Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Andy's Handy Hints: Scheduling Rehearsals

In preparation for our concert on the 1st of June, the OVO rehearsed over 10 days. Though we were comforted by the ample rehearsal time (we only gave ourselves three days to prep for our concert in October), there were many pieces with varying instrumentation and scheduling was difficult. In order, then, to be as efficient as possible, I decided it might be best to go digital when making a calendar.

After collecting rough timeframes from the six members, I used a Google calendar to input a draft schedule. Once an ensemble schedule is created, members can either be invited to specific events as 'guests' (which would then be added to their own google calendar) or to view the entire calendar. Google calendars can record any details that might be needed for a rehearsal, not just time and location (integrated with Google maps), as there is a 'description' box in the event details panel. Events can be color-coded if need be.

Google calendars are compatible with Apple's iphone, ipod touch, and ipad calendar app and any changes made from either end (website or device) are updated immediately. The calendar can also be embedded into a website. Embedding comes with a catch, however. If not every member of the group has a google account that has been authorized by you to see the calendar, it must be made public in order to be visible. Public calendars are visible in Google searches and by anyone who stumbles onto the webpage you embedded the calendar into.

With a technologically-savvy ensemble, Google calendars could be extremely useful. Unfortunately, however, not all of the ensemble adjusted to it as quickly as I had hoped. Despite this, it was easy to update, and notifications of scheduling changes could be done with a link to the calendar without any reiterating.

Alice, our violinist for the show, also recommended Doodle, a service which focuses on scheduling problems such as those encountered by a chamber ensemble. Though I have never used Doodle, my friends have found it very useful in creating schedules as it includes a poll which asks those involved about their availability.

So take a look at both websites, or the one you're the least familiar with, and let me know which one might work best for you!

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