Category Archives: Songcircles

Virtual Songcircles

Songmakers and other virtual Song Circles Information you are welcome to share with non-members too! 

(updated 10/17/2020)

Until further notice, Songmakers neither endorses nor recommends in-person events. All previously scheduled in-person events through 2020 are officially canceled and any beyond are considered tentative.

Quick Notes:

  1. Face Masks are required throughout the state.
  2. See updated 10/03/2020 Zoom setup below.
  3. As always for Zoom Song Circles, ensure you have the most recent Zoom update and keep your mic muted unless you are speaking or it’s your turn to lead.

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Weekly Repeating Event List

All times are Pacific Time Zone

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Every Sunday 7-10:15pm: Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman <President@songmakers.org> is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom Song Circle: Join via: https://zoom.us/j/637717652?pwd=ZW92MDYwN3NYUGtyWHJtQW1BRXlQQT09 Meeting ID: 637 717 652 Password: 008615 

Every Monday 12-4pm: Mudcat Worldwide Zoom Singaround, Email Joe Offer <joe@mudcat.org> to get the meeting number and password sent to you by email on Sundays (changes weekly). Joe is the Music Editor, The Mudcat Cafe Folk Music Discussion Forum.

Every Monday (1st Monday is a uke lesson) 7pm: Virtual E. P. Foster Library Song Circle. All instruments are welcome to come virtually enjoy. Join via: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/426255353?pwd=dmdnTTdDdmdFZDYrUnAxZEU5bkhxdz09 – Meeting ID: 426 255 353. Password: uku1313SMPOC: Alan Ferentz <FosterLibraryUkuleleSongCircle@songmakers.org>

Every Wednesday 1-2pm: Bill’s Uke Beginner Ukulele Class via Zoom, Email Bill Dempsey <billdempsey@cox.net> to get meeting number and password sent to you by email on Tuesday. For more info: www.billdempseymusic.net 

Every Wednesday Virtual Open Mic. 6:00 sign-in for 7pm:  Guitar Merchant Open Mic. 2 songs or 8 minutes. Go to Zoom by clicking https://tinyurl.com/y78yk3f7 any time after 6:00 PM to sign up to perform or to watch. If performing, please read “Zoom Setup for Music Performance” below. For more information, email <openmicGM@socal.rr.com>. SMPOC: Joel Amromin.

Every Thursday 7-9pm: Virtual Chuck Behrman’s Thursday Evening Zoom <chuck@chbphoto.com>. Every Thursday throughout the Covid-19 lockdown – Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83549396377?pwd=NFVqTEZJVzFHU3U2Mm9iZFdlVVRSQT09  –  Meeting ID: 835 4939 6377  Password: 262022

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Not Weekly Chronological Event List

All times are Pacific Time Zone

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Oct 20 1st & 3rd Tuesday 7-10pm: Virtual THOUSAND OAKS HOOT.  Valerie Kotas (text best via 805-523-1760 / email <valkat_8@yahoo.com> is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. The Hoot begins promptly at 7pm but join for some social time 6-6:50pm for cocktails & dinner together virtually. This is the time to get the latest gossip, go over the latest riffs and drop-down tunings. Eat your dinner without having to blackout your video. ​Third Tuesday of the month links: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83706243930?pwd=YW92OC91Wm9Vc0l4R05aaHc5bVZEdz09 – Meeting ID: 837 0624 3930 – Passcode: 658271. Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system: Third Tuesday Monthly: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZcqd–qqjgjGdTqAOfzIEFPN4-O8z7cf6TZ/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGrqTssGNCWuRqHRpwqB4igM-rwiHZEjadpjT7KBTp6RyXGGLYPHeplR9vW

Oct 232nd & 4th Fridays 7-11:59pm: San Francisco Folk Music Club – For full details and to sign up, go to https://www.sffmc.org/. Theme: Halloween, Politics or Something Like That.

Oct 26 4th Monday 7-10pm: Virtual CAMARILLO HOOT – the Camarillo Center for Spiritual Living (CCSL) and TJ Zeiler <CamarilloHoot@songmakers.org> are inviting you to a Zoom Song Circle. Hosted by CCSL. Join via: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83612465582?pwd=RzF0R3I5Zy9xVDBqUjlUS040TExoZz09  Meeting ID: 836 1246 5582  Password: 015252

Oct 27 2nd & 4th Tuesday 4-6:30pm: Virtual Port Hueneme Zoom Song Circle. Marty Capsuto <m_capsuto@earthlink.net> is inviting you to a SCAN Health Plan sponsored Song Circle. Join Zoom Meeting via: https://zoom.us/j/95262082797?pwd=c2hyNGtxTHpkc3BtNlk5QVBHeWQxdz09 – Meeting ID: 952 6208 2797 – Passcode: 007870 – Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ads8ibB4Kq

