What the Seasons of the Ukulele has Done for Me

UkeCan1

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I'm inspired by some recent posts in various Seasons threads about the profound difference that Seasons participation has made for many of us.

I'd love to gather everybody's stories together in one place, so we can all be uplifted by each others' experience.

So ... what difference has your participation in the Seasons of the Ukulele made for you?

I'll come back and share mine later on (so many things - where do I even begin?!) ... would love to hear yours first.


Note to Not-Yet-Seasonistas stumbling across this thread:
If it inspires you to want to join in, we welcome you!
Go here to find the current (highest-numbered) Seasons thread.
Here's an explanation of what it all is, how it works, and how to come play with us.
 

cua94

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Well, I have just finished a year of posting to the Seasons. It was my New Year's resolution to do a new song each week. I think I have improved - at least I hope so - but I also have more confidence that I can get a song hearible in a week. It the beginning I just played songs I knew. I might be a bit better at playing in front of people but I still need to work on that. I have learned a number of songs that I hope to memorize so I can play them whenever I want.

I have met many wonderful players who inspire me to do better and encourage me with their comments. The seasons are a safe place to show off with people who care. I don't have many friends or family who are willing to listen to me play and my uke group only meets once a month.

I was going to slow up my entries this year so I can focus on learning some songs from memory but I can't seem to stop. I look forward to what everyone else puts up and then I just have to do one myself. I guess you say I have SPS - Seasons Posting Syndrome or something like that. :D
 

Shady Wilbury

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Hey, Wendy.

Love the idea of this thread - want to take a bit of time to think, though. For now all I know is the Seasons got me back into playing music. There's much more to the story, but that's the beginning.
 

mikef

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Great idea Wendy :)

So ... what difference has your participation in the Seasons of the Ukulele made for you?
As you suggest, where do you start!? Well perhaps by the fact that I've been here now since Oct 2012... and I'm still here. That says a lot in itself as to how much the Seasons gives back I think and what a great place it is to hang out. It doesn't matter if you're here all the time or pop in every few months, everyone of every ability is extremely welcome and as Ginny's recent Season showed, EVERYONE improves! There's something about the uke that attracts nice people and that fully extends into the Seasons and I can honestly say I've never met a fellow uke player I didn't like!

Personally... well aside from the sense of pride and belonging in what is in effect a global uke club (and I LOVE the fact that it's so global), I think it's the discovery of new music, styles and diversity that I like the most. I've watched videos of artists I've never heard of, been wowed and inspired by new techniques and styles and been pushed to discover and learn new songs myself from genres and areas I previously knew nothing about.

I really could go on and on... I think I'll just give you all a big virtual hug instead :D
 
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GinnyT11

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The Seasons transformed me. I started as a terrified beginning player with crushing performance anxiety.
I challenged myself to do something that scared me and I chose to post a uke video, back in Season 23.
I thought my panic would bring on cardiac arrest, but I lived through the night. And the next day, there were a couple encouraging comments about my video—in my head they rang out as a victory parade.

As the Seasons passed, I watched other players and I learned stuff. I heard songs I didn’t know and noticed how a song could be done in different styles. I saw that better players just played, laughing at their errors. Seasons performances don’t have to be perfect. I learned lots of new songs and posted in many subsequent weeks. Over time, kind people started commenting that I was getting better, and in tiny increments, my performing confidence increased. That's prize number 1.

Of equal value are my Seasonista friendships. I’ve gotten to know many interesting people from their videos and comments, and from exchanging PMs. I now have a basket full of buddies whom I regularly share laughs with online, and I have a pocketful of caring friends whom I treasure. That's prize number 2.

I have a hard time explaining the inclusive and encouraging spirit of the Seasons to other people. But it doesn’t matter…we Seasonistas know what it is. It’s love and joy. Do you have enough of that in your life?


Here are 55 Seasonistas playing together.
My heart swells with happiness when I watch it—I'm part of this amazing group!
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97728-The-Seasonista-Anthem-!
 

IamNoMan

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Pssst, I think we got one on the line: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?99531-Make-a-You-Tube-video/page3

Well I've been a Seasonista for an entire month as of today. Heck I don't know the rules or appropriate etiquette yet. I started playing Ukulele In September 2014. I wanted an instrument I could use to sing with, without the baggage of previous knowledge and experiences. UU came up a lot in Google searches so I joined. SOTU was a little harder to discover. It's that sub-forum thing! I made friends with CeeJay. Actually I demanded he become my friend. I know a kindred spirit when a read one. That's the Numero Uno of the Seasonistas. We are Kindred Spirits!

As I explored the Seasons sub-forum I realized there were a lot of unique and talented people involved. Me I'm talented, sort of. I'm not very unique though. I'm a lot like CeeJay and Wendy and Rob and Bernie and Lesley and the Clover Kid and even like Ukey Dave; although he passed over two days before I got involved. Everybody I met was different with different skill sets and such but with a lowest common denominator: the Ukulele. I can smell synergy here folks.

Well CeeJay and Wendy pushed me over the edge. I got a webcam, Took a week to get it up and running. I made the plunge. "Magic Child" and a non-ukulele Recitation "The Night Before Christmas". I knew TNBC would work, I'm a Newb not a newborn. Did it ever! The next morning I had thirty Emails from all over the world from people all over the world. I knew them, by Username maybe their picture. I had lost touch. Numero Dos: SOTU got me back in touch with the World!

