ChorTeach is ACDA’s quarterly online publication, designed for those who work with singers of all levels. A full annotated ChorTeach index is available online at acda.org/chorteach. Over 160 articles are organized into seventeen categories. For submission information, to view the index, or to read the latest issue, visit acda.org/chorteach. Following is an excerpt from an article in the current Winter issue titled: An Introductory Guide to Creating Virtual Choir Projects by Wen Zhang.
The global pandemic produced an unprecedented shift that elicited resiliency in higher education. Many colleges and universities required the use of remote education, and choral music educators needed to find new solutions to continue choral music instead of face to face instruction.
While many choral music educators have been trying different approaches to create their virtual projects, relying on a wide range of online tutorial videos to solve certain technical issues, finding a big picture, step-by-step guide for the entire creative process from start to finish has been difficult. This article aims to provide effective strategies and practical guidelines to those who wish to know what to do to be able to master the essentials of the virtual choir.
When my university decided to go fully online in mid-March 2020, as a voice professor and coordinator of the Music Department plus serving as director of a local community choir, I realized that I needed to make the best of an unusual situation and remain optimistic that something good might come out of such a difficult time in this country. I had virtually no experience in this technology, but it seemed to be a perfect time to train myself with new technology for creating virtual choir projects. Both the creator (me) and participants (students and friends) learned much during the creation of our three virtual choir projects. One of the proudest outcomes is that the final projects were posted on YouTube and broadcast on local TV channels. This attracted a much wider audience than any live choir concerts ever had at my university. Creating a virtual choir is not an easy task.
Although each of the three virtual choir projects I created was quite different in terms of quality and digital design, I hope that by sharing what I learned from creating these projects, I can provide an introductory guide to other choral music professionals who might want to take on the challenge. I believe this article will help them, accelerate the learning process, and encourage them to attempt the very promising journey of creation from start to finish. Four steps are offered in this article:
- Select a choral work and find the performers and the software for completing the project
- Create a singing plan containing the requirements for video recording. Provide a guide track (accompaniment track) for making individual videos. Send both to the performers.
- Provide guidelines for making video recordings. Include deadlines for submissions.
- Edit individual videos. Create a final version and publish it on social media.
Read more in the Winter 2021 issue of ChorTeach, available at https://acda.org/publications/chorteach/