Making Music During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For many of us, music is a vital component of our faith lives. Sacred music is one of the most intimate and yet profoundly communal ways we express our faith. Through music we also connect with our neighbors. Perhaps now more than ever we have realized that the benefits of music-making go well beyond learning the notes on the page – it nourishes our lives and lifts our souls. 

 Although our physical distance during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to pursue some of these social and spiritual benefits that come with music-making, there are still ways we can make music in our homes, enrich our community, and grow in our faith lives as we navigate through these transformative times. We hope that the following socially-responsible ideas inspire you to find new ways of making music for the glory of God:

 

Four ways to participate in the music of St. Paul’s during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Join choir! If you have ever been on the fence about joining choir, now is a perfect time to see if it is right for you. You can attend our Zoom calls and participate, or sit back and observe. (See the “Choirs at St. Paul’s” page of our website for more information)
      • Choir will meet on Zoom on Wednesday evenings starting in September. We welcome new members at any time during the year!
  2. Join the Handbell Choir! Rehearsal schedule TBA. The Handbell Choir is a small ensemble that will hopefully lend itself better to socially-distant and responsible in-person music making. Ringers will learn new music and create recordings for Sunday worship.
      • Note: For sanitization purposes, each ringer will receive 2-4 assigned bells for a dedicated period of time, rather than regular rotation of bells from piece-to-piece. Therefore, membership may be limited for the time being, so please contact Jon Madden ASAP if you are interested in signing up!
  3. Provide pre-recorded special musical offerings for Sunday morning live-streams. Please contact Jon Madden if you are interested in providing music for a prelude, offertory, or postlude.
      • Musical offerings requiring a collaborative pianist or accompaniment part can be worked out virtually with Jon.
  4. Participate in the liturgical music and hymns during virtual worship services.

 

How can I make music at home during our live-stream worship?

  1. Sing along (or play along if you’re an instrumentalist) to hymns and liturgical music in the bulletin. If you have a hymnal, try singing/playing along to the 4-part harmony!
      • If you hear a hymn you particularly like, mark it in your hymnal or save that Sunday’s bulletin and visit the hymn throughout the week – sing through it a few times for vocal practice and reflect on the text. Look up biographical information on the hymn text and tune writers to learn more about their outputs. You can also find a wealth of hymn interpretations and performances online.
  2. DIY instruments: Don’t have any instruments in your house? Homemade instruments (egg shakers, hand drums, tissue box and rubber-band guitars, etc.) can be a fun craft for you and your family, and will provide you with lots of new and unique musical instruments to use during worship!
  3. Move and groove! Many hymns and liturgical music (both modern and historical) can feel like dances – don’t be afraid to dance, clap, or move as you feel called to!
      • Expressive movement isn’t limited to up-tempo music: even slower instrumental music still has its own flow and sense of groove. How might you move to different musical styles?


For more information or questions, please contact our Minister of Music, Jon Madden, at jmadden@stpaulspittsford.com.