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JessicaM
06-06-2016, 01:21 PM
Tonight was going to be my first uke meetup with a local group here. Because of life-stuff I was going to be bringing along my nearly-3-year-old, who happens to also "play" the ukulele. She would've loved it. I would've loved it. Unfortunately, the extremely polite group leader let me know that it was an adults-only event.

First, let me say, I *totally* respect that. The best case scenario is that my kid is so adorable that she's distracting. Worst case scenario, she's a mess and they don't know how I'd handle that. Maybe I'm the kind of person who would stay and allow my kid to ruin it for everyone. So, I understand the adults-only policy. I very much get it.

But because babysitters are rarely an option, this means I'm probably not going to be able to go to any of their meetups. Which is a bummer for me!

Do any of you have little ones who are often in-tow? Is an adults-only policy the norm? Have you found any kid-friendly uke things? Or do you just end up inviting people over? And if so, how do you find these people? I've thought about hosting a hootenanny with percussion for the little ones, but (1) I'm not that good of a player yet so I'm not sure I'd be comfortable in a leading role and (2) I don't know that many musicians, even the informal sort.

What do you all think?

Also, for those of you who do organize adults-only groups, consider a once-in-a-while family friendly meetup! Maybe I'm not the only one out here!

Tigeralum2001
06-06-2016, 03:18 PM
Most every uke event I attend is kid friendly. It is unusual, in my experience, to run into a situation like that.

Nickie
06-06-2016, 03:24 PM
Pretty much all of TBUS' events are kid friendly. Last month a friend brought her 2 month old grandbaby to our jam session. The baby was very quiet. We all loved her. We almost always have a youngster or two at our jams.
Check with whoever is leading the event, the ukulele is a family oriented instrument! Even our cats like it!

janeray1940
06-06-2016, 03:38 PM
Other than big ukulele festivals, the only time I've seen kids at a uke group has been the family-oriented "UKElear Family" group at the shop where I play - maybe you could find a similar family-oriented group? The groups that I've attended have all been strictly adults.

JessicaM
06-06-2016, 03:52 PM
Unfortunately I think this is the only uke jam group in my area (Columbus, Ohio). I'm pretty sure the woman who let me know it was adults-only was an organizer.
It's a bummer because my kid loves to play, and while her only chord is Am7, she's very well behaved and wouldn't be disruptive (but then don't all parents say that?). If she was we'd obvious leave. But it's their group and I respect the rules.

Doug W
06-06-2016, 04:53 PM
We have no kids coming to our group right now, but we have had kids in the past. They played ukes until they got bored, then colored and sometimes cried, then had a snack. We really don't have any rules except that everyone is welcome and maybe in the past people have left because kids were there or they didn't like the way things were run and I don't really care-that is how the group works.

Jessica, bring your kid to St. Paul Mn. 1st and 3rd Sundays and you will be welcome. Perhaps you need to start your own group of musicians with kids.

JessicaM
06-07-2016, 01:42 AM
I probably would not go to an Adult Uke night, I am much to young for all that hanky panky stuff that goes on at Adult events.

Whoooo! Haha!
This is a great idea about playing at the farmers market! We have just such a market & I know the folks who run it! I,m also friendly with a guy who plays at the market and he teaches lessons on the side. Maybe he'd be willing to turn over some of his performance days on the chance to spread the word about his teaching!
And then I'd get a group to play with without having to run it :)

JessicaM
06-07-2016, 02:03 AM
Doug,
I have a friend in St Paul (or maybe Minn) who started playing the uke! I'll let her know about you guys! (Or maybe she's already a regular!)

PhilUSAFRet
06-07-2016, 02:38 AM
Does the club have a Charter? Published rules?....or is it just the preference of the "leader"????? The Space Coast Uke Club is family friendly as well. Sorry you've had this experience with your uke club. Columbus is a decent sized city, start a "family friendly" club.....if you can find a place to meet. Likely others from the "adults only" club will join.

