In the light of the Covid-19 crisis, we Pink Singers have stopped our regular Sunday afternoon rehearsals for the first time in 37 years, and had our first virtual meet-up this Sunday.
It was emotional! We sang, we laughed, we offered support to each other, we shared stories.
If your choir is looking to move to remote meet-ups, here’s a quick summary of what we did in our first one, and what we learned. We:
- Used zoom as the platform, on a regular plan. It allows up to 100 participants and worked well for us, with 56 participants.
- Set the call to start 30 minutes before the actual start time, to allow plenty of time for tech setup.
- Made everyone be muted by default, and had one MC (host) who called on people to share by raising their hands first to speak or sing.
- Kept it short – an hour or so. Spending time conversing on video chat feels more mentally taxing than being face to face.
- Did not sing ‘live’ together. There were 56 of us on the call and it would have been impossible. The varying latency of internet connections makes it very hard to hear each other in sync without special hardware.
- Muted ourselves most of the time and sang along with some tracks.
- Sang warm-ups (all muted) with our MD at the piano
- Shared some audio that everyone could sing along to, using Zoom’s share screen feature (use the advanced tab: share computer audio)
- Kept the meeting open for a few people who wanted to hang around a chat for longer
We also danced, laughed, and shared stories of our crazy weeks. We welcomed our new members, applauded our public servants (in particular our healthcare workers) and celebrated recent birthdays. We met each others’ pets. We finished by singing ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ from our most recent concert – which has suddenly taken on a new and deeper meaning for us as we adapt to our new virtual existence, for the foreseeable.
In future weeks we have plans for quizzes, break-out rooms where we can start to learn new music in small groups, sharing solo performances with each other, and more. We will also perhaps look at making some multi-track recordings.
If you’d like to get in touch to share your tips, or ask questions, feel free in the comments box below.