During the shelter-at-home season we have continued strumming and humming at 5:30—for now, every Thursday— from the comfort of our own homes. The whole event of teleconferencing is, shall we say, a developing skill. Much of the world has accepted Zoom as the go-to app for conferencing, and I find it useful in that I can share a screen, display full page song sheets while maintaining visual contact with everyone, mute participants, easily invite, see everyone, etc. Many more features than, say, FaceTime or Google Hangouts. Our first class last week was an hour of tech and discovery, and little bit of uking. One of the things we discovered was that there was no way we were going to be able to all play at the same time and expect to stay in unified sync. We had our second class last night and I tried a new approach: mute everyone except me. That way people could basically play duets with me, hearing themselves, of course, and hearing only me. What we miss in the group sound we make up for in the ability to stay in time with someone. Also unmuting for teaching moments, group discussion, questions, etc. Near the end of each song I would unmute everyone just so we could briefly hear other before the song ended and we got too far afield timewise. Then near the end of class we picked a slow song, something like La Vie en Rose, and we played and sang together, unfettered by the temporal lag.
I'm so glad we decided to not wait for the pandemic to pass before continuing our gatherings. Though far from ideal, this will work for a while. And welcome back, Eric and Graham.
Julie, Nadine, Lissene, Sheryl. At our next gathering we'll be playing some more contemporary songs—tunes popular in, say, the last 40 years. John Denver, John Prine, John Lennon, probably not Jon Bon Jov.
What a treat to see Graham Wilson back strumming with the group last Thursday. I messed up and forgot to remind folks that we would be convening, so the class was small. My bad. See you soon...November 14. Must tie a string around my finger.
We have settled into a nice little core groove of fun, friendly, talented folks. We meet every other Thursday evening and at this point we have dozens of songs to choose from, letting the class mood dictate what we sing and play. We still welcome new people and I still offer the 4:30 hour for beginners.
Boy, is this fun. We've welcomed newcomers Mary and Todd, and are about to meet Heather.
The Dancing Bohemian School of Uke will once again open its doors to lovers of ukulele old and new.
Play out! Sing out! Let's make some noise...
I think it's fair to say that I've spent more time preparing for the classes than I have blogging.
Classes were rewarding this session. Class sizes were smaller, and there's a plus to that. Some new faces as well as some long time friends and grizzled veterans. One more Intermediate class and then we'll be into summer. I'm hoping folks pick up the uke from time to time, engage that muscle memory, and become comfortable enough to experience the excitement that comes when you discover your inner musicality.
March 28 Makeup class
April 4 Hootenanny
March 22 Makeup class
March 29 Hootenanny
Elliott Delman, instructor
The School of Uke offers classes in beginning, intermediate and advanced ukulele.