JessicaM
06-07-2016, 02:43 AM
Does the club have a Charter? Published rules?....or is it just the preference of the "leader"????? The Space Coast Uke Club is family friendly as well. Sorry you've had this experience with your uke club. Columbus is a decent sized city, start a "family friendly" club.....if you can find a place to meet. Likely others from the "adults only" club will join.

I'm not sure if it's in the charter or not, but I don't want to nose in where we aren't welcome. And I'm fine with a group making rules, even if those rules don't work for me. I just choose not to participate. (Of course I'm grumbling quite a bit in my own head, but I'm trying not to let that bubble over).

I would love to start a family friendly club, but I'm still pretty much a beginner! My husband is a beginner mandolin player too, so he's as shaky as me. I suppose I could lead the group on guitar, where I'm more comfortable, but that'd defeat the purpose! I want to play this dang uke! I need to find a stronger player, not necessarily on uke, and dupe them into leading the group!

Osprey
06-07-2016, 03:29 AM
The Pensacola Ukulele Players Society certainly welcomes all who come. We often have a kid or two in attendance. Some play ukulele, some sit and color. It has never been a problem. One young lad who is about 12 or so plays very well. Who would want to discourage a child's love of music.

VoiceofTJ
06-07-2016, 03:37 AM
Plucking Strummers in Los Angeles is family friendly, but I have heard of some that are not. I agree, start your own group. To bastardize 'Field of Dreams', If you post it, they will come!

JessicaM
06-07-2016, 01:12 PM
Is there an "Idiots guide to starting your own uke or all-instrument group" resource someone can recommend?

actadh
06-07-2016, 01:29 PM
I am only a couple of hours south of you. Count me in. Now I am glad I never made it to the Columbus one.

janeray1940
06-07-2016, 02:14 PM
Is there an "Idiots guide to starting your own uke or all-instrument group" resource someone can recommend?

A bunch of us who met via UU started Westside Ukulele Ensemble (http://www.westsideukes.com/) simply by posting on UU - I don't remember what we originally said, but basically we decided on a time and place to meet and discuss what we envisioned; we found a space to meet regularly; and boom - there it was. A ukulele group! The group is still going strong, although I'm no longer a part of it.

The hardest part was finding an affordable space to meet. At first the group paid for a space and divided the cost between however many members showed up. But this became problematic on weeks when only a couple of people showed up and one or two of us were saddled with the full cost. Eventually we found a church that was willing to let us use their space at no cost.

I have a feeling finding a meeting place might be easier in smaller cities than here in Los Angeles, where basically everyone either has money or is looking to make money! We also had issues like a centralized location (I think this city is 400-something square miles and then some) and safety (I feared for my life a few times at the first location where we met) since we needed a night-time location as most of us work during the day. Look into churches, community centers, libraries, rec centers at parks; even some restaurants might be open to it.

JessicaM
06-07-2016, 02:55 PM
A bunch of us who met via UU started Westside Ukulele Ensemble (http://www.westsideukes.com/) simply by posting on UU - I don't remember what we originally said, but basically we decided on a time and place to meet and discuss what we envisioned; we found a space to meet regularly; and boom - there it was. A ukulele group! The group is still going strong, although I'm no longer a part of it.

The hardest part was finding an affordable space to meet. At first the group paid for a space and divided the cost between however many members showed up. But this became problematic on weeks when only a couple of people showed up and one or two of us were saddled with the full cost. Eventually we found a church that was willing to let us use their space at no cost.

I have a feeling finding a meeting place might be easier in smaller cities than here in Los Angeles, where basically everyone either has money or is looking to make money! We also had issues like a centralized location (I think this city is 400-something square miles and then some) and safety (I feared for my life a few times at the first location where we met) since we needed a night-time location as most of us work during the day. Look into churches, community centers, libraries, rec centers at parks; even some restaurants might be open to it.

Well that seems easy enough. Does anyone have any experience with all-instruments-welcome groups? That'd be more fun for me because then my husband could play along too!

My local library has a free meeting space so that part would be simple!