Keeping Up with Creators During COVID

creators during COVID

A lot of things have changed this year, especially for musicians, but one constant in our community has been the need to create. Here at Finale, we continue to be inspired by those who are finding new and innovative ways to keep making music and sharing their creations with others. Whether it’s using Finale to create music for an online church service, teach music theory over Zoom, or to put more time and effort into composing, we are energized by the stories and experiences that users are sharing. Here are three anecdotes from creators who are continuing to create during COVID. 

“Everything has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the way I use Finale. I’ve used Finale for years, and most often I used it to prepare scores of original music I was composing. That is certainly still a major focus of what I do, but there has been another major thing that I use weekly now. I serve a liturgical Lutheran church, and so I have been composing original Psalm antiphons (a musical setting of a verse from the appointed Psalm for the Sunday) each week. That part has been pretty normal in terms of my composing and Finale process. The new part is that since my church livestreams and the choir is now virtual, I end up recording the tenor and bass myself, and my wife records soprano and alto for me each week. What this means is that I make a click track by adding a wood block at ffff! That way my wife and I can record separately each week, and I combine our audio tracks on GarageBand, and eventually make an iMovie video each week for the service.

Additionally, I have used Finale to make voice tracks of public domain pieces for my church choir. We recently did Pitoni’s Cantate Domino. For many public domain pieces you can find a MusicXML file on CPDL, and open that in Finale, potentially saving you lots of time entering music! Always double check those files to make sure they are correct. Then I add the click track/wood block. Next, using the Mixer feature I export the audio for each voice part with the wood block. Then my choir records with that, and I turn it into a virtual choir from that very important building block of Finale!

These features of Finale to allow me to make click tracks has empowered me to serve others more effectively!”

—Andrew Bruhn (Professional Choral Conductor, Educator, Composer, and Trumpeter)

“During a class zoom session or a private lesson, I like to share my screen and have my students watch and/or help me create their music in Finale. It’s a great tool for helping them understand music theory. Then after the class I email them the part we created.”

—Ron Charlesworth (Music Educator)

“I have been in the music world for a long time. I started with an old program called ‘Pencil and Paper’ or more correctly, ‘Pencil and Paper and Eraser!’ My current status is resident arranger for Bones Midwest and KC Bones. I have done arrangements for the Trombone Christmas at Kansas City Union Station. Really not much in the composing world, a little, but the COVID crisis has changed that. I have done four concert band pieces since February when it all started, and we couldn’t make music any other way. I have used Finale since it was, way back in the (g)olden days. My practice is, I start by making templates. Get everything exactly the way I want it and save as a template. It makes the routine so much faster.

—Ernie Biggs (Musician, Arranger, Composer)

How are you continuing to create?

How do you use Finale to bring your musical ideas to life? How has Finale helped you continue to create during COVID-19 shutdowns? We want to hear from you—the everyday creators who use Finale—to share your personal tricks, tips, inspirations, and insights with others.

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