How Choirs are coping with Lockdown in the UK due to the ongoing Covid-19 emergency
As we head slowly towards the end of the first 3 weeks of lockdown here in the UK, it’s been quite interesting to observe how different choirs around the country are coping with this new way of life.
The most common thing to see on a social media nowadays is lots of photos of choirs all getting together by Zoom for their weekly rehearsal. The big problem of course is that this doesn’t really work – or at least not in the way a normal rehearsal would.
For the moment of course, there is still some novelty to this. With everyone being in lockdown either alone, or just with their immediate family, there is also great excitement at seeing ‘other people’. Whilst there may not be much positivity going around at the moment, this is at least something to grasp onto. I’ve also noticed with my own choirs, despite limitations, attendance at the Zoom sessions is often much higher on average than a typical weekly rehearsal.
Of course, Zoom isn’t right for everyone. Ultimately, used for musical / rehearsal purposes it is fairly limited. Realistically the only way it can work is to have one choir lead / pianist (who needs a decent microphone plus the piano connected digitally) in charge, whilst everyone else sings muted.
By doing this, I have found you can send out a fairly clean piano signal to your choir and then everyone can sing along in their own home. But of course, they can’t hear what everyone else is doing and as a choir leader you don’t know if they are getting it right. Despite this, it can still be a bit of fun singing ‘together’. How long the novelty will last, remains to be seen. But for now it offers some home in the desperate times and is better than than doing nothing.
Creating Virtual Choirs
The only way choirs can be heard singing together is to create a virtual choir. This is a bit more challenging than just getting people together on zoom and will also need a fair understanding of video and audio editing in order to make it work.
The premise is quite simple. Each choir member videos themselves singing along to a backing track and then submits that video to be put together with the rest of the choir. The individual audio files are then put together and processed. Once the master audio file is created the videos are then all put together on screen at once and lined up to the audio. It sounds simple but in reality can often be quite a few hours work.
Nevertheless it is another option for choirs to explore during this time. We appreciate of course that a lot of choirs won’t have the facilities to create their own video in this way. And so for a small fee we are happy to help you with this process. Please get in touch for further details if this is something your choir would like to explore.
To find out more about our video services for choirs then please get in touch on 01225 302143 or click here to email us