Oct. 17: Learn to sing via Zoom!

Saturday, October 17, 2020, 1:00-2:30pm
This event will be held on Zoom but is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Society of Laconia

Register: Email Noelle Beaudin at uuslmusicdirector@gmail.com (cost: $75)


Hello church leaders and music directors,

Re: A clever new way to teach your choir to sing remotely from home for a zoom worship service.

Autumn is often a time of new beginnings. So it is at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Laconia.  The new church “year” begins in September and formal services will be held each Sunday through June at 10 am via Zoom.  Informal services are held on various topics throughout the summer. You can see what our church is all about on the Unitarian Universalist Society of Laconia Facebook page. If you would like to attend one of our zoom services email uusloffice@gmail.com for a zoom link. You are encouraged to join at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the service to ensure your microphone and video connection are working.

Thanks to Noelle Beaudin, the Music Director, the UUSL Choir has found a way to sing together using technology. The choir meets every Wednesday to get assignments for the upcoming weeks.

The goal is to have a full folder of hymns done by the choir that guest ministers can choose from to insert in their zoom service. Church members enjoy the personal touch of having their choir performing the hymns. Choir members love it because they can sing in the safety of their own homes, but produce a finished piece with a full choir.

“We aren’t using Zoom to sing, because with Zoom there’s too much latency, it just doesn’t work,” says Noelle Beaudin, Music Director at the UUSL.  “Drive-in choirs are a great concept, but they don’t work well either, plus a car idling for such a long time causes other issues that aren’t good.  Singing with masks, well, it can be done, but it’s also problematic.  I came up with a different solution.”

“First I created a shared drive where all choir members can access instructions on what to do.  Next I taught them how to use a certain app that is great for recording.  I record all my accompaniments, or their parts, upload them to the drive and then instruct them on how to sing to the piece.  Once that is done, I lay it all out in my studio software for a finished product.  Yes, “she says, “It’s a lot of work, but at the end of the day, we have choir pieces that sound like choir pieces should.”

“More importantly, “she continues, “the choir is learning important things you miss in rehearsal singing together.  They are hearing their own voices, they are learning about rhythm and reading, listening and focus.  But most of all, we have pieces that they can listen to over and over again, share with their family and friends.  And in this moment in time – that is the most important thing, we as Music educators and directors, can do for people.”

The choir has become so successful in a short amount of time that others from around the area are joining in.

“I’ve even had a choral conductor and composer contact me to have us perform one of his pieces for Easter.’ says Beaudin. “It’s really amazing how well this is going for everyone.  It’s finally an outlet for people who just want to be able to sing.”

Noelle will be sharing her strategies and tools for the Virtual Choir on October 17th  from 1-2:30pm via a Zoom class.  The cost for the class is $75 and goes directly towards the fundraising efforts of the UUSL.  To register for the class, or for more information on joining our virtual choir, please email Noelle at uuslmusicdirector@gmail.com

Noelle Beaudin

Music Director, Unitarian Universalist Society of Laconia