During this challenging time, we are seeing the creativity, ingenuity, and leadership of choral professionals as they create and share resources to help themselves and others respond proactively! This page is an attempt to collect many of these ideas and suggestions together. Do you know of other resources that are particularly relevant for choral professionals? Please email Sundra Flansburg ([email protected]) with your suggestions.
Featured Planning Tools
**COVID-19 Response Committee Report (Jun. 15, 2020, by the ACDA COVID-19 Response Committee)
Planning for Your Choir in Uncertain Times – A Framework (by Canada’s Provincial Choral Organizations and Choral Canada members)
As mentioned in the column by Tim Sharp in the Washington Post and in the recent collaborative webinar, My Choral Coach is a simple guided practice and choral management system that will keep choirs engaged and reaching their goals during this time of physical distancing and isolation. Learn more.
View the member emails with highlights & tips!
- June 24: Did you know some states’ virtual offerings are open to you?
- June 17: Join a Monday webinar on the COVID-19 Response Committee report
- June 10: An ACDA COVID-response document coming next week with support & guidance
- May 27: Our second webinar was energizing and showcased creativity
- May 20: Webinar 2 will focus on what we CAN do!
- May 13: The time for advocacy is now!
- May 6: The shifting focus to what we CAN do
- April 29: Music created in the moment is what connects us!
- April 22: We’re in this together!
- April 15: Here’s your Wednesday shot of inspiration
- April 8: Thank you for continuing the musical experiences that are so nourishing!
- April 1: We’re inspired by you – no joke!
- March 25: How are you coping and altering your choral work life?
- March 18: Here are some tools and inspiration to keep you moving ahead!
- March 13: Here are online resources & ideas to access now
This webinar series is co-hosted by ACDA, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Chorus America, Barbershop Harmony Society, and Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA)
Copyright Guidance for Singing in a Virtual World. June 9, 2020
Moderator: Janice Bane, copyright & licensing manager at Barbershop Harmony Society. Copyright and permissions have never been more relevant as ensembles attempt to navigate online platforms to share their performances. Guests discussing the necessary compliance steps included Shari Molstad, permission manager at Hal Leonard Corporation; Kent Draughon, vice-president Publishing Administration at Capitol CMG Publishing; Jeremy Brook, attorney/owner, The Brook Law Firm; and Alex Harris, president, GIA Publications, Inc. Watch the recording.
Singing: What We CAN Do. May 26, 2020
Moderator: Brian Newhouse, Minnesota Public Radio. This webinar focused on examples of how singers and singing ensembles are producing their art now, as physical distancing guidelines continue to be in place. A variety of guests shared promising projects and existing and emerging technologies that keep us connected and singing. Watch the recording.
What Do Science and Data Say About the Near-Term Future of Singing? May 5, 2020
Guests: Dr. Donald Milton, Professor of Environmental Health, University of Maryland School of Public Health, with a secondary appointment in the School of Medicine; Dr. Lucinda Halstead, founder and medical director of the Evelyn Trammell Institute for Voice and Swallowing at the Medical University of South Carolina; Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, director of ArtsReady; and Tom Clareson, project director of Performing Arts Readiness.
Please note: ACDA has not made a statement coming out of this webinar. Our goal with the webinar was to listen to leading scientists on the facts of the virus and pandemic, which will allow us to formulate potential next steps amidst much uncertainty. Resources & Handouts from the webinar. Unedited recording of the webinar
Mental Health and Inspiration
The Arts Are Essential to Public Infrastructure (by Michael McGaghie)
“We will come out of this period even stronger than we were before”: Interview with Tim Sharp (by Interkultur)
Thoughts on Leadership (produced by KI Concerts) includes powerful perspectives from choral leaders Tim Sharp, Heather J. Buchanan, Eric Stark, and Pearl Shangkuan. In this four-minute video, they share pearls of wisdom on leadership during trying times.
