Episode 41: The Kids are Not Ok-Class of 2020 Edition

A Choralosophy First attempt at a front porch conversation. I invited members of my recently graduated choral program to talk about what life has been life in lockdown.

Featuring Eghosa Ogbevoen, Avery Beavers and Zaria Jackson.

This episode is an experiment for sure! I began to feel like much of our conversation had been a little too teacher focused on the show. A bit too “informational” and not enough “relational.” So, I became very interested in hearing from some of my students to hear what it was like from the perspective of some graduating seniors who watched their Senior year of high school evaporate in front of them. What was that like for them? What was the emotional roller coaster, and how has it affected their mindset for the future?

Episode 41

We discussed their feelings about losing choir of course, but we also discussed other realities of life for the class of 2020. Isolation, the forcing of all conversation into an online forum, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and ensuing protests, and much more.

Apologies for the audio quality. We recorded outdoors for safety, and much of it turned out ok, unless my AC unit was on.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Episode 40: When Artists Have to Learn Science with Nick Sienkiewicz

When Science gets thrust to the center of our artistic world, how do we react, how do we gather info, and how do we decide?

An enlightening conversation about our singing with Covid situation with Nick Sienkiewicz. Nick is a young colleague preparing to earn his Masters in Choral Conducting at IU Bloomington. But before that, Nick earned a degree in Bioechemistry. I was very impressed with Nick’s ability to explain the scientific process, as well as some of the pitfalls that those of us who are not trained in science can step into when we aren’t careful. On this show, a major undertaking has occurred and collected under the Covid Conversations page on this site to collect extremely relevant expert opinion on a broad range of virus related topics to help us ask the full range of relevant scientific questions beyond the important aerosol questions. This is unfathomably important as schools and communities begin to open. I think you will enjoy Nick’s perspective and tips for navigating this complicated web.


Nicholas Sienkiewicz is a conductor and scientist currently based in Bloomington, Indiana. Nick obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, and Bachelor of Musical Arts from Western Michigan University. During his time at WMU, he served as Music Director for the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, Choir Director for the Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus, and the Executive Director of Open House Theatre Company. On the scientific side, Nick worked as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant and Supplemental Instructor for the Chemistry Department at WMU. Nick also served as a Research Assistant in the Teske Laboratory and a Protein/Vaccinology Intern for Zoetis Inc. Nick is pursuing his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Indiana University Bloomington.

Find more about Nick at www.nicksienkiewicz.com

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Bonus Episode: Plans for a Hybrid Rehearsal Structure

How can we streamline the rehearsal process to make the most of student contact time?

If you are like me, you have seen a TON of ideas for online activities to keep our choirs engaged. And that’s wonderful! We need as many tools in our belt as we can get. However, what about the times when we may encounter a “hybrid model,” where contact time to sing together in person is allowed, but drastically limited? How then, do we prioritize our time?

Sadly, I cannot offer this short episode as “tried and true tips” for obvious reasons. It is very likely that this will be the situation for myself and many others soon. So instead, I will be hopefully offering some helpful ideas that I THINK will work nicely all things considered. We will focus on some time saving strategies that can maximize our precious minutes with the students.

  • If it can go online, get it online (music theory, individual sight reading, listening activities and analysis, maybe even some rehearsal elements)
  • Sight reading instruction is more important now than ever. It will speed up your rehearsals.
  • Adjustments of repertoire to fit the time demands. What priorities rise to the top?
  • Hybrid performance ideas?

Below you can find links to the other Choralosophy Resources mentioned in this episodes designed to SPEED UP your rehearsals and empower singers.

Ripping off the BandaidEpisode 18: Ripping off the bandaid
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Anti-Fragility in the Choral Rehearsal
Episode 21: Anyone can get an A in Choir…