What to Do With Your Choir During These Days
During this season of social distancing and prohibitions on normal choir activity, worship leaders are seeking ways to keep their choirs together and involved in ministry. Technology has become a backbone of continuing many ministries in the church, and the virtual world can be a help to our choirs in these days. Here are some ways you can use technology to keep your choirs rolling:
Have a Virtual Rehearsal
Many choirs are finding they can stay connected and rehearse music to a certain extent through the use of Zoom or other video conferencing software. While the experience falls very short of an in-person rehearsal like we had pre-COVID, it does allow for a number of great interactions. You can have a time of fellowship, sharing, discipleship and learn some music. The biggest downfall in this is that all singers have to be muted except one due to latency issues. You can have sectionals to learn parts, and you can play tracks of songs as people sing along (while muted) to expose them to new music and review older music. If you rehearse via Zoom, first of all, you will want to make sure you have your Zoom software in its best audio settings:
You can read an excellent step-by-step tutorial here that corresponds to this video.
In your rehearsal, try to create a sense of community. If your choir is large enough, you can split into breakout rooms for a time to allow for more intimate sharing times. You can have fun together, cry together, pray together, share what God is doing in your lives, etc.
Keep some goals in front of the group of ministry that you all can still do during these days (more later).
Rehearse music. You can either have the music appear on screen with the soundtrack or send PDF versions of the songs to the people (with copyright permission). Have everyone muted except the host that will provide the screen/audio sharing.
Here are some great articles that will give you more to think about with Zoom choir rehearsals:
Create a Virtual or Hybrid Choir Experience
If your church is still online only, you can produce a virtual choir experience that I outlined in a previous post. This gives explicit details on how to put together such an experience. The virtual choir gives your choir a viable ministry that can reach all corners of our world and be used in our online services. Your choir can also bless other churches by providing some great choir numbers they can use in their online services if you make them available for use. Learn more.
If your church has regathered, you can create a hybrid approach. Create a virtual choir for the screen in the church and have a few live singers that are joined strategically by the virtual choir during a song. It can be a powerful moment for worship. Of course you will have to work on sync issues between the live and recorded.
Some choirs have met in their sanctuaries with large-space social distancing taking place. They rehearse the songs and then video the songs while in rehearsal (several cameras shooting at once would be best to be able to show people more close up.) Then the video is edited to present the song in the gathered service or online.
Think of ways to keep your choirs singing even in these times of difficulty. You may find that the reach of your worship ministry is greatly increased as you venture into the virtual world.