Is your uke group meeting in person now?

Hochapeafarm

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Hey, friends! I’m looking to get feedback from folks who participate in ‘ukulele groups, gatherings. Is your group meeting in-person for your strum/sing-a-long sessions? I have been doing Zoom strum/sing-a-longs for my group, but I have been looking to start up in-person meetings again. In my state, things have been open for ‘business as usual’ for some time now; mask restrictions lifted for most businesses, organizations, etc. as well. Yet, before scheduling an in-person gathering, I thought I’d still check in at the CDC website to see if they had any guidelines/recommendations as they might pertain to holding musical events.

I was able to find some information, under the category of ‘Community’ and then, from there, ‘Adult Day Care Services,’ and then, from there, ‘Activities.’ My group doesn’t gather in an Adult Day Care Service environment, but I feel that this description most closely resembles what my group does, as we do gather/meet closely indoors (though in a library) with folks who are mostly 65+. I found a guideline which references the CDC’s recommendation on musical activities and performances and it states as follows:

“Postpone musical activities and performances that include playing wind instruments, singing, chanting, or shouting during events, especially when participants are in close proximity to each other.”

This information was found at the following link on the CDD website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/adult-day-care-service-centers.html and is dated from May 21st, 2021. I’m assuming since this info has not been updated since that time, that this info still stands as what the CDC recommends.

In light of this CDC info, I’m looking, instead, to try to schedule outdoor gatherings, while the weather is amicable, in lieu of meeting indoors/inside at this time. Are your groups meeting indoors? Outdoors? I would like to hear what others are doing! Please share your feedback and practices! Thank you so much; I really appreciate it! Happy strums!
 
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kohanmike

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My group started meeting together outdoors about 2 months ago after we all had been inoculated. About 15 of the 50 members meet every other Wednesday afternoon in the backyard of one member, and about 20 meet on a large patio of a sandwich shop every other Sunday. We don't plan on meeting indoors until things completely clear up. We don't wear masks when playing together, but most have them.

We still meet on Zoom every Monday afternoon and Thursday morning since we have new members from all over the world after starting on Zoom.


This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 36)

Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
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rainbow21

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The organizers of our group in the Bay Area are hoping to have an in-person indoor gathering in September. One likely requirement is that only those that are vaccinated are allowed to attend. The other is that the library that hosts us will actually reopen as they project to do in August.

CDC guidelines are likely not good criteria to rely on entirely. They are very bureaucratic, paint with a broad brush, and often outdated in the written guidelines. I would consider your local health experts and situation and the comfort level of the participants. For example, the March guidelines do not account too much for the Delta variant. Or look at school guidelines that have changed repeatedly and will likely change again soon. After a few weeks of freedom, many of us here have resumed wearing masks indoors since the positivity rate in our area went from 0.3% to over 3% in just a few weeks.

So our group is "hoping" rather than committing to our September gathering and will monitor the situation.
 

Kenn2018

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Our club had two outdoor gatherings in local parks before we returned to the Moose Lodge. We had our second indoor meeting Wed. 14th. Attendees were pretty much the core members who have been most active. We asked that only fully-vaccinated people attend.

The Delta Variant may cause a rethink, but so far, the CDC is saying that no masks are needed if everyone is vaccinated. We do have a handful of members who wore masks. We made sure they were welcomed and felt comfortable doing so.

Preliminary tests are showing that the Moderna & Pfizer vaccines are 90 percent effective against the Delta Variant. This means you have a 10 percent chance of contracting it. So far, if you do contract it, you will not have serious enough symptoms to warrant hospitalization. However, you will be able to pass the infection on to others. Caution is still warranted. The WHO is recommending wearing masks even if you are vaccinated. The CDC has not. Almost all cases admitted to the hospital these days due to COVID-19 are people who have not been vaccinated.
 

man0a

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Around where I live, some ukulele groups have started to meet outdoors. We don't get much (or any) rain during the summer, so this works well.

As far as I know, there are no nearby indoor groups right now. Most of the local ukulele groups involve singing and a good number of senior citizens and their regular meeting rooms don't have great ventilation or a lot of room to spread out, so they are being very cautious about restarting.
 

acmespaceship

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We met indoors last night, with some trepidation. The metrics in our local area are good at present and our venue has been hosting live music inside for a while now. We ask that people who are not fully-vaccinated should not attend in person. Not that we can realistically enforce this. The best we can do is announce at the start of the meeting that a room full of boomers singing at each other is pretty much the CDC's exact definition of the worst-case scenario. And then we have to trust our friends to not be foolhardy.