Living in the Wilderness (By Bruce Becker)
The Pandemic Shut Down Choirs. We’re Finding New Ways to Sing Together (by Tim Sharp, The Washington Post)
Let’s Find Solutions (By Amanda Quist)
What Are We Going to Do About This? (by Gary Packwood)
How to Salvage a Disastrous Day in Your Covid-19 House Arrest (by Aisha S. Ahmad, The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Cantate: Choral Music in the Time of Coronavirus (published by California Choral Directors Association)
My Journey with COVID-19 (by Tim Sharp)
Grief and Gratitude Coexist (by Joy Fritz Paffenroth)
Working Together While Living Apart (by Alice Parker)
My Rubric for Innovation (by Tim Sharp)
A Note to My Church Choir (by Randall Bradley)
How Do We Sing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land? (by Tim Sharp)
On Loss, Community, and Taking a Breath (by Jennie Weyman, in California Choral Directors Association’s Cantate)
Crowdsourcing: CCDA Board Members and Friends Share Inspiration for Surviving the Crisis (compiled by Polly Vasche, in California Choral Directors Assocation’s Cantate)
It’s Okay to Suck at Being an Online Choir Teacher (by Chris Munce)
Professional Development & Learning Opportunities
**During COVID-19, Protecting Our Voices in a Virtual World, an episode from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s podcast ASHA Voices. This episode discusses how videoconferences are leading to voice strain!
Encore University – Creativity for Older Adults, is offering a six-week program beginning July 6 that will include at least 14 hours of classes with over 20 unique offerings that include singing with various Encore conductors, learning to sing, learning about music history, and more. An all-inclusive tuition charge of $50 gives unlimited access to all programs. Course catalog.
Transform Your Choir’s Sound: Exceptional Choral Singing with Bel Canto Principles (by Laurier Fagnan) is available free right now, and is a learning program based on bel canto pedagogy applied to choral singing, with innovative 3D acoustical analyses highlighting “before” and “after” bel canto difference.
SFGMC TV (San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus) has launched a free online platform showcasing performances, dynamic interviews, singer spotlights, and more. The site offers content previously scheduled at the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts in digital format.
Publisher Statements on Copyrights and Permissions
Please contact other publishers directly for their policies during the crisis.
Online and Distance Learning Tools
SmartMusic is a web-based suite of music education tools, and they are offering ACDA members (who are in organizations impacted by COVID-19 closures and who do not already have a SmartMusic subscription) free premium access through June 30, 2020. To sign up for this offer, (1) please fill out this form and let SmartMusic know your needs. Once your platform has been activated (it takes approximately six hours), (2) you can follow the few easy steps provided in this PDF.
Have voice students? Yousician is offering free premium subscription access to music teachers for the remainder of the school year. Go to their website for instructions on how to get access.
The SPiN Network
SPiN is the first fully licensed video site created specifically for school-related music performances. Schools and associations can film and upload videos of their music performances – subscribers can view and enjoy the performances. SPiN is offering free student accounts that allow them to watch content and lessons from their teachers. Educators and directors can set up a free channel and send the link to their students. Directions for doing this are here. More information here.
Harmony Helper is an app that works to help singers improve their accuracy and build their confidence by providing real-time visual feedback on pitch and rhythm. The app download is free, and comes with access to free songs including five choral songs. There is a subscription charge if you wish to upload your music.
RedShelf offers digital college/university-appropriate textbooks, and is offering campuses affected by COVID-19 free student access to their textbooks through the end of the semester.
ACDA has partnered with AnywhereSeat.com, a new way to raise money by selling digital tickets to your virtual concerts (videos, live streams, and Zoom events). If you plan on doing a virtual concert, consider using AnywhereSeat’s “Name your own price” feature to allow your patrons to watch by donating. Setup takes less than 10 minutes and AnywhereSeat’s top notch support is there to help along the way. As a bonus, every time you sell a ticket, ACDA gets a small percentage, so it’s a great way to support our organization!
A ticketed, live streaming platform that allows choirs and other musicians to create online live streaming experiences for both pre-recorded and live music content, allowing for audience outreach and engagement while earning through ticket sales. All the creator has to do is enter the event and ticket details, and FeelitLIVE does the rest. Click here to create your experience or event or contact [email protected] or (646) 221-8406 with any questions.
How Is COVID-19 Affecting Choral Events (managed by Chorus America)
This is a crowdsourced resource for choruses in the U.S. and Canada to share information about how their events (concerts, rehearsals, tours, fundraisers, etc.) are being impacted by COVID-19, and the plans they are putting into place as a result.
