EVTA panel on COVID-19, 10th July 2020
A brief report on the Zoom meeting EVTA held with representatives of our member associations
Susan Yarnall-Monks, president of EVTA welcomed everyone to the Zoom meeting and explained it would be recorded and made available after editing for the general public.
Filipa La from ApVoz in Portugal presented a short power point on the risks of Covid-19 for Singers, Teachers of Singing and choirs at this present time based on available peer-reviewed research. It was a very clear presentation and gratefully received by the participants. Susan invited each person to add their own personal and country’s perspective on the state of the pandemic.
We had 21 representatives from Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Austria, UK, Sweden, Portugal, France, Latvia, Norway and Finland. Everyone had a chance to speak and it was obvious that there were huge differences in the amount of infection and deaths each country was experiencing. Some of the general comments that arose:
• Reduce the risks as much as you can but individual teachers must be aware of their own responsibilities to keep safe for themselves and for their students
• Virtual teaching had positive contributions to make to singing teaching as well as negative, with a greater focus on the work to be achieved. However tiredness was a factor, one needs to take a break
• Different establishments, schools and universities etc. had different approaches and tools for online work
• Some countries had choral singing and live concerts but often in the open air, others had none
• Participants were concerned about the possibility of an increase in infections after the holiday break or after big gatherings at Festivals
• Marking final examinations for graduates etc. was problematic but some had achieved live performances but with no audiences, others had extended the start of next semester or deferred examinations
• Concern was expressed for younger males contracting Covid-19 in Finland and the USA
• Some countries reported responsible behaviour, wearing masks and sanitising while others were experiencing riots and protests at restrictions and other had very few cases of the virus.
• Some associations were trying to support older members who were not used to using the digital technology and were needing more direct contact to support them with videos etc.
• Some felt CCM was easier online than Classical due to sound quality limiting harmonics in the voice. There are certainly better sound quality tools to link into Zoom available
It was felt that EVTA could useful do a Zoom meeting sharing the best online tools for positive results with virtual teaching situations. We hope to do this in September 2020!