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Singing conference calls for people self-isolating during the virus outbreak

PUBLISHED: 16:57 22 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06 22 March 2020

Choir members will be able to follow classes five times a week via a conference call app. Picture: Claire Barker

Choir members will be able to follow classes five times a week via a conference call app. Picture: Claire Barker

Archant

Conference calls don’t usually inspire much more than a yawn.

Claire Barker, a choir and band leader, is taking her music lessons to the internet. Picture: Claire BarkerClaire Barker, a choir and band leader, is taking her music lessons to the internet. Picture: Claire Barker

But for Claire Barker, a choir and band leader from Taverham, they have become opportunity to perform a different vocal exercise – singing.

The 42-year-old normally teaches five choir sessions a week called One Voice Glee Club in Taverham, Thorpe Marriott and Hethersett, but they have all stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak.

On the first online choir session 25 members tuned in to sing together. Picture: Claire BarkerOn the first online choir session 25 members tuned in to sing together. Picture: Claire Barker

But after discovering an app, Ms Barker, who also performs at weddings in the Claire Barker band, has decided to host singing conference calls instead in order to spread some positivity.

Ms Barker said: “I have just seen so much negativity around at the moment and I’m probably feeling a bit like that too. But I decided to make the best of the bad situation and to do something uplifting, so I looked into finding an alternative.”

Students from the ages of 18 to 81 attend One Voice Glee Club and 27 people tuned in to the first conference call held earlier in the week.

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Ms Barker said: “During our trial session we did have to mute all the microphones, except my one, as there was a time lag and the sound was not pretty! But we are focusing on lots of warm-ups and breathing exercises.

“We’re also learning new material so when we’re running back to normal we’ll have a huge range of songs to sing.

“But we’ve become a little family and singing is a real, community bonding session so it’s wonderful we can carry on and it’s also something people can 
look forward to while they self-isolate.”

From next week non-members will be invited to join free conference call lessons on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11am.

Ms Barker said: “Singing is amazing for your wellbeing and is great for building bonds as you have to be literally in tune with each other.

“You feel good when you go to the gym or go running but when you’re in a singing group your brain is so occupied it gives you no time to think about anything else. It’s a real break for the mind. I see a real change in people after they sing.”

For more information visit www.onevoicegleeclub.co.uk

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