It feels like about a century ago, but was actually less than two months, that we all had call a halt to choir rehearsals to protect our choirs and ourselves from the spread of the coronavirus.
This pandemic is hard on all of us – overwhelming and scary. It feels like we’re just treading water, with the pleasure of meeting and singing together just a dim memory.
How choir leaders have risen to face the crisis
But look what we’ve done. We’ve accepted the situation is challenging, we’ve found alternatives and we’ve kept our communities together. We’re making a difference and it’s amazing!
Whether you’re running Zoom sessions (whatever that means for you – having fun, chatting, learning songs, doing some silly exercises), appearing on Facebook Live or YouTube, or just checking in by phone or email, it’s all valuable and it all matters.
Don’t underestimate the importance of just showing up.
You’re keeping community together, reinforcing friendships and giving a sense of shared belonging. You’re also helping people to take a break and giving them something to look forward to.
We know that for many of us, this has taken a lot of work and effort to cope with the tech involved in creating online sessions. We’ve had to deal with the limitations of working online, but also find the benefits.
There has been a lot of trial and error, perhaps reigniting old feelings of ‘am I good enough?’, and ‘am I on the right track?’ So let us reassure you that yes, you are. However small your contribution feels to you, it is important for your choir members.
Look after yourself
Keep going, keep doing what you’re doing. It matters to your singers and it matters to you. That said, pay attention to and take care of yourself. We understand people are going through all different kinds of experiences. Self-care is key, so it’s important to stay aware and respond in a way that’s manageable to you.
Don’t feel that you have to do this alone. If you’re doing online sessions, ask someone to co-host so they can line up audio tracks, share screens and keep an eye on the chat. Make sure you take time for yourself, whatever your daily responsibilities at the moment. A bit of meditation or yoga, or just half an hour with a book, can do wonders when we’re giving a lot to others.
And of course, don’t forget that we’re here to help too. Whether you’re a Total Choir Resources member or not, you’ll find guidance and inspiration to keep your choir going through this weird and difficult time.