Well, Covid-19 is here and we could be in for a long chapter rehearsal hiatus.
We’ve talked a lot about why building your chapter community is important. In a time where we’re being asked to isolate, the sense of community feels even more vital. Social interactions are good for your soul and can help your singers feel like they’re not in this alone. Staying connected virtually is one way you can achieve this feeling.
For choruses canceling their fall season, this means they could potentially be on break until the spring, maybe even longer. Luckily, we live in the age of technology. So, the good news is that it’s relatively easy for us to stay connected virtually. While you might look at virtual rehearsals as second-best to physical rehearsals. There are, perhaps surprisingly, some benefits that come from them.
Some of the unexpected benefits include…
1. Singers can focus on individual progress and self-evaluation. While the host can’t hear everyone singing and offer feedback, each singer can do that on their own. Singers found that they were able to focus individually on their own sound and self-reflect on how they can improve.
2. Everyone can see the musical leader. Because the camera is close to the host’s face, singers were able to see things more closely than they likely would have in rehearsals. For example, things like vowel shapes can be modeled clearly up close.
3. Musical leaders can focus on vocal modeling. Usually musical leaders conduct a chorus, but they don’t often sing with them. The virtual rehearsals allowed for the host to sing the part with the choristers, helping to demonstrate vocal quality and technique throughout the rehearsal.
4. The rehearsals can be more efficient. Without the constant chitchat that we often get in rehearsals, the rehearsal can run more efficiently. Participants are muted so the host can really take the rehearsal at their own pace.
5. It provides everyone the opportunity to participate. Even if someone is sick and can’t come to rehearsal, they can still participate by listening and watching. There is also the opportunity to record these and share the recordings at a later date.