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HUG NEWS 68 25th November 20

I do hope the events of the past week or so are not another false dawn and that we have now turned the corner even if it is on to a road that's the equivalent in length to the A1.

Vaccines, tiers, bubbles, tracking and tracing, lateral flow tests are all terms or words we never would have dreamt this time last year would become everyday language. I will never moan about rehearsing and playing Christmas songs in November again!

Hugukuleletv123, it was good to have so many of you join in last Fridays stream. Our average numbers participating was in the high 50s and of course there are some of you in couples who share the stream so we are closer to 60 on a regular basis.

There will be a little bit of marking time over the coming weeks as I will need to focus on getting things sorted for the Christmas stream. On that note a very big thank you goes to those who have volunteered to produce the Christmas songs and videos for our live stream to the U3a on the 21st December. There is a lot to do and time will go by very quickly. I have asked that all videos are in to me by the end of this month to give me a couple of weeks to edit them and prep other stuff. I am hopeful that we have all the songs covered now and fingers crossed it all works! Selfie Alert! Urgently needed.

Christmas Poems, I am still hopeful of contributions of original festive poems that I might then share throughout the Live stream to the U3a. Thanks goes to Paul and Brenda Spencer who were first to send me a contribution.

Claud has volunteered to help out by creating visuals to go with the poems so as to do them justice, so its over to you!

Hug Social, we were able to share the excellent Open Mike contributions and it is testimony to you that we had so many. I remember struggling to get contributions when we first started so it is a tangible sign of the confidence within the group that we had so many we were able to feature them over a number of sessions. Well done to all the contributors.

As I envisaged, the Original Songs become a source of new songs for us to include in our Play along sessions and have made it on to the Spin the wheel. It's great to see people performing the songs as well. Lately we have added Dancing in the Dark and now Imagine.

We mixed up the Hug Social again last night and needs must I am calling on and featuring material from our growing bank of videos as well as some new things.

Blues Course, we held our first session last Sunday night. we made a modest start in order to get used to the technology and ensure that we are all on the same page regarding our understanding of the basics. I underlined the importance of getting the foundations right before introducing more stretching elements of the Blues. Fair to say it was a bit of a shock to find we needed to cover some basic music theory. I know how much people shy away from music theory but it is essential to know some things otherwise the only way to learn is by rote. The simple truth is it is not enough to know how to do something we need to know why. This makes varying things so much easier.

Quick Lessons, I am going to pause running Quick Lessons. So there will not be a Lesson at 10.00am from this Friday.

The normal stream will start at 10.20 ready for 10.30 am. I feel I need to take some time to evaluate the worth of the lessons. Whilst it is great that so many of you demonstrate loyalty to my running the sessions my feeling is that embedding the techniques in to our playing is now required to move us on from our tried and trusted way of playing songs. I know it is hard to break habits built up over time but can only happen if we relentlessly practice and are determined to make them an unconscious action, i.e. you do it without thinking. It is best to not add any further techniques at this stage but rather for you to spend focussed practice time, the video lessons are there to help you learn the techniques you are interested in building into your playing so that it becomes natural.

What I would like though instead of me setting the topic is to find out what people would like to cover and if there is a theme I will cover these subjects in the future.

Original Songs, I know I am getting ahead of myself in thinking of next year but I am putting you on notice to get creative once again. We had such a great response first time around so it would be good to get even more people penning their own compositions.

Once the festivities are over it will be great to be able to have a session featuring Original Songs to cheer us up.

Please though do not send me anything until I ask so that I can concentrate on Christmas Stream. So get your creative juices flowing!

Christmas Stream, if I can get everything together for our Christmas Stream to the U3A I am hoping that we can have our own pre stream on the Friday before.

Finally, for those of you busy collaborating creating the Christmas videos, thank you for all of your hard work, its is appreciated by us all. I hope you also have fun getting in to the festive mood in mid November for the videos!


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