Have you been wondering how to put together a virtual choir performance? In this blog post, I’ll detail how I put together a virtual choir performance for my elementary choir. Keep reading to watch a couple videos of virtual performances!
First, a word of warning: as Katie Wardrobe writes in this blog post, it was a LOT of work. I only recommend that you try this if you’re fairly comfortable with video editing and you have time to devote to the project.
Why create a virtual choir performance?
Since we can’t sing together in person, a virtual choir can be a great way to have students actively making music. It’s also a feel-good type of video that can be sent out through email, social media, etc., which can build community.
How do I create a virtual choir performance?
When I first started working on the virtual choir video, I was experimenting and learning as I went. At the same time I was working on the virtual choir, I was also working on a virtual band with the elementary music teachers in my district. I made several mistakes and probably wasted more time than I should have, until I finally landed on this process:
- First, I chose a song, and made sure I had a recording students could sing along with.
- Then, I made a plan for who would be in what part of the video. This can be done in Google Docs, Word, etc. For example, for my video, I had a soloist, then a small group, then a small group with a descant, then a larger group in a round, then a soloist with a different verse, then a small group, then a larger group in a round.
- Then, I made a Flipgrid and had students record themselves singing along with the recording (I recommended that they sing with earbuds, so they could hear the recording, but we could only hear their voice.) I'd suggest either horizontal or vertical, so all videos are recorded in the same format. You might also ask them to give some kind of cue when they begin singing, so it makes editing easier.
- Then, I uploaded the recording and directions, with a link to the Flipgrid, to Schoology (if you don’t use Schoology, you could use another platform, such as Google Classroom, Canvas, etc.)
- Then, I downloaded the videos and pulled them into Audacity (a free editing tool). This imported the audio, not the video. I lined up the voices and edited as I needed to. Note: I think Flipgrid may have compressed some of the videos, which could have caused tempo changes and some pitch differences, so I fixed it in Audacity. For this reason, you might consider having them send you videos instead of using Flipgrid (although Flipgrid makes it really easy for them to contribute!) You could have them upload to a Google folder instead.
- Then I imported each individual student video into iMovie (you could use another program, if you don’t have a Mac.) I detached the original audio, added the new audio from Audacity, and made sure that it lined up with the video. Then, I exported each original video.
- Then I referenced my plan so I knew who should go where. I imported individual videos into Canva, which is a free website.I used the photo grids and inserted videos into each frame. (You can find the photo grids by clicking on “elements,” then “grids.”)
- Then I exported the videos from Canva, put them back into iMovie, and finalized.
The song I used is called “Deep and Dark,” by Richard Gillard/ Steve Runciman, and was used with permission. I learned the song from the book “Victoria Sings Short Stuff: Small Songs for Community Singing,” edited by Fay White. The book is an excellent resource with lots of songs I had never seen before; I found it when I was in Australia this past fall. It comes with CD’s, and can be purchased here (note: keep in mind the price shown is in Australian dollars!)
Here is the final video of my elementary choir.
And here is the video of an elementary band I assisted in compiling. We used a similar process, except that the audio was edited in GarageBand (by Timothy Minneci, my co-worker Katie's husband.)
Have you created a virtual choir? Feel free to leave links below, and also let me know if you have any more questions. Happy editing!