Kitty Williams, Director of Music Ministries
Pardon my train of thought –
Try a Google search on the benefits of choral singing. There are numerous articles!
Here are six points made by one article: (Choral singing)
- Strengthens feeling of togetherness
- Regulates heart rate.
- Reduces stress levels and depression.
- Improves symptoms of Parkinson’s and lung disease.
- Improves feeling of social well-being.
- Increases life expectancy (possibly)
These benefits are both physical and emotional. This article didn’t mention the spiritual implications.
As a choral conductor, I want to make our virtual choir practices as ‘real’ as possible so that we can reap the true benefits of singing together.
A saying from the ancient Greeks states:
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Choral musicians can really identify with that statement. I can sing in my home, but it is just not the same as breathing and singing with my people.
For our virtual worship, I have lovingly renamed our church choir ‘Zoom Choir.’
Slowly but surely, we are getting the hang of ‘Zooming.’
Thanks to Greg Platt’s audio mixer, each of us is able to clearly hear our music over Zoom. Participants listen with their head phones on their computers and record themselves singing with their smart phones. Then they send me their recordings.
(I put the audio together. It is more difficult than one might think.)
When you see our Zoom choir sing during virtual worship, I am showing the Zoom video with the ‘put together’ voice recording.
One of the reasons I do it this way is to remind us that although we are separate, we are together.
With Zoom Choir, we are able to have people from all over, singing where they live. We are able to breathe and sing together.
Zoom Choir rehearsals remind me of a business plan called “Distributed Workforce.” I learned about this in TED Talk by Matt Mullenweg.
The plan is that each employee is to work from their own location. Matt is deliberate in NOT using the word ‘remote’ because every location and person is important.
Each worker brings a different understanding of the culture, people and day-to-day life around them.
This style of business network reminds me of a net, which reminds me of Jesus calling to Peter and Andrew:
“Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
Each of us are called to be ambassadors of Christ’s love no matter where we are.
When we ‘gather’ as a church (whether in the building or virtually,) we present ourselves before God and are reminded both who we are and whose we are.
Then, with confidence, we are to go spread the love in Christ Jesus.
There is a lot more that I could write on this subject, but you would be sitting there reading.
Instead, get up and go share the love of Christ with someone.
PS – You are invited to come to ZOOM CHOIR! (Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation.)