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.
Elliott Delman, instructor
The School of Uke offers classes in beginning, intermediate and advanced ukulele.