The world feels a lot different this week than it did last, doesn’t it? COVID-19 being declared a pandemic has sent many of us into a tailspin. Things that seemed secure are no longer givens. What might have been considered possible just a few days ago is now unthinkable. Many of us are now in isolation, whether forced or voluntary. In these turbulent and unsettling times, singing seems a little superfluous, or at the very least, trivial. Secondary.
In any event, the role I was preparing and expecting to sing next month was officially cancelled this past Monday, and I know this is the case for so many of my colleagues, some of whom will now be without work (and pay) for several months. I haven’t felt much like practicing, quite honestly. But today I gave the first of what will certainly be many online “virtual” lessons to replace the face-to-face lessons my students would have had to finish their term. And we discovered that even though it’s not perfect, it was a valuable way for us to investigate our craft on a simpler, more detailed, granular level. It’s not quite as easy to hear well via an internet connection, but we can be more mindful of what we feel inside and we can share our findings. Perhaps more importantly, we can connect and share our humanity, our fears, our humour. And we can breathe together. Even in isolation, we can sing. Singing is not cancelled. It’s just different. And we are still the same inside.