Covid-19 almost brought live music, performing arts and music lessons to a screeching halt. Amazingly though, it’s also brought music to more people as more and more music went online. And for hundreds of thousands of people singing has been a lifeline during a lockdown. They’ve discovered (or re-discovered) not only the emotional and physical benefits but also the rewards of coming together in groups to sing.
Keeping things going… onwards and online
Lockdown meant big changes – cancelling performances and face-to-face teaching. We can’t lie, the first couple of weeks were incredibly challenging. Fortunately the wonderful Andy Clague of Trusted PC Man in Grayshott helped boost our in-house wifi and the Haslemere Singing Studio now has a professional audio interface to enhance the experience. Yes, wifi capability can still cause occasional issues and timing delays but our students have kept singing the whole time and we’ve learned to make video teaching effective.
Along the way we’ve discovered that some video call systems have better sound than others, that it doesn’t help if Phil gets the password wrong and locks himself out of a call, and that you ALWAYS need to have a backup system! The unexpected silver lining though is that online sessions work well and will continue even after lockdown ends – particularly for students who are still shielding or those who travel long distances for their lessons.
Singing together again
The end of lockdown brings practical questions around social distancing and hygiene (answers – a 6ft perspex screen between teacher and student, lots of alcohol gel and plentiful cleaning and airing of the studio). There are also emotional barriers to overcome as we all venture out of our homes.
All of that said, it’s great to see everyone again and we’re loving the energy of teaching ‘real’ people rather than a computer screen.