Virtual Songcircles

Now that our in person Songcircles are dark until further notice, we have had several Songmakers organize virtual Zoom songcircles.  Unfortunately, only the person who is taking a turn can have their mic live due to the time lag. However, anyone can mute their mic and sing and play along!  Thanks go to all of our organizers.  For tips on using Zoom during a Songcircle, see Prez Sez below at the end of the songcircle list.

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

(updated as needed – last update – 8/02/2020)

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

Quick Notes:

  1. Face Masks are now required throughout the state.

Full details of this are at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Guidance-for-Face-Coverings_06-18-2020.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0dfZLZanhuw0L4PkpFhU_QqsqTqXtrTcXu-LqfaTRQiICZZPPpeOCZwnY

  1. Although Ventura Co. has opened campgrounds including Kenney Grove, it is with restrictions that preclude song circle gatherings or even visiting people in other campsites. There will be no Songmakers camping this summer nor any in-person events!

Aug 02 Sundays 7-10:15pm PDT Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman 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 (added 7/18) 12-4pm PDT 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.

Aug 04 (link updtd 4/30) 1st Tuesday 6-9pm PDT Virtual THOUSAND OAKS HOOT Steven Mark Berman and Valerie Kotas, valkat_8@yahoo.com, are inviting you to a Zoom Song Circle so ensure you have the most recent Zoom update and keep your mic muted unless you are speaking or it’s your turn to lead. Singing together with your mic unmuted is not possible due to lag times. Join via: https://zoom.us/j/3941807512?pwd=V3VQbmFvNjBlV1RCejJLM2dPMWJQUT09 – Meeting ID: 394 180 7512 Password: song4fun

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.billdempsey@cox.net

Aug 05 (email updtd 7/29) & Every Wednesday Virtual Open Mic. 6:30 sign-ups for 7pm PDT:  Guitar Merchant Open Mic. 2 songs or 8 minutes. NOTE: Due to the unstable health situation, please contact openmicGM@socal.rr.com to confirm. You will receive login and setup info. SMPOC: Joel Amromin. (The openmicGM@gmail.com e-mail account is now deleted. All Guitar Merchant open mic e-mail should now be addressed to OpenMicGM@socal.rr.com.)

Aug 06 Thursdays 7-9pm PDT Virtual Chuck Behrman’s Thursday Evening Zoom. 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

Aug 07 (added 8/02) Friday 7-9pm: SKUUC Drumming for Spirit happens on Zoom! Kathryn LaMar invites you to this always-beginning rhythmic event, open to everyone, to honor ourselves and other spirits present in our circle, we drum and play communally. The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89053345765 – Meeting ID: 890 5334 5765 One tap mobile +16699006833,,89053345765# US (San Jose) – Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbivumKlXf. All instruments, percussion or melodic, are welcome, as are all forms of body percussion and your very own voice. “Found objects” used as instruments are also welcome. We play universal rhythms honoring the spirits present, and the spirits of the elements and the medicine wheel, to start with, then expand into accompanying the participants one by one as each explores their own spiritual journey. There is always room for jamming to simple rhythms, or playing simple rhythm games, or creating our very own soundscapes, either around a theme or “on-the-fly.” We want this to be a way for you to loosen up, relax, and prepare yourself for the weekend.

Aug 09 Sundays 7-10:15pm PDT Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman 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 (added 7/18) 12-4pm PDT 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.

Aug 10 – 2nd Monday 7pm PDT Virtual E. P. Foster Library Song Circle – play / sing-a-long. 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

Aug 11 & 25 (link updtd 6/11) 2nd & 4th Tuesday 4-6:30pm PDT Virtual Port Hueneme Zoom Song Circle Steven Mark Berman & Marty Capsuto are inviting you to a Zoom Song Circle so ensure you have the most recent Zoom update and keep your mic muted unless you are speaking or it’s your turn to lead. Singing together with your mic unmuted is not possible due to lag times. Join via: https://zoom.us/j/3941807512?pwd=V3VQbmFvNjBlV1RCejJLM2dPMWJQUT09 – Meeting ID: 394 180 7512 – Password: song4fun

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.billdempsey@cox.net

Aug 12 (email updtd 7/29) & Every Wednesday Virtual Open Mic. 6:30 sign-ups for 7pm PDT:  Guitar Merchant Open Mic. 2 songs or 8 minutes. NOTE: Due to the unstable health situation, please contact openmicGM@socal.rr.com to confirm. You will receive login and setup info. SMPOC: Joel Amromin.

