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Singer turns to the internet to keep career going during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 16:28 09 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:28 09 April 2020

Claire Barker, leader singer of The Claire Barker Band, vocal coach and chior leader. Picture: Howie Marsh

Claire Barker, leader singer of The Claire Barker Band, vocal coach and chior leader. Picture: Howie Marsh

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A Norfolk singer has taken herself online to make sure the music doesn’t stop.

Claire Barker teaches adult and children choirs.. Picture: Josie TateClaire Barker teaches adult and children choirs.. Picture: Josie Tate

Claire Barker, 43, from Taverham is a vocal coach, choir teacher and lead singer of the Claire Barker Band. As weddings, gigs and social events were all cancelled she had a choice – to put everything on hold or adapt to the situation.

Miss Barker now hosts her lessons online, as well as producing songs by herself, with her band and a silly sing-a-long with her daughter.

“Getting myself online 
is helping me keep up,” she said.

“It would be easy for me to say ‘I won’t bother then’. But I was determined to keep a brave face and keep everyone smiling which is keeping me smiling.”

The Claire Barker Band. Picture: Josie TateThe Claire Barker Band. Picture: Josie Tate

Miss Barker has been singing professionally for 
15 years, having started with the Lee Vasey band. She started her own band back 
in 2011.

The band should have 
been entering their busiest time of the year, with weddings and social events over the summer.

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“We have lost absolutely everything because of the coronavirus. I have spent so much time with brides and grooms over the phone trying to reschedule bookings.

Vocal coach Claire Barker has moved her singing lessons online. Picture: Claire BarkerVocal coach Claire Barker has moved her singing lessons online. Picture: Claire Barker

“For a lot of musicians, your gig money sees you through the week.”

However, the band are taking full use of technology and they meet over the internet several times a week to practise new songs and to keep their names out there.

She said it was also important to keep the band working together, meeting to rehearse over Zoom so when they can start taking bookings they can hit the ground running.

The band are still working on new material, as they released a cover of Lizzo’s Juice this week. They all recorded their parts and sent them to Andy Cooper who produced the video.

Vocal coach Claire Barker has moved her choir lessons online. Picture: Claire BarkerVocal coach Claire Barker has moved her choir lessons online. Picture: Claire Barker

Miss Barker is also teaching her adult and children choirs online five times a week.

All of this is also important to her singing voice.

“If you don’t use your voice you’ll lose it. I would suffer if I didn’t sing for three months, losing some range and stamina,” she said.


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