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Abertridwr Community Choir go Digital

Abertridwr Community Choir was set up in October 2014. The group meets on a weekly basis to sing together and host charity concerts, while making regular visits to a local nursing home to sing for the residents.

There are approximately thirty member of the choir, ranging in age from 10 to 75 years! For many members of the choir this is the only community activity that they are involved with and it is a great way for them to meet with friends from across the village.

Outline of Our Intervention

The choir successfully bid for the loan of tablets from Digital Communities Wales (DCW) in October 2016. Many members of the choir don’t use IT or only use very basic equipment at home. Our aim was to encourage them to practice songs at home by uploading videos either onto YouTube or their Facebook page.

The choir also has links across the world, in Australia, Canada and Brazil in particular, and would like to link with friends and family to sing together using Skype.

Impact of Our Intervention

“Whilst we have seen great benefit in having the equipment on hand for our group to use, some of our potential use is yet to be seen as we are awaiting the installation of an internet connection into Beulah Chapel.
However, we have recorded a number of our songs and sent them out to members for practicing and also our musical coordinator has uploaded all our songs in their various versions onto YouTube again for the group to practice at home.” – (one example – there are nine in total).

“Our Christmas concert was also recorded using one of the tablets and this has been distributed to the group on DVD.”

“Many of the group have now signed up to Facebook – just to join the choir page, after we were able to assist them using the tablets and they have gone on to utilise social media to connect with family and friends from across the world!”

Matthew Lloyd, DCW Co-ordinator for Caerphilly, commented:

“The choir wanted to encourage their members to develop their digital skills through the use of Facebook and YouTube and showing how these tools can be used to share what they do. This short loan of equipment has removed some of the trepidation from the excluded members, who have been supported by their choir members, to develop their skills in an environment where they feel comfortable. I would love to see more groups try this approach, where a little device can open up new opportunities for people.”

Individual Impact

Dorian, the choir’s musical co-ordinator was a self-proclaimed technophobe. When he was asked by the choir to upload the instrumental pieces onto YouTube, for the group to practice at home, he didn’t know where to start. One member of the group was able to use the tablet and demonstrate how easy it was to make a recording and then, using a YouTube account, uploaded twelve videos in under an hour.

Quotation mark

“Sometimes when you’ve not tried using this sort of technology before it seems a bit frightening, and then when you are shown what to do – you feel a bit silly that it’s so easy and you were so worried”.

Dorian, Musical Co-ordinator