Oct 31 – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Nov 02 – 1st Monday 7pm: Virtual E. P. Foster Library Beginner Ukulele Class + Sing-along conducted by Budd Snell. Join via: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/426255353?pwd=dmdnTTdDdmdFZDYrUnAxZEU5bkhxdz09 – Meeting ID: 426 255 353.  Password: uku1313SMPOC: Alan Ferentz <FosterLibraryUkuleleSongCircle@songmakers.org>

Nov 03 – 1st & 3rd Tuesday 7-10pm: Virtual THOUSAND OAKS HOOT.  Valerie Kotas (text best via 805-523-1760 / email <valkat_8@yahoo.com> is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. The Hoot begins promptly at 7pm but join for some social time 6-6:50pm for cocktails & dinner together virtually. This is the time to get the latest gossip, go over the latest riffs and drop-down tunings. Eat your dinner without having to blackout your video. ​First Tuesday of the month links: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82808959857?pwd=b1BSV3N6TGFlaFozZytHak04Z0JWQT09 – Meeting ID: 828 0895 9857 – Passcode: 732927. Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system: First Tuesday Monthly – https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZYld-GhqzIiH9MMBkN8rEBmrKgbHuKqAzn9/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGqpjsiE9GcuByARpwQGoigWfPwmFhHgvpwsT3uLXhBRyH7JMlFMJpqO8nx

Nov 06-08 DARK: Camp De Benneville Pines

Nov 07 – 1st Saturday 7-9pm Santa Monica Folk Club Zoom musical get together.  To be co-hosted by Ellen Silverman and Chuck Behrman <chuck@chbphoto.com>. The way it works is you need to click on the zoom link below. You will be let into the meeting from the waiting room by the host – Please turn your video ON so that we can identify you as a real person and not a Zoom Bomber. Between songs we can all unmute and chat. We will all have an opportunity to see each other and share our music. Please note the zoom access is different from last month. Join via: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81687335715 -Meeting ID: 816 8733 5715  One tap mobile +16699006833,,81687335715# US (San Jose)  +13462487799,,81687335715# US (Houston)

Nov 08 Sunday 2-4pm: CCSL / Songmakers Songs of Meaning Virtual Song Circle. Although camping is DARK for de Benneville Pines, Songs of meaning has always been a wonderful tradition for camping weekends. To keep that tradition alive, our host, the Camarillo Center for Spiritual Living (CCSL), and co-leaders Louise “Weezie” Dobbs & TJ Zeiler,  <CamarilloHoot@songmakers.org> invite you to a Zoom Song Circle. Participants are encouraged to choose or request songs that feed their soul. Religious songs OK but not required. Join via:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83612465582?pwd=RzF0R3I5Zy9xVDBqUjlUS040TExoZz09  Meeting ID: 836 1246 5582 – Password: 015252

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Our Hoot Liaison, Sandy Lessner, invites you to check out https://folkworks.org/ for many show / performance viewing opportunities.

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Make reservations early for Kenney Grove camp outs you want to attend.  https://www.venturaparks.org/mbl/camping/index.asp#searchBtn

Note: The 2021 Kenney Grove tentative dates are:

  •      April 15-18, 2021 – Spring Break
  •      May 27-31, 2021 – Memorial Day Weekend
  •      July 29-August 01, 2021 – Summer Camp
  •      September 03-06, 2021 – Labor Day Weekend
  •      October 14-18, 2021 – Fall Out

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 Notes:

  • Non-members should email to EChord@songmakers.org to request inclusion for weekly email updates.
  • If you are aware of a public virtual song circle or want to host one, please provide the info to Calendar@Songmakers.org for inclusion to our members.

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For quick, ZOOM SETUP FOR MUSIC PERFORMANCE, see the step by step procedures below provided by Joel Amromin. and Steve BermanAlan Ferentz notes: Zoom good info on the  Hi-Fidelity for music option at: https://blog.zoom.us/high-fidelity-music-mode-professional-audio-on-zoom/

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ZOOM SETUP FOR MUSIC PERFORMANCE

(provided by Joel Amromin – 10/03/2020)

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Zoom is “tuned” for spoken word; it is less than perfect for music without some configuration changes. Below are procedures for performers on configuring Zoom for music. They all depend on using “original sound,” which bypasses the Zoom processing for spoken word, such as noise suppression. You want it pure.

Note: Specific functions, labels, and locations will vary depending on what operating system and hardware you use. There are separate procedures below for various devices. For performing music, Zoom works best on a workstation or laptop with a hardwired (Ethernet) connection to a network. Wireless local connections, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi are less effective and may have audio dropouts and/or video freezes depending on signal quality. Cellular connection is the poorest.

Zoom instructions:

  1. Download and register the Zoom client for meetings at https://zoom.us/download if you don’t already have it. For mobile devices, the Zoom Mobile App is also at https://zoom.us/download. (It may redirect you to the Apple Store or other sources.) You only have to do this once.
  1. Start the Zoom client. (Not necessary for a Smartphone.)
  2. Follow one of these three procedures.

