One of the ways we’ve responded to Coronavirus has been to provide weekly, free online choirs open to all children across Lewisham.
Our Zoooom Choirs have been keeping hundreds of children singing and helping them to find their voice throughout lockdown, and as we try to get back to some form of normality. For children and families, the Coronavirus lockdown has been a challenging time, the combination of reduced contact with friends, concern about families’ health, school closures and a loss of routine are all contributing to children’s worries.
But in Lewisham, these online choirs are using music as a means of overcoming isolation. During lockdown, Lewisham Music have harnessed technology to connect and support one another. The charity’s Singing Leader, Clare Caddick provides a fun series of uplifting songs from around the world, encouraging children to think about other children and young people also in lockdown who are singing all over the globe.
Five Zoom windows to the left, a child puts her face up to the camera and offers to explain to her peers the meaning of the ‘Yoruba’ lyrics from the Nigerian Hi-life song ‘Oremi’. She translates some of the words and informs us that they mean “My friends, Father and Mother, let’s dance.”
Lewisham Music’ Singing Leader, Clare Caddick explains her experience of leading these choirs during lockdown.
“Our virtual singing groups bring joy and hope to children, especially in a time when families need it most. The choirs bring people together, celebrate music and create a welcome escape for children and families alike.”
Here’s Clare and choir warm-up, Rubber Chicken in action…
Here is what some of the participants and their parents/carers have to say…
“It’s helped me feel like I’m less alone, and more connected with other children. I had a choir at school which stopped, and I missed it, so it was good to have this online alternative.”
“Singing and music is great for happiness.”
“I like the interaction that it gives you. I like the songs. And it’s cool because some of them are in different languages.”
“The choir provided a fantastic and engaging experience taking Miranda’s mind off lockdown. It has been an uplifting experience.”
“It has been really great for Dylan to be part of a regular creative group and to connect with others across the local area. He is doing something different to what is on offer at home or via recorded videos on the internet and it helps him practise and develop other skills, such as listening, as well as being a creative outlet. We really love coming to your sessions – it is a highlight of our week!”
Lewisham Music continue to run their Zoooom choirs throughout the summer, and into the autumn term, hoping that the fantastic young singers of Lewisham can one day meet away from the camera and sing together!