Choir Leader Profile: Ria Master
Ria Master conducts the Songbound choirs at Sitaram Mills Public School. She started working as a Songbound Choir Leader in 2017, when she was just 18 years old.
There has been a tremendous change in the children who’ve been consistently part of the choir. They are less restless and their concentration has increased. As a result of this, they are able to grasp new information quicker than when we started working together. Increased concentration helps them in other spheres of their lives, giving them time to do something apart from a repetitive cycle of school and homework.
What is your favourite Songbound memory?
My favourite Songbound memory was at one of the concerts: a few girls from the senior choir were chosen to sing a solo and dance to the words. They were completely in the spotlight. Initially, during rehearsals they were really shy but in the concert they were confident and sang well. I was very proud of their growth. After the performance they ran up to me to tell me about the compliments they received from the audience.
How have you been keeping up with your choirs during the pandemic?
The last time I had a physical choir rehearsal was in the first week of March. After that there was a loud silence for 4 months. Once the school moved to online platforms, I was contacted by the teacher saying that some children were interested in online choir. I’m sure most of us didn’t know how to use Zoom and had never taught online. It was a new experience for me and I had a few mock sessions with friends to gain confidence before the first class.
I currently have weekly classes every Saturday for one hour with 13 children. Although the school has provided the children with internet data packs, some children have only one mobile device that is shared amongst their family. If they have an older sibling, their studies are given priority. Online learning can get very exhausting and the children tell me so themselves. I try to make the class as lively as I can from my screen, involving them to share their ideas and make it a collaborative, fun space.
It costs £10/month to support the professional development of a Choir Leader like Ria. Please donate what you can so that we can work with more talented musicians like her.