Dear Choir Members,
I cannot begin to tell you how much I miss you and miss making music with you. This is a challenging time. As I told my colleagues the other day, I thought I was managing my stress well until I realized that I had eaten a rather substantially large sized bag of peanut M&Ms in one sitting – stress eating, anyone?
Anyway, I have spent the past week talking with colleagues, testing out new software and making plans for us to continue to make music together. I now have a plan in place that I wish to share with you. This plan will differ slightly for choir members enrolled for credit (who still have to actually earn that credit) than for those who are not enrolled for credit, but all choir members are welcome to participate in everything.
Plan for All Choir Members
We will continue to meet at our regular but slightly shortened time of 12:00 – 1:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays, but instead of meeting in F2700, we will meet using Zoom. I will send my meeting link to you all via email rather than share here.
Our choir rehearsals will consist of the following activities:
- Check-in and chat – we are all experiencing various levels of turmoil in our lives. This will be a safe space to connect with each other and chat or listen or both. In a time of social distancing, we really need people and we really need community – Zoom allows us to see each other and talk in real time. Bring your coffee or a snack if you wish.
- Stretching, breathing and alignment exercises – I will lead you all through a series of exercises that can become part of your life plan for singing, while giving you a good break in the day to take a few minutes for yourselves and calm down.
- Topic of the day: There are several tools and “tricks of the trade” that choir professionals use. Some of our meetings will be devoted to helping you learn some skills that you can use in real life.
- Rehearsal – while Zoom presents some real challenges in all of us singing together with our mics on (there is a ton of lag) I think I have some ideas on how we can still rehearse some of our music.
Contribute FlipGrid Video Posts
We will share how we’re doing on our own private FlipGrid site. I will share directions on how to use it, but it is pretty easy and will be fun for us. I will have weekly topics for us to post to. They will be things like, “share something you are listening to now”… nothing profound – just another way to connect. I will send the entry code in an email. Here is a link to directions for posting to FlipGrid.
Practice Your Music
I have created practice files for all of you in a web app called Flat.io. The video below will teach you how to use Flat.io to practice your music. I will send your Flat.io course code in the same email where I share my Zoom link and FlipGrid code.
The video below will show you how you can change tempos, mute other parts, etc. so that you can get a really solid practice. You can watch the whole video, but since you don’t have to import your own files, consider beginning at @3:11 to find out how to customize your practice experience.
Plan for Choir Members Enrolled for Credit
If you are enrolled for credit, you will be expected to participate in everything listed above plus a few extra assignments. I am changing your assignment requirements, since there will be no performances for the rest of the semester (except, possibly, a few pop-up performances on campus, but this isn’t looking good right now). Here are the changes, which will also be posted on D2L.
- No more self-assessments.
- You will have a final reflection, but if you have looked at this assignment already, know that it will be different. I am currently updating the reflection assignment and am posting to D2L.
- You will have a choir music check, but directions will be different. I will post specific directions on D2L.
- Plan to practice outside of our regular rehearsal time a minimum of 2 hours per week.
- Document your practice time in a weekly practice log, which you will find on D2L, along with instructions on how to use it. This will not be difficult and will take you very little time.