont Assisted Living. National headquarters organized a virtual third degree for the Delta Eta rush class to provide a complete membership candidacy experience. There has been an outstanding amount of initiative and camaraderie that has strengthened bonds despite the physical distance.

Events this week hosted over zoom captured the essence of Camp Delta. Promoting a healthy lifestyle has such a positive influence on mental and physical health. The yoga session turned out to be so much more. The official beginning to formal rush week was successful in bringing relief of tension from a long tiresome day. Leading the session was a professional yoga instructor who encouraged the class to focus on prosperity rather than homework.
Tuesday, we camped out to watch a fan favorite Camp Rock. This late 2000s film brought back memories of childhood nostalgia. The Zoom chat was as entertaining as the movie. Everyone brought their charismatic charm and cozy blankets to revel in the teen drama. Popular vote suggested that Nick Jonas delivered an excellent performance in the appearances made throughout the movie. Interest in watching Camp Rock 2 and The Parent Trap was expressed as to potential sequels to this popular event. The main takeaway was music offers an unparalleled expression of individuality that must be encouraged.

Gathered around the campfire our computer screens offered just as much light and significantly less heat. Speed bonding hosted on Wednesday presented a great opportunity for prospective members to meet actives. Sharing our experiences as active members of Tau Beta Sigma was so fun. Likewise, getting to know others fostered a sense of community that is always appreciated. Encouraging everyone to stay connected brings us so much joy.
Thursday, we had a huge turnout for our letter-writing event. The TBS & KKY Delta Chapters got together to thank our frontline healthcare workers. Joining us were many pets that loved the spotlight. Everyone was happy to share their gratitude for essential healthcare workers and their pets. Thank you to everyone that took the time to make another’s day brighter. Camp Delta has been truly incredible, and we cannot wait to see where it may take our prospective members.

Matthew Frontz

15 Things That Make Life Good

15 Things That Make Life Good

Happy Fall, everyone! Or, winter? Or maybe summer? With the ice storm hitting Norman last week and the current sunny, 70-degree weather, it’s hard to tell what season we’re in! Just like the seasons, our lives are undergoing incredible change this year. Lately, we may have enormous stress for a variety of reasons: exams, presentations, the election, the pandemic… a lot is going on, and sometimes, no matter the weather, the sky just feels grey. But good news, friends — I have compiled a list of 15 top-tier things that just make life good.

  1. Cozy socks

This is truly a gift for any occasion. I bought some aloe-infused socks from Target last year, and I think my feet melted. That’s how soft they were (and still are!).

  1. Soft blanket

Who doesn’t love having a super soft blanket with some snacks and a movie? Personally, I like cozying up in a blanket in the morning with a fresh cup of coffee. Speaking of…

  1. Vanilla and chestnut scented coffee

Okay, these scents may not be for everyone, but just picture your favorite coffee scent. Isn’t it wonderful? It’s giving me Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg vibes.

  1. Fairy lights

These cute little lights take me back to days watching movies about Tinkerbell and her fairy friends. Did anybody else have a barbie fairy doll? Not to flex, but mine was Barbie Mariposa.

  1. Someone playing with your hair

Some people like a massage or foot rub, but man, this right here is nice. Sometimes I go get my haircut just for a crumb of human interaction (did I say that out loud?) Okay hear me out: getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist is just as soothing. No? Oh, okay.

  1. The crunch of an acorn

Forget crunchy leaves, that crackle of an acorn on a crisp autumn day is nothing short of extraordinary.

  1. When your cat wants to snuggle with you

I’m going to be honest – I used to be a dog person. I didn’t grow up around cats, so I was under the impression that cats were meanies. Boy, was I so wrong. Cats are truly made of purrfection. What’s not to love about their little beans or their hard work at the biscuit factory? My little voids are also excellent flycatchers. We got our Christmas village displayed, and they ensure to terrorize the town* at least once a day.

*by walking on the village roofs

  1. When your dog is happy to see you when you get home

Think about it. Your dog’s favorite part of the day is when you get home. Even the Grinch’s heart would grow 3 sizes thinking about that.

  1. Snow day and no classes (with electricity and wifi)

A childhood and now adult classic. Waking up to see snow sparkling like Edward Cullen’s skin and no school is the only good thing about winter in Oklahoma.

  1. That stretch in the morning that just hits different

You know the one. Your muscles and spine feel like how Vicks Vapor Rub smells. 

  1. When you wake up feeling fresh

This one is a rarity, but when it happens, you become the Main Character. Step aside, John Green, it’s my time to shine.

  1. When you light your favorite bath and body works candle

Picture this: your room is clean, you’re wearing comfy clothes. Your favorite scent fills your room, and you’re being super productive. (BRB, currently manifesting)

  1. Picturesque, golden moments with your friends that feel like a movie

These are the times I wish I could take a picture or video with my eyes so you can lock this moment in your mind and never, ever forget it. Like those moments where something is just SO funny that you and your friends can’t stop laughing. Alexa, play Ribs by Lorde.

  1. When you can’t put down a good book

You have bewitched me, body and soul… It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way about a book. My current read is “Deep Oil Spills,” which, I’m not going to lie, is like the end slice of a loaf of bread. Maybe I can pick something up over the holiday. Any suggestions?

  1. Baking during the holidays

“Baking sweets is like growing vegetables: the fun is in the process, but the consumption is not for me*.” – Kyra S. I love this time of year when you’re baking along to holiday tunes and trying to guess what you got for Christmas. I think it combines like so many of the things on this list.

*unless it’s an apple pie

So, there you have it! 15 really good things. Pick one to enjoy for today. 🙂


Kyra Shock, Delta Eta