Maintaining Unity with Voices Online


screen shot courtesy of Mr. Tracy Baker

4th hour Treble choir practices hand signs during class via Zoom. The signs all relate to the notes to indicate what note should be sung.

Typically known for harmony of voices, choir adapted to challenges they faced to develop that same unity online. Because of technology, however, they managed to adapt.

According to choir director Mrs. Lamb, “Zoom is one of the main technologies we use to bring the choir together to sing during online learning.” The choir also uses which is an website to practice notes.

Being away from the classroom can be challenging for certain classes including music classes. Mrs. Lamb explains, “I miss getting to hear the students’ laughter.” Choir director Mr. Baker also adds that he misses “doing the warmups and hearing the changes I want to hear.” Mr. Baker agrees that he misses seeing all his students in person.

Online learning has affected musical choices to get the best results.  Mrs. Lamb described the alterations necessary: “We’ve had to pick different kinds of music, but we have tried to keep the structure of online learning the same as in person learning for the kids’ sake.”

Although online learning is really challenging and not ideal, there are some things positive that may have surprised us. Mr. Baker noticed, “A lot of the students are being more interactive than I thought. It’s not as difficult as I thought it would be.” Mrs. Lamb found that “some of the shy students are stepping up as leaders.”

During this time they are lots of challenges doing classes online. According to Lamb she explains “without hearing everyone sing it’s difficult to know how to meet students needs”

Concerts will look a lot different than they usually do. “If we remain virtual, we will produce a recording of each student individually, and a professional will put all the recordings together to show on a zoom call, but if we go back in person we will make a live recording and show it on zoom,” Mrs. Lamb described.

Senior Jessica Keutzer explains the most challenging part of doing choir online: “I am very insecure of my voice so not hearing anyone else is hard.”

Practicing at home is another contrast that Keutzer noticed: “It’s definitely weirder. It’s not necessarily harder or easier, just different.”

Keutzer also adds that the hardest part not being able to sing with peers is “not being able to check myself against them.”

Being online can sometimes affect singers’ voices. Keutzer claims, “It doesn’t feel as strong. It feels weaker because I’m not using my voice as much because I can’t talk to my friends.”