Original subject: Digital Support and Resources
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For all of us for whom church, faith, and church music are fundamental threads running through our lives, this is a moment of severe disorientation.
The RSCM is a Christian charity and ‘promotes the study, practice and improvement of music in worship’.
In the absence of all of the usual routines of life, we have put together a whole range of initiatives, which we hope will help to hold everyone together: we can still work on fulfilling our mission until the darkness lifts and we are in the light again.
For everyone, wherever you are:
Our website now features, free for all,
Hymn of the Day, and Sunday Self-Service – a simple act of worship with music, readings and prayers which will change weekly. Specific resources for Holy Week and Easter will be available in due course. We will shortly be adding a daily vocal warmups video – a short session to keep your body moving, and voice in good shape if you’re a singer. If you don’t consider yourself a singer, do it anyway!
For choristers (of all ages):
We recently launched our Showbie app, which has support materials for RSCM Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. See here if you missed it in CMQ. This was originally launched to trial the concept, but we are now adding much more content to it as quickly as we can. This will include, for each level, some pieces which choristers can learn from the syllabuses by following the teaching videos which will appear shortly. In the current situation, we will ensure that this remains free of charge. We will also be using this Showbie platform to include more general Chorister Training material in separate classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced choristers – the latter including material suitable for e.g. experienced cathedral choristers. Some of the webinars (see below) will also be specifically aimed at developing skills for choristers.
We will be launching a new stream of our Education work on Friday (27th March), when we will host the first RSCM public webinar at 10am [British local time: UTC+0 to UTC+1*]. In these extraordinary times, we are making sure they are open to everyone, not just our Membership. Friday’s session will cover topics for choir trainers, organists and music leaders on how to help your choir and musicians stay engaged and focused through this challenging time, with input from musicians who have already put strategies into practice. See here for details, and how to book yourself a place. You will be able to watch the recorded session subsequently if you can’t attend ‘live’. From next week a new, integrated and co-ordinated series of webinars, led by experienced tutors, will take place. You can join live – in which case, you will be able to ask questions, comment etc. – or you can watch the ‘completed’ webinar as a video. These will take the form of two clear strands.
In the morning [UK time – UTC+0 to UTC+1*], sessions will cover:
Mondays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Vocal coaching – extended sessions to help you keep your voice in good shape, and including exercises which if you are yourself a choir trainer, you will be able to use with your own choir when you get to work with them again.
Tuesdays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Organ Studies – discussions, advice and support for organists.
Wednesdays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Aural Skills – helping singers and musicians with aural development.
Thursdays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Choral Conductor Training – practical support for choir trainers, taking core choral repertoire as the skeleton frame on which to build new and strengthened skills and techniques.
Fridays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Lift up your Voice – learn repertoire which works when you have no developed choir, or experienced organist, just mainly congregational voices. It will include how to develop the skills to teach and lead others with confidence.
In the afternoon, daily sessions (excluding [UK] bank holidays) for Voice for Life
Monday – White level (starting on 6th April) at 4.00pm [UK time*]
Tuesday – Light blue level (starting on 7th April) at 4.00pm
Wednesday- Dark blue level (starting on 8th April) at 4.00pm
Thursday – Red level (starting on 9th April) at 4.00pm
Friday – Yellow level (starting on 31st March) at 4.00pm
Across a six-week programme, experienced teachers will guide you through completing the workbooks in a structured, helpful way; you will be able to ask questions.
To join in these Voice for Life sessions, you will need to order the relevant workbook from our web-shop. These have currently been reduced to £3.50 per book
. Just add the workbook to your basket, then view basket and add this voucher code: VFLWEB2020. The web-shop also currently has free postage on all orders.
You might like to know that we are currently preparing the first of a new, interactive stream of Voice for Life app-based books – but … these are still in preparation. In … [the] meantime, we hope this will be a useful, parallel development.
In all of this, please remember that RSCM staff, who are all safely at work from home desks, are doing their very best as they adjust to a very different landscape from our usual Salisbury offices. Please be patient if replies to queries take a little longer, and understand that they will need to prioritise where they direct their time. We thank you for your support, and pray that you and your families stay safe and well.
[* From 29 March to 4 April, UK time is 6 hours behind WA time (AWST),
9 hours 30 minutes behind SA time, (ACDT**)
9 hours behind Qld time, and (AEST)
10 hours behind NSW, Vic and Tas (AEDT**).
Britain observes daylight saving (BST) from 29 March until early 25 Oct.
**For Australian areas observing it, daylight saving ends on 5 Apr and resumes on 4 Oct.]