Aug 13 Thursdays 7-9pm PDT Virtual Chuck Behrman’s Thursday Evening Zoom. 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

Aug 14 & 28 (updtd 7/18) 2nd & 4th Fridays 8-11:59pm PDT San Francisco Folk Music Club – For full details and to sign up, go to sffmc.org.

Aug 15 – 3rd Sat (updtd 7/29/12) Saturday 1-3pm PDT San Mateo Virtual Folk Music Singing Meetup hosted by Lee Strieb. Full details and to RSVP via: https://www.meetup.com/San-Mateo-Folk-Music-Meetup/events/271227238/ and join via: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83637712469?pwd=ZFMvVVRCbW1MUW1mNW9vU1dzRDh5UT09

Aug 16 Sundays 7-10:15pm PDT Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman 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 (added 7/18) 12-4pm PDT 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.

Aug 17 – 3rd Monday 7pm PDT Virtual E. P. Foster Library Song Circle – 30-minute workshop followed by play/sing-along. All instruments are welcome to come virtually enjoy. The virtual meeting link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/426255353?pwd=dmdnTTdDdmdFZDYrUnAxZEU5bkhxdz09 – Meeting ID: 426 255 353.  Password: uku1313 – SMPOC: 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.billdempsey@cox.net

Aug 19 & Every Wednesday Virtual Open Mic. 6:30 sign-ups for 7pm PDT:  Guitar Merchant Open Mic. 2 songs or 8 minutes. NOTE: Due to the unstable health situation, please contact openmicGM@socal.rr.com to confirm. You will receive login and setup info. SMPOC: Joel Amromin.

Aug 20 – 3rd Thursday 5pm: Official deadline for Calendar & Bard Chord Article / Info Sharing submissions via Website (actually you can submit non-calendar info anytime you wish). Calendar/Southland inputs must be sent by the deadline to TJ Zeiler via Email: calendar@songmakers.org or echord@songmakers.org.

Aug 20 Thursdays 7-9pm PDT Virtual Chuck Behrman’s Thursday Evening Zoom. 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

Aug 23 Sundays 7-10:15pm PDT Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman 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 (added 7/18) 12-4pm PDT 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.

Aug 24 – 4th Monday 7pm PDT Virtual E. P. Foster Library Song Circle – play/sing-along. All instruments are welcome to come virtually enjoy. The virtual meeting link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/426255353?pwd=dmdnTTdDdmdFZDYrUnAxZEU5bkhxdz09 – Meeting ID: 426 255 353.  Password: uku1313SMPOC: Alan Ferentz FosterLibraryUkuleleSongCircle@songmakers.org

Aug 24 (link updtd 5/08) 4th Monday 7-10pm PDT Virtual CAMARILLO HOOT – the Camarillo Center for Spiritual Living (CCSL) and TJ Zeiler are inviting you to a Zoom Song Circle so ensure you have the most recent Zoom update and keep your mic muted unless you are speaking or it’s your turn to lead. Singing together with your mic unmuted is not possible due to lag times. Hosted by CCSL (This is a recurring 4th Monday Song Circle meeting) Join via: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83612465582?pwd=RzF0R3I5Zy9xVDBqUjlUS040TExoZz09  Meeting ID: 836 1246 5582  Password: 015252

