THELMA SADOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Children’s Chorale — ways forward during COVID-19

A message from David Hein
4-minute read // response requested (especially a blog response)

Dear Singers and Families,

I hope this finds your families well. These are challenging times for all of us. Children are at home while you are trying to manage work responsibilities. You are coordinating with teachers to try to maintain some semblance of forward motion in your young person’s education. It’s stressful.

I’m not interested in adding to that stress. In fact, I’m hoping I might be able to help out.

I would like to provide meaningful, continuing contributions to your child’s musical education during this time. I think there are a range of things that will work well in various e-formats (websites, printable resources, video chat features, etc.)

It is unclear when we may be able to perform a concert. That said, if there is any possibility of a performance by later summer, I am exploring that with THELMA leadership. Obviously we would not be able to do this unless a critical mass of singers are available. Other adjustments may be necessary to rework the vision for this concert — perhaps move indoors and/or scale back the scope of the program. We wait and see!

In the meantime, I believe I can still guide your child through some quality music instruction

Anything we do will be notably more individual, however there are a number of things that could work as a group — via video conferencing.

As I prepare — I would be helped by feedback from you about what interest your family has in this idea, as well as what technological resources are available to you. Answers to these questions will help me gauge what approaches are most feasible.

  1. First and foremost, are you interested in musical activities arranged for your child by me? (‘no’ to this question means none of the remaining questions here are needed!)
  2. If you are receiving this message, you presumably have phone-connected internet. Do you also have computer-based internet at your home?
  3. Is your internet service robust enough to support streaming video and conference video?
  4. Do you have a printer?
  5. Do you have a piano or piano-like keyboard in your home?

Which of the following topics are most interesting to you:

  • Individualized attention learning musical parts from FCC repertoire (the goal here is that we may perform sometime in the future)
  • Deeper exploration of music fundamentals — increasing skills in reading music, working with musical scores, practicing ear training. (this can be a lot more fun than it might sound!)
  • Playing a range of musical games together online — musical bingo, singing games, even musical storytelling.
  • Arranging for choir-to-choir meet-ups online. There are literally hundreds of choirs across the country searching for the best ways to use this time — I have colleagues who I’m sure would be interested in arranging choir meet-ups. All of us could be online together to share stories, play music for one another, or other things we think of.
  • Create a virtual choir. This would be a bit trickier, but with my university choirs, we are working on some virtual choral projects where everyone sings/records their part in their own location, then emails it to me, and then I work with students and colleagues to edit it into a virtual choral project.

These are just a few ideas I’ve had over the past few days! I’m sure I’ll think of more. My 1st and 3rd grade nephew and niece, who live in Milwaukee, helped me test out some of these ideas via video conference! We laughed and had a great time together.

Let me know your thoughts! If you login to the blog and post your thoughts there, others will be able to see, too. And of course, you are welcome to email me privately at davidhein9@gmail.com.

All the best,
David Hein

Here are some pictures of my dog, Dobson, who came to visit me in my home office the other day. He had complaints about how management was addressing the squirrels in the backyard.

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One thought on "Children’s Chorale — ways forward during COVID-19"

  1. pieper says:

    Abby Pieper would be interested in musical activities but only if you would be doing it for others. I’m sure you are busy with Marian activities right now. We can answer “yes” to all 5 questions regarding internet, piano etc. She would be interested in any games or other musical activities that she could do from home. Thank you!