Monthly Archives: May 2020

Magic Choral Trick #391 One Huge Upside to Zoom Rehearsals

By now many of us have been having Zoom rehearsals for 7 or 8 weeks, and though being unable to hear the group sound has left a gaping hole in our experience, there are a few mitigating factors.

Some good things…

We still get to socialize. I can’t believe how happy I felt at that first Zoom rehearsal to see all those smiling, familiar faces.

There’s a certain intimacy about having people invite the group into their own homes. Cats feature prominently – which to my way of thinking is always a plus!

I’m spending almost no money on gas!! (Of course it’s so cheap now anyway)

My commute to and from rehearsals is about 15 feet – to the piano room.

I can include a theory or sight singing segment in many of my rehearsals. The video set up is ideal for this sort of teaching.

I’m forced to tighten up my rehearsals even more than I would if we were together – which I’m pretty sure will affect the efficiency of my rehearsals when we finally get back together again. When people are experiencing things on a screen there’s a certain expectation of technical timing and proficiency. The moment by moment planning I have to do is definitely tightening things up.

I unmute everyone after every run through of a song for feedback. But my groups seem to be using this opportunity for feedback fairly sparingly. I like to think that this is building a habit for our future live rehearsals.

But the huge upside and opportunity for Zoom rehearsals is the Special Guest!

We’ve had several coaches join us for 10 – 20 minutes for warm ups and vocal technique or performance coaching. With live rehearsals we’d never be able to invite such a variety of people, so frequently, to come and share their expertise. Right now, my women’s Barbershop chorus is enjoying a five part, 15 minutes a week series, from a neurologist friend, on the effect of music on the brain.

And the lovely thing is that the people I’ve asked have been happy to say yes!! Ten or fifteen minutes is fun and low stress for them, and it’s exciting, and a wonderful change of pace for my groups.

So yes – these are tough times for singing groups, but there are also some wonderful opportunities that have never before presented themselves.

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