Well goodness me, it’s been 6 months exactly since I wrote a newsletter.What a roller-coaster ride it’s been since then for most of us..
I have been meaning to write, but have been almost overwhelmed by the amount of work I’ve had to do to keep my 5 weekly choirs going.
After a scary and challenging week of learning new technical things my 5 choirs went on zoom from April until July, broadcast from my home studio. Zoom is of course highly limiting as the huge and varied time delay in voices getting relayed back means that we cannot actually sing together – it’s chaos! People are put on ‘mute’ after we’ve warmed up and had a chat and start singing. So it’s basically choir members duetting to sing-a-longa Carol on the piano…
Many people cannot get along with Zoom and I can totally understand why! Singing together creates a lovely entrainment, where we are like one organism, a shoal of fish, a flock of birds, all moving vocally instinctively together, and I have missed that so much. BUT, Zoom is so much better than nothing and it’s very important to somehow keep choir communities together in these times
5 choirs a week on zoom for 4 months meant that strangely I developed a bit of an aversion to my computer (we’ve all been there!) and I just wanted to be outdoors as much as possible – I invested in a gazebo and did some intensive gardening.
Sadly, I lost my dad in May (to dementia) and me and mum took his ashes to his ‘motherland’, Aberdeenshire .We then headed up to Findhorn – the fabulous foundation was closed but the sea wasn’t!
Rules at the end of August meant that choirs could finally meet if socially distanced, risk assessed and track and traceable (both indoor and outdoor).And choirs have been split between shielders and non-shielders, zoomers and non-zoomers, so I had the idea to try and unite everybody as much as possible. So for the last 3 weeks I’ve been meeting with some choirs outdoors – with those in the choir who feel safe to do so AND broadcasting a live outdoor zoom on my iPad to those who feel happier at home. NO pressure on anyone to do anything and no judgement either way. The zoomers report that it’s much much better as they can hear the harmonies of the rest of the choir and can chat and wave and feel part of a real choir meeting. We’ve all been bringing wooden spoons with us! With arms extended and holding them we are 2 and a half metres apart.
But the recent changing of the rules and confusing contradictions over the last 3 weeks has been hugely challenging. Like many of us, we’ve not known from one week, or day, to the next what is allowed and I have had to learn the really big lesson of living comfortably with uncertainty. I’ve not been successful on many days, I can tell you!
I’ve had this book for years and along with daily Qi Gong, meditation, gardening and walking it has been essential to maintain sanity!
I’ve missed leading the singing at Sun Moon camp and everyone there so very much. Missed doing the singing in Skyros. Missed all my planned workshops and the lovely people who I see there. We ALL miss each other so much!!
So many of us are disappointed, lonely, exasperated, you name it, and now maybe feeling like this will go on for ever… We know it won’t, we know every epidemic has its day then fades away and that this too shall eventually pass.
Keep in touch with any thoughts, suggestions – can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Here’s a short heart warming film about my North West Stroke Survivors choir to warm your cockles.
I cannot wait till we can meet again in person. Meanwhile – KEEP SINGING, however you can! All those lovely endorphins, seratonin, oxytocin etc are proven to really help lift our mood.
Lots of Love, Carol X