July 27 – When the coronavirus forced millions of people around the world into lockdown, many sought ways to connect with others and learn new skills online.
One app invited aspiring pianists to learn the song “You Raise Me Up” for free.
It turned into the world’s largest virtual recital, said the creators of the app, Playground Sessions, after posting a video of everyone playing together online this month.
“We didn’t just want to bring musicians together. That’s been done a lot. It’s great… but this was really about the 30 days leading up the recital where people had to learn,” said Playground Sessions chief executive Chris Vance in an interview.
Over 7,000 people from 52 countries took part in the class, he said, and nearly 1,000 submitted videos of their performances – now edited harmoniously together.
“It gave everybody something to focus on during the pandemic that was totally removed from the pandemic,” said Len Dozois, a retired manufacturing management worker from Georgia who took part in the class.
“Learning something new is always good but in this instance it was phenomenal.” (Reporting by Reuters TV, Writing by Rosalba O’Brien; Editing by Sam Holmes)