What to Do When Your Choral Concert Gets Canceled (by Tori Cook, Choral Connection)
Transforming Your Chorus’s Live Fundraising Event into a Virtual Event (by Tori Cook, Choral Connection)
Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Choruses: Host a Non-Event (by Tori Cook, Choral Connection)
Artist Relief, a coalition of national arts grantmakers, have created an emergency initiative to offer financial ($5,000 grants) and informational resources to artists (including musicians) across the United States.
Two COVID-19 Relief Grants Your Chorus Should Apply for Today (by Jacob Levine, Chorus Connection)
Technology Ideas & Best Practices
**Setting Up a Realtime Physically Distant Rehearsal (by David Newman)
**SoundJack: The Unofficial Guide to Low Latency Online Music Making (by Ian Howell)
Distance Learning Resources (compiled by Washington ACDA)
A resource as choral educators are facing the challenge of distance-learning in the choral classroom.
Guide to Remote Music Education (compiled by Christopher Bill)
A quick go-to list of software/apps you can use to stay connected with your students remotely and encourage progress without the luxury of in-person teaching.
Going Online in a Hurry: What to Do and Where to Start (by Michelle D. Miller, The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Continuing to Rehearse During the COVID-19 Situation with Tech Tools (by Kathryn E. Schneider, New York City Bar Chorus)
Many Hills Songbook. For their 20th anniversary, the Manhattan Choral Ensemble invited contemporary composers connected to New York City to contribute to a choral songbook – which you can download for free. The composers allowed the ensemble to share their work with you through a Creative Commons license for free non-commercial use.
Oxford University Press is offering some free online versions of songs and vocal activities in the form of extracts from two series, Oxford Solo Songs: Sacred (Volume 1 and Volume 2) and Voiceworks (Junior Voiceworks: 33 Songs for Children, Voicelinks: Songs and Activities across the Curriculum, and Folk Voiceworks: 30 Traditional Songs). They also have a Spotify playlist.
Content and Activity Ideas for Educators
Melody of the Day. Every day, member Angela Horne posts one or two measures of a song her singers have learned. They have to use their sight-reading skills to figure out which song it is. The first to guess correctly gets a “happy mail” from her (a card with an Airhead box inside). “They’re loving it – and so am I!”
Schmidt Vocal Arts offers a series of 17 competitions, a summer program, and need-based aid to attend university to study voice or music education. They have switched to a modified, virtual model for the 8 remaining spring competitions. They are offering cash awards, college scholarships, and a track for singers to perform free of charge. Learn more.
Virtual and Online Choirs & Singing
Virtual and Online Choir Tools and Resources
Virtual Choirs: Student Thoughts on Taking Performance Online (by Bobby Olson and Scott N. Edgar for NAfME)
Tech Tips for Virtual Ensembles (by Stanton’s Sheet Music)
Here I Am (composed by Karen Siegel) is a “gift to the choral community, and is dedicated to all who are quarantined or isolated during this pandemic.” Siegel says that it was composed to embrace the latency of online singing. The page also contains suggestions for creating remote choirs, including live streaming.
Virtual Choir Rehearsals (by GALA Choruses)
Local Homegrown Virtual Choir Launches Today (by Bronwyn Edwards)
Fauntleroy Virtual Choir Webpage (by Bronwyn Edwards)
A webpage for the choir, which contains scores and recordings for people to sing along in their virtual choir.
Executive Summary: Virtual Choirs (by David Carroll)
High School Choir Online Learning Options: Growing as Musicians (by Doreen Fryling)
10 Ideas to Stay Connected to Your Choirs (by Arizona ACDA)
Coronavirus and Community Choruses: What Can You Do to Prepare (by Tori Cook, Choral Connection)
Music in Worship Ideas
ChoralNet – Choral Potpourri/Choral Ethics: Choral Music Will Survive Only If We All Help (by Marie Grass Amenta)
JewishChoralMusic.com is a resource center (repertoire, articles, educational pieces, videos, podcasts, and more) for anyone interested in choral music from a wide variety of Jewish traditions and experiences. They have just added a new “Podcasts in a Time of Corona.”
**Newly added resource. This page last updated June 23, 2020.