SOTU bills itself as a weekly contest. It's not. Its an online virtual Folk Club. Every week there is a new theme and new challenges. I thrive on Challenge and Variety. I mean Thrive! I have been involved with the folk and performing scene for a long time. I don't know everybody but I know a lot of people and have a lot of contacts and resources to share. One of things Seasonistas Share is Encouragement. I have been encouraged in many ways by SOTU. The most important aspect of this for me is that it got me out of the doldrums and got me working on projects that benefit people. I have always tried to do this but for the past dozen years or so "my get up and go, got up and went". I am working on lots of projects now and that's the way it should be! The Seasons transformed me (too).

Oh I almost forgot. Involvement with UU really pushed me into high gear in terms of learning Ukulele and Music too. SOTU has done so much more in this regard. In the last week or two I've learned slide techniques on ukulele, the six note blues scale and how to use it and I even wrote a song!

Thank you Seasonistas! You'all make all the difference.
 

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters

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The Seasons have made a huge difference to me. I'm certain that the Seasons have brought more music, more friends, and more heart into my life. Thank you to every Seasonista for contributing to this strange, fun, musical community week after week after week after... ... :)
 

pabrizzer

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I love the idea of a weekly theme. It makes me discover new songs which I would never otherwise come across.
I love seeing what others bring to the table - that also introduces me to music otherwise never experienced.
Seeing people perform from all over the world is really special and I do feel I have come to know a few quite well in that virtual kind of way - but performing songs does expose our inner self more than just posting text on a forum - so I believe we really do SEE each other here.
Having a little white uke travel around the world and seeing it be played by people was such a special experience for me. That uke with those signatures is proudly on display in my house. This place made that possible.
Seeing someone's original song and being able to perform it really is something that only this technology allows - image trying that by snail mail.
Collabs across the world - fabulous stuff.
I love this place!
 

Debby

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I've only been a Seasonista for a short time but I'm happy that I joined. I have only been playing the uke since October. It is something my whole family is doing now. It's family time. You can't beat that! Even with my little videos, my husband and daughter have helped (they film it). So it's been a fun family activity.

Also, with all the practicing I've been doing since October, I have lost a significant amount of weight. I play my uke instead of snacking out of boredom. I haven't been a Seasonistas the whole time, but the practice time has increased since joining.

Another thing...I think all the Seasonistas are awesome folks and I've enjoyed your videos and getting to know you. The fellowship here is top notch. The outpour of love to UkeyDave and his family has melted my heart. I did not get a chance to know him...but I have learned how compassionate all of you are. Seasonistas = Awesome people from all walks of life who come together to enjoy the uke and support each other.
 

myrnaukelele

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The Seasons have made a huge difference to me. I'm certain that the Seasons have brought more music, more friends, and more heart into my life. Thank you to every Seasonista for contributing to this strange, fun, musical community week after week after week after... ... :)

My sentiments exactly. :agree:
 

UkeFoote

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All right, guess I’ll chime in. What has participating in the Seasons done for me?
Reading the previous posters comments I realize that many share the same feelings about the Seasons that I do.

Ginny described the “inclusive and encouraging spirit of the Seasons”. For me this is the key to the magic we find here. Maybe it’s because the ukulele is the friendliest instrument on the planet, but I’ve noticed an amazing amount of positivity on display here. As artists who are putting our souls out there, it’s very helpful to know that your audience is supportive and looking for the good, not the bad, in what you do. I’ve been in far too many musical relationships that were more based on competition and negativity, so I notice the difference.

In fact, as Iamnoman mentioned, the Seasons, though billing itself as a “contest”, is really more of an on-line folk club. I completely agree; though prizes are sometimes offered I have never put a thought to “winning”... just doing the best I can. I know others feel this way too, and it’s very refreshing.

I find it truly amazing and inspiring that I can record and post a song and have friends immediately hear it all around the world. Still blows and mind. As pa put it “collabs across the world. Fabulous stuff.” Indeeed.

Cheers everyone... thanks for making this a place I come every day to hang with my friends!

-Brian
 
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Jazzbanjorex

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What has the Seasons of the Ukulele done for (to) me. LOL

I started back at Season 32. I didn't know what I was getting myself into or addicted to. I've only missed a handful of seasons. But I made up for that in other seasons. I came into the seasons thinking it was some big organization critically judging video entries but soon found out it was more of a family encouraging each other to make videos. I've seen simple one take videos to mutlitrack mind blowing videos and they all have their merits and pleasures.

As for myself I think I've expanded my horizons. Not just the songs and genres that I probably would have never thought about doing but also playing and singing boundaries I safely stayed away from for so long.

I guess I've got it bad when my world revolves around what the theme of the week is. My music on my iphone is changing weekly. My Pandora radio channel as well. I almost live for making videos and I really do like getting comments that let me know what clicked with someone. I like to make comments as well even if its "I really enjoyed your video" so others know who listened to their song instead of just another number on the views counter. I like to mention something about the video that jumps out and grabs me when I can. I think I've had longer conversations in the comments section of the videos than in the forums.


What has the Seasons of the Ukulele do for me? It's made the world as smaller place full of ukulele players I'd love to meet and make ukulele music with face to face.