The Delta variant is starting to impact risk metrics around here and we may have to re-think this. I think every group needs to assess the risk in their location, for their members, and stay flexible because what makes sense this week could change next week. What I decide to do as an individual, maybe meeting up with a half-dozen friends, could be entirely different from what I would decide as the leader of a 50-member club. Anyone in an "official" role may feel the need for, as they say, "an abundance of caution."

I am grateful to live in a place where vaccines are available, people are (generally) willing to get them, and fewer people are getting sick. I'd still rather play outside :cool:
 

Nickie

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Can't play outside here! Temps in the lower nineties, right along with the humidity, no breeze, dangerous!

A good friend and i did some duets for the re-opening of a senior center today. We had a ball, so did the audience. They were so curious about the ukulele.

My band has been active since January. We're booked through October! I hope this holds....
 

FatherMother

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I just taught a week-long Intro To Ukulele class indoors. It was a very small group of kids and we kept our masks on. I was completely surprised at how easy it was to sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" through my KN95 mask. The vocals were not too muffled.

I am also a choir conductor and my choir just met in-person for the first time since March 2020. We were outdoors with physical distancing, masks welcome though not required, and it was mandated that only vaccinated singers were to attend and that it would be checked. I had every single person show me their proof of vaccination upon entering in exchange for a name tag. It's a tad heavy-handed, but I figured if I felt safer because of this then everyone else would, too. Of course, this means that I had to trust that nobody showed a counterfeit card.
 

mds725

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In June, San Francisco Ukulele Rebellion had its first in-person meeting since the pandemic began. We met outdoors and limited participation to people who had been vaccinated. Unfortunately, people did not police themselves very well at social distancing. Covid numbers have shot up exponentially in San Francisco since the state eopened on June 15, and I'm hoping people will be more careful when we meet outdoors again on Saturday July 17.
 

Graham Greenbag

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I play with both a small group of friends and in a Uke Club.

The small group (up to six and typically less, limited to comply with temporary U.K. laws) has continued to meet-up throughout the pandemic, subject to complying with whatever temporary legal restrictions are place at any time. We play outdoors and manage the weather somehow, everyone in the group is careful to manage risks and to keep themselves healthy. So quite a (health) controlled setting, we are all now double vaccinated and we fingerpick rather than sing.

The Uke Club hasn’t met for well over a year but it is just about to start again, as that is now permitted by U.K. law. Players need to be double jabbed to attend and the meetings will be indoors, IIRC the cap on numbers is the hall size so that could be say forty players. I understand the wish to get playing again and would consider joining an outdoor gathering of say a dozen people, but my judgement is that playing indoors - and particularly so beyond small numbers - is too risky. CV19 isn’t dead yet and infection numbers are on the rise here; vaccination has vastly reduced the death rate here but: the death rate ain’t zero, getting Covid isn’t much fun and long Covid ain’t at all kind and ain’t to be messed with.

Make your decisions as local laws and your personal views dictate. With CV19 my decision is to avoid club playing for now and to see how things pan-out latter.
 
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TopDog

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Our group was all set to start up again three weeks ago,when we hit a problem. The venue, a local pub, could no longer fit us in! They had taken on lots of darts teams who played competitions on three nights, and on the remaining two weekdays, they are filling the place with diners; I can understand this up to a point. They have lost loads of money over the long lockdown(s) and need to try and recoup it; but a bit of a blow for us!
 

RafterGirl

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Mixed bag here.

One uke group is meeting outdoors in parks. Picnic pavilions provide shade & electric for the sound system. Around 30 people. A few wear masks. Most are vaccinated. It's hot here, so not ideal conditions, but doable in the evenings.

Smaller uke group is meeting inside. Around 12-15 people. No masks. All are vaccinated.

At church, the worship band is playing together again for church services. We are all vaccinated, as are the majority of the congregation. Masks are required inside the church. Not optimal for singing, but doable.

Hospital music volunteering - Stringed instruments only. No singing, just instrumental music. Masks required at all times. All volunteers are vaccinated.

I'm still playing with my Zoom group regularly when I can.
 

Jerryc41

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Yes and no. My small local group is meeting at the library every week. The larger group is meeting both on Zoom and at a drive-in theater.
 

Rllink

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We are inside together every other week for the more intrepid and doing zoom the alternate weeks for those who aren't.