by Naomi - Rock Band Director, Vocal Instructor
Here at Eastern Iowa Arts Academy, we have the privilege of working alongside, learning from, teaching, and experiencing art with a realm of creative kids and adults. I have my efforts pouring into the music side of the Academy as a rock band director and vocal instructor.
Through this trying COVID-19 season, things drastically changed for all of my rock band/vocal lesson kids. Rock band and lessons are all online via Zoom. We all check in or give some helpful tips and feedback on songs and techniques they’re practicing, and we also want to just keep the sense of community flowing freely while we aren’t able to meet in person. This new “online only” vibe is challenging on many different levels, but has also been teaching me (and the students) some valuable lessons.
I don’t know if you’ve ever made a Facebook Live video...but I have. And the first few times it was terrifying. I am no stranger to making little videos - ranting about this - singing to that, etc - but I always have the luxury of taking my footage and editing out the stuff that I shouldn’t have said, or things that I just rambled on about, aimlessly. But with Facebook Live - you are literally bearing everything to the world in real time. There’s no ‘we’ll fix that in the editing’, there’s no, “Oops, that part was off tune, let’s do it again.” AND ON TOP OF THAT there are people commenting and ‘liking’ (hopefully) your video as you’re rambling on and it’s SO easy to get distracted by it all. Anyway, if you haven’t given it a try and you feel like experiencing a little bit of terror, go ahead and “go live” on Facebook.
We’ve had a good handful of our students here at EIAA face their fears and perform a Facebook Live concert via the Academy’s Facebook page. Singing, piano playing, guitar noodling...a mixture of it all. Some kids sang praises about how the Academy is/has been such a vital part of their creative lives. Some kids used this opportunity to show Facebook Land what they’ve been practicing during quarantine. Some kids have even used the opportunity to debut their original songwriting to the world for the first time.
After the kids sign off and conquer their fears on Facebook Live, they’ve expressed things like, “That was the most terrifying and amazing experience ever…” or “I was shaking the whole time, but I did it!”
Valuable lessons are being learned here. Here are a few:
- Share your art with the world. It brings others joy.
- Just because there’s no physical crowd doesn’t mean you can’t still reach the masses
- Playing in front of a physical audience is scary. Playing in front of your phone while people hide behind their screens and watch you is even scarier.
- Overcoming fears as an artist is terrifying and makes you incredibly vulnerable - but leaves you with a badge of honor and a new sense of “I can do it.” For an artist like me, this is HUGE. Most of us, even if we’re viewed as ‘talented’ by the outside world, are usually, to some extent, cowering on the inside wondering how we’ll be able to express ourselves in a way that matters.
- Our fears are usually bigger in our head than reality. Everyone watching the Facebook Live concerts were incredibly supportive, encouraging, and impressed.
If you’d like to check out some of our talented students boldly taking on the fiasco of Facebook Live, check out our Facebook Page and YouTube channel at the links below: