In the midst of school closures as a result of Governor Scott's Executive order aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, South Burlington schools have been getting creative in finding ways to foster connection. Often, song acts as a vehicle to bring myriad voices together to share in a unified message; this is particualry true in the instance of school songs.
Enter Chamberlin music teacher Lisa Finlayson. "When the Govenor announced that we wouldn't be going back to school for the rest of the year, a lot of teachers were upset that we wouldn't get to see our kids again. I was thinking of all the traditions we would miss, like assemblies and singing our school song at the end of every assembly. That night, I reached out to staff to see if they would all like to do the school song together for the kids. There was overwhelming support," Finlayson said.
As Finlayson began the process of putting the video together, she admitted to a steep learning curve as she navigated numerous editing programs. "I was going to try recording in Zoom, but had some spectacular fails due to the delay between speaker and participants. A lot of staff were hesitant to sing on their own and send it to me as well, so at our staff meeting, many staff agreed to make signs while a few others would sing."
Ultimately, Finalyson ended up using DaVinci Resolve to put the singing together. Once she had a workable video, she transfered it into WeVideo along with all of the pictures that staff had sent her. One of her goals of releasing the video was for students to feel uplifted when they saw it. Thus, her decision to use the song, "Lean On Me" by the late Bill Withers, as a backing track.
Finlayson noted one more deeply compelling reason for choosing this particular song:
"I feel that our staff really does lean on each other and take care of one another. Overall, I'm happy with the outcome and staff seem to enjoy it as well. I can't wait to hear the kids' reactions!"