Over the past 12 months we have all seen our worlds turned upside down due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The changes that we have all had to adjust to have been challenging but have also presented opportunities.
For me looking back to last March when, as a musician, I found that all my work had been cancelled for 2020 it seemed so desperate that it was difficult to get my head around. With no knowledge of when circumstances would allow for performance venues to reopen, I had to reappraise how to move forward and find new ways to find performance opportunities.
When I also found that my wedding had to be cancelled it seemed to be another disappointment to add everything else. But I am not one to dwell on things I can not control, I much prefer to count my blessings and work hard on the things that I can control.
Using the time at home I decided to develop my singing technique with online lessons, improve my German language, take on new technical skills both in recording and editing my videos, and introduce new sales skills to allow me to earn an income whilst staying safe at home 😊.
Looking back on what I have been able to achieve I feel so happy as I can continue to use these skills moving forward.
Following a series of 16 Balcony concerts that we performed during the Spring and Summer of 2020 we found that it encouraged a greater sense of neighbourly connections. We made so many new friends from within our complex during this time and it helped us to feel part of this fabulous community. The pictures for my blog post today were taken by one such friend, Tugce Nelson. These friendships are agreat example of a real silver lining to this Covid cloud that surrounds us all.
In July I took my B1 Goethe Institut German exams and was excited when I passed with high marks, including 93% in the speaking unit and 94% in writing unit. The preparation for the exam has really improved my understanding and interpretation of German Lieder and Opera’s.
I passed my online sales training and now feel much more confident on the phone when doing customer relations and sales calls.
George and I have been experimenting with using a greenscreen when recording videos at home and it was wonderful last weekend when we were asked by the Gustav Mahler Society to present a 60 minute online concert for their members and they were thrilled with our performances and the video production.
“The Gustav Mahler Society was proud to sponsor Charlotte Hoather (soprano) & George Todică’s (pianist) captivating and successful online recital “Die Liebe weckt Die Lieder!“ released on 29th January. The programme was well thought out and included a balanced selection of lieder by Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler and Alma Mahler, which explored the theme of each composer’s interpretation of poets’ imagination of love.
The technical presentation and quality of the recording is so realistic, that you feel that you are attending the performance in a Viennese palace, a perfect setting for Charlotte’s and George’s sublime performance of each set of lieder. Charlotte’s voice is so clear and her interpretation of each lied is so expressive that you are drawn into the feel of the music and text”
Gustav Mahler Society
To close the week I received an email from the Odin International Music Online Competition to inform me that I was awarded 1st Prize in this year’s competition. I was so pleased to see the hard work that I have been doing during lockdown begin to pay off.
Using these oportunities to help me focus has been very calming for me and bring a little normallity into a very surreal situation. I do hope that things will start to recover during 2021 as I do miss live performances but I will continue to pursue my new skills and look for ways to use them in the years to come.
Have you taken on any new hobbies or on-line training during the pandemic? Or found unusual ways to cope with lockdown to inspire me over the coming months?