Aug 25 (link updtd 6/11) 2nd & 4th Tuesday 4-6:30pm PDT Virtual Port Hueneme Zoom Song Circle Steven Mark Berman & Marty Capsuto are inviting you to a Zoom Song Circle so ensure you have the most recent Zoom update and keep your mic muted unless you are speaking or it’s your turn to lead. Singing together with your mic unmuted is not possible due to lag times. Join via: https://zoom.us/j/3941807512?pwd=V3VQbmFvNjBlV1RCejJLM2dPMWJQUT09 – Meeting ID: 394 180 7512 – Password: song4fun

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.billdempsey@cox.net

Aug 26 & Every Wednesday Virtual Open Mic. 6:30 sign-ups for 7pm PDT:  Guitar Merchant Open Mic. 2 songs or 8 minutes. NOTE: Due to the unstable health situation, please contact openmicGM@socal.rr.com to confirm. You will receive login and setup info. SMPOC: Joel Amromin.

Aug 27 Thursdays 7-9pm PDT Virtual Chuck Behrman’s Thursday Evening Zoom. 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

Aug 28 (updtd 7/18) 2nd & 4th Fridays 8-11:59pm PDT San Francisco Folk Music Club – For full details and to sign up, go to sffmc.org.

Aug 29 Saturday: Play Music on The Porch Day is an international day of music shared by Alan Ferentz on FB. However, keep in mind that Songmakers officially stands behind the position of absolutely NO FACE TO FACE! Participation this year is still easy! Just go outside and play music but please do be smart about it. As the Songmakers Calendar / EChord editor, TJ Zeiler suggests doing it without inviting any others excePDT the people who share your household + safely with masks and also a minimum 12 ft of social distancing. See http://playmusicontheporchday.com/ for the history.

Aug 30 Sundays 7-10:15pm PDT Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman 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 (added 7/18) 12-4pm PDT 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.

Aug 31 – 5th Monday 7pm PDT Virtual E. P. Foster Library Song Circle – play/sing-along. All instruments are welcome to come virtually enjoy. The virtual meeting link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/426255353?pwd=dmdnTTdDdmdFZDYrUnAxZEU5bkhxdz09 – Meeting ID: 426 255 353.  Password: uku1313SMPOC: Alan Ferentz FosterLibraryUkuleleSongCircle@songmakers.org

For planning purposes, Songmakers now has a tentative schedule for Kenney Grove campouts through 2021. All are considered tentative:

Oct 08-11 TENTATIVE: KENNEY GROVE Fall Out Weekend 823 Oak Ave., Fillmore, 93015, (805) 524-0750.

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 schedule is:

     April 15-18, 2021 – Spring Break

     May 27-31, 2021 – Memorial Day Weekend

     July 29-August 1, 2021 – Summer Camp

     Sept 03-06, 2021 – Labor Day Weekend

     October 14-18, 2021 – Fall Out

 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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ZOOM SETUP FOR MUSIC PERFORMANCE

(updtd 5/31/2020 provided by Joel Amromin)

Because Zoom is “tuned” for spoken word, it is less than perfect for music without some configurations. Here are procedures for configuring Zoom for music. These procedures 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. The procedures get shorter for simpler devices because they have less capability. Zoom is not particularly good when it comes to consistent interfaces across platforms, so 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.

  1. If you do not already have it, download and register the Zoom client for meetings at https://zoom.us/download. You must be on version 5.0.0 or later.
  2. Start the Zoom client. (Not necessary for a Smartphone.)
  3. 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 left side 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.

Zoom instructions updated 05/31/2020 For a tablet, such as iPad (should be the about same on other tablets):

  1. Click the Settings icon, which looks like a little gear; then click Meetings. The Meeting Settings window appears.
  2. Scroll the window down until you see “Use Original Sound.” Turn that on (checked); then exit the Meeting Settings.
  3. Join the meeting. If asked, log on with video. Click the three dots labeled “More.” Click “Enable Original Sound.”
  4. 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 Open Mic 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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Pres Sez… (edited)

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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 WiFi, 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 have), but not as well.

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

Editor’s Note: Original Instructions, slightly edited, from Steve are:

  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 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

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