Choir, wearing singing masks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. How do they work?

concert+choir+at+SAHS

concert choir at SAHS

Elly Flaherty, business editor

 

This year, students are required to wear face masks in the choir room since they are in close proximity to each other for a long period of time. This causes disruption for the choir, but nothing that they can’t overcome.

 Many choir students are saying that the masks make it difficult to project their voices. This results in a muffled sound. 

It’s very difficult to project your voice and hear the whole choir. It’s just a lot quieter than usual.” said 11th grade choir student, Marena Saeger.

Some students don’t mind the masks, but think that they’re an inconvenience. They recognize that this is a solution for a temporary issue.

11th grade choir student, Bo Mcbride tells us “It’s okay it doesn’t cause huge problems 

but it’s annoying.” 

The school has invested in a different type of mask this year, made specifically for choir 

students.  It features a wider gap between the fabric and the singer’s mouth. The goal is to facilitate a louder projection of the singer’s voice.

Choir director, Katelyn Larson explains “Singing well requires an athletic use of breath, and wearing masks makes breathing much more challenging. With a normal mask, a singer’s sound is muffled, and they must work twice as hard to project. As teachers, we can no longer visually assess students’ vowel shapes, jaw position, tongue position, etc., which are all very important aspects of vocal technique. We recently purchased special “singer’s masks” which will hopefully help with breath and projection!”

In addition to wearing the masks, choir members are split into smaller groups this year. Which puts a toll on practicing as a full ensemble. 

Katelyn Larson says “I think it’s really difficult to be separated into different cohorts. we never get the full experience of singing with a full ensemble. We have half of our class sizes, and it just feels harder to build a community within an ensemble when you never see half of the ensemble. I think it feels challenging for singers too.”

Another struggle for the choir class this year is the fact that they are unable to host concerts for friends and family. They look forward to being able to practice as a group.

”It’s also unfortunate that we cannot perform live, in-person for friends and family. All of this said, I am still SO thankful to be making music with real humans in front of me!” says Katelyn Larson.

“I think I’m just looking forward to learning new music pieces. Even if we can’t perform them it’s just fun to learn a new piece.” says Marena Saeger.

Although there is much to adapt to, students are looking forward to learning new music, and getting to sing with the choir.  They are grateful that they are able to see each other in-person after a long break of being apart.

https://www.broadwayreliefproject.com/singersmask

 

Choir director Katelyn Larson: “Singing well requires an athletic use of breath, and wearing masks makes breathing much more challenging!”

 

Choir student Marena Saeger: It’s very difficult to project your voice and hear the whole choir. It’s just a lot quieter than usual.”