Teaching Orchestra and Band in a Digital Space: Day 13

Live sound in a virtual space:

Now that things are settling into what seem more and more a regular routine, I started to ask some fundamental questions about the user experience within my virtual platform. 

  • How is the sound of my voice received by my students? 
  • When I speak or demonstrate on my instruments, what exactly are my students hearing through their speakers, earbuds or headphones?

After recording myself using the USB microphone mentioned in a previous post, I figured out the mic I am currently using works better for speaking into and not prolonged playing into through my digital classroom. For recordings a Soundtrap track or a live performance situation in Microsoft Teams, an audio interface with another microphone really works better for the those circumstances. 

In my case, plugging in a Scarlett 2i2 and using an MXL 770 condenser mic worked wonders for controlling the sound I wanted my students to hear, as I demonstrate in virtual classrooms. However, when ever I need to speak, the USB-mic works much better for me. Switching back and forth was just a toggle of a button in Teams and each situation felt better to my ears.

It’s been three weeks of teaching band and orchestra in a digital space, and I still working out the kinks. 

Classic Vibe and Martini’s

ca5cd14b8ac44417a4668f165ecf6d1bRecently I had the opportunity to be on stage with an orchestra and a very charismatic performer. The performance revolved around some famous Frank Sinatra arrangements we don’t all know, but really love. This concert was a collection of “feel good music” that make you want to snap your finger and drink a martini… followed by scotch and then a steak. At least thats the way I felt.

The arrangements done Bright-Field_Lightingfor the orchestra were fantastic. Here’s an example of one of those arrangements brought back to life for the world to enjoy.

The audience was into the performance. The orchestra was having a great time on stage and I’m pretty sure I had the best seat in the house.

Faces At Concerts

I don’t often get to look into the audiences when I perform. When I play with an orchestra, I’m lucky if I get to see the faces of the orchestra and choir members I get to perform with. There are no surprises to me about the different kinds of people involved in making music, although I still find myself looking for people that look like me in the ensembles and in the audience.
When I see a person of color at a concert of classical music, I notice them. I wonder if they notice me too. Perhaps they came to this place for the same reason I did…I love this music and music is my truth.

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