Performing music during COVID
How has the pandemic affected you? The COVID-19 forced many schools and other businesses to shut down in the spring of 2020. The pandemic changed not only our lives but the way we interact with each other.
As a music student, this has been a catastrophic blow to learning and performing. When classes switched to virtual, so did the performing. I quickly found out that unreliable internet connections caused the audio disruptions and audio delay on Zoom, which made it impossible for us to play "together".
I found myself becoming even more of a perfectionist than I was when I started making recordings after recordings until I got everything right. In the ensemble class, all of us had to practice, play based on a master audio file with a click track using headphones, record, upload, and edit the audio/video files. For those of you who is not familiar with a "click track", it's an audible metronome that performers can use to stay in sync, which allows each of us to play our part separately. I practiced so much until I made no errors until I found that I could play a few notes where I did make mistakes, and edit them out. Then I thought, "What in the world am I doing as a musician? Am I playing for perfection or joy of performing?"
Virtual orchestras and choirs were great for me for a while when I was able to see that we were doing everything we could to lift our spirits, but by year 2021, I really missed playing with my friends in person. Personally, nothing is better than playing together in person. I do understand that some people have medical conditions or religious beliefs that won't allow them to get vaccines. I do understand that not everyone is able to gather in one place for various reasons. But as a musician, I see that public performance is now a very special privilege. I pray that someday we can once again gather together without any fears.