 For a workstation or laptop (should be about the same for Mac or Windows):

  1. Join the meeting. If asked, log on with video. Click the up arrow next to the picture of a microphone, usually at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Click “Audio Settings.” The Audio Setting window appears.
  3. Turn off (uncheck) “Automatically adjust microphone volume” and set the Input Volume slider at around 90%. If people complain about your volume, you may have to adjust it up or down, which you can do during the meeting.
  4. Also, on the Audio Settings window, click “Advanced,” then make sure “Show in-meeting” option to ‘Enable Original Sound’ from microphone” is on (checked); then close the Settings window.
  5. Click “Turn on Original Sound,” which is usually at the top of the meeting window. When set correctly, it will say “Turn off Original Sound.” The button shows the action it will take, not the current state—which is confusing. Note: You can turn it on permanently by clicking the little down arrow next to “Turn off (or on) Original Sound,” and selecting your microphone. Then verify it is on. (You may have to turn it on right after setting this option.) This microphone will then always be set for original sound when you enter a meeting. I don’t know which releases of Zoom support this and on what devices. I don’t see it on an iPhone. If you use this procedure, you can skip steps d and e in the future.

 For a tablet, such as iPad (should be the about same on other tablets):

  1. Start the Zoom Mobile App.
  2. Click the Settings icon, which looks like a little gear; then click Meetings. The Meeting Settings window appears.
  3. Scroll the window down until you see “Use Original Sound.” Turn that on (checked); then exit the Meeting Settings.
  4. Join the meeting. If asked, log on with video. Click the three dots labeled “More.” Click “Enable Original Sound.”
  5. When performing, you should be close to the microphone to avoid dropouts.

For a smartphone, such as iPhone (should be the about same on other smartphones):

  1. No need to start the client; simply join the Zoom meeting. If asked, log on with video.
  2. Click the three dots labeled “More.” Then click “Enable Original Sound.”
  3. When performing, you should be close to the microphone to avoid dropouts.

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On Zoom – Pres Sez… (10/04/2020)

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Zoom free accounts have a 40-minute duration. Contact Steve to coordinate longer sessions. First download and register the free Zoom Client for Meetings at: https://zoom.us/download

You can find many sources of instruction about hosting Zoom music sessions. The u-tube videos I found helpful can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50NoWIiYECA&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2ho1mnFsfs4aiYw5LrVFpCGoaX4c-L35E24EFafZQpMJA0uy0L8h4vf2w and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkG7yOTRIAk&t=566s

Tips:

Have as little as possible running on your system while hosting, maybe just Zoom, your email and whatever text files you might want to screen-share with lyrics and chords of songs you plan to play. Use a hardwired (Ethernet) connection to your router. You can put speedtest.net in a browser and check your download and upload speed through Ethernet vs Wi-Fi, and with different applications running. My download speed more than doubled with Ethernet and little else running.

Use an external microphone and speakers if available. Built in computer audio input/output should work (that is all I had for my first month of hosting), but not as well.

Before anyone enters the meeting, use the following steps to optimize your Zoom for Music:

  1. When you see your face upon starting the meeting, click up arrow to the right of the microphone (audio) icon in the lower left of your screen, and go down to Audio Setting
  2. Test sound to be sure it passes. I was advised that you should then turn off both “automatically adjust volume”, and use the sliders to set them high, which you can continue to adjust throughout the meeting. However, I have not experimented with this yet in a meeting so you may want to do so.
  3. Click advanced at the bottom right and check the REALLY important parameters for music: Check “Show in-meeting option to Enable Original Sound” at top. Make sure original sound is enabled during the meeting. DISABLE suppression of the 2 forms of background noise. Leave echo suppression on auto. Your music quality will thank you 🙂

I think these are good tips even when you are not hosting, if they can be applied, to make your individual audio optimal.

After starting a session, you can assign anyone who joins to be the host instead of you. This can help if they have a better system than you do, especially audio input/output devices, speed/bandwidth. However, experiment, and pass on your own wisdom to your fellow Songmakers via me, TJ at the weekly EChord, and/or website posts that comprise the new Bard Chord.

I hope to see you soon on my Zoom channel, 637717652. I’ll host the Virtual Agoura Hills Song Circle from 7-10:15 pm each Sunday until we can play in the same room again. May that day come soon. You may be required to provide the password, 008615, because hackers disrupting Zoom meetings have recently mandated increased security. The invitation is above in the listings.

The famous Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” seems particularly appropriate now. Stay home, stay safe, keep playing music, and we’ll get through these “interesting times” together. Remember to give thanks for all our blessings every single day! They didn’t have the internet in the 1918 pandemic! Songmakers will always be high on my gratitude list!

Sincerely,

Steve