Monthly Archives: April 2020

Magic Choral Trick #390 When Online Rehearsals Seem Overwhelming

When we had to shut down all rehearsals because of this pandemic there seemed to be a lot of momentum in other choruses to take it all online right away.

I wasn’t able to even think about it till this week, and it’s been nearly three weeks now since everything got shut down here.

Apart from the steep learning curve involved for me in running online rehearsals, I realize that I just wasn’t ready, and that adjusting to the new normal wasn’t going to happen until I got over the shock of my world changing so dramatically. I direct 6 singing groups, so it was very shocking to go from musical and social interaction with more than 200 people every week – to zero.

Here are a few things I’ve learned as I’ve started working online with Zoom…

When you open up Zoom for the first time with your chorus, it’s very emotional. Seeing all of these faces that you’ve been missing is wonderful!

As great as Zoom is, don’t expect to be able to sing together. The synch issues are far too great. A friend of mine referred to the sound as being like geese in a blender.

It’s a great opportunity to get to teach some music theory and sight singing.

You can still teach vocal technique.

Great tool for learning new music. As I played and sang the notes for one part, people could sing along with their own part – as long as they were on ‘mute’. It’s a lot like doing normal chorus homework – but having company, and having coaching if needed.

Everyone can sing along to a recording played through the system (while their own mics are on mute)

In my women’s chorus we have a roster of people who do physical warm ups, fun vocal warm ups, and tag teaching. This is still all possible – again, as long as everyone else is muted. Unfortunately though, because of the synch issues, you don’t get to hear the fruits of your labours.

There is a possibility for sectionals during rehearsal (in the Break Out rooms which I have yet to figure out) or at some other time that’s convenient for the section members.

And for Directors who are hosting – that ‘mute all’ button is like you’ve died and gone to heaven!

An unmuted free for all social time is an absolute must.

But I still really miss that glorious sound that feeds us all.

%d bloggers like this: