Southern NH Ukulele Group (SNHUG) Message Board › Suggestions for SNHUG

Suggestions for SNHUG

Arthur (Art) M.
user 68871892
Methuen, MA
Post #: 25
Hi Everyone.
Per Dan's email this morning I am submitting my suggestions again. I submitted this basic list a few weeks ago but never received a response from SNHUG administration. Several members did express a desire to learn more about SNHUG; thanks for your interest. As there is an new invitation I am providing my suggestions again. I've added a few and modified some already submitted. Please see below.
I may not be attending future meetings. I've had some fun times and met some uniquely classy people but I am frustrated with the administration of the group. I'm not really having that much fun at general practices anymore. I really admire the attendees of my help sessions and thank you for your patience. Your interest and desire to learn music theory and read music is commendable. I hope I have inspired you to continue.


1. MEETUP. TIPS AND TRICKS. How to use the website. Default settings to receiving email notifications, etc. When to put entries in the discussion tab vs comments in past and future meetings
2. PERFORMANCE REVIEWS. Review all shows. Gently critique and learn from public performances.
3. MEETUP WEBSITE VISITS. 89 Members. 54 (61%) have visited website in last 4 months. 35 (39%) have not visited website in over 4 months.
4. MEETUP RSVP. Data needs to be reviewed after each meeting. If a newbie signs up and RSVP's that they will attend and then new shows up they they are currently counted as attending. Same for regular members. If they don't show they are still counted as they RSVP of yes.. There is actually a reporting category of “NO SHOW.” I looked at a few meetings I've attended and see names that have RSVP'ed but I don't remember seeing them at a meeting. The help area of MeetUp indicates that leadership team membership members can can edit and correct attendance records.
5. PARTY AT 100. The point of items 3 & 4 above. If we have a party when membership reaches 100 should we include the members in our count who have never attended a meeting.
6. SNHUG STRUCTURE. Administrative/Leadership/Steering Team: Organizer, Co-Organizer, Assistant Organizer, Event Organizer, Charter members, Choral Director, Officers. Make sure all active and newbie members know who they are. What about elections? Administration and appointments seem to be under control of one person. Who owns the SNHUG website? Who owns SNHUG?
7. MUSIC LIBRARY. Multiple copies of music. Paper waste and expenses. Every piece of music should be dated. Clean up the files area. Only the most recent and dated version of every performance piece should be in the files area. Members should be encouraged to print and have current hard copy available. Extra copies should always be available at every meeting.
8. MUSIC LIBRARIAN. Ask for volunteer to take care of music files. Assign them one of the leadership team authority categories and provide instruction for files maintenance. Leadership has ability to delete unnecessary documents in file area.
9. MEETUP NEW MEMBERS. Some new members are not getting much of a welcoming greeting. They probably get some kind of system message but those may be pretty stale. Perhaps we need one of our group to review new memberships and send a more personal note of welcome. Maybe we could make mention of new memberships at our regular meetings and encourage all members to drop them a welcome note.
10. FINANCES. Income, expenses, future purchases, etc. There should be a very brief report at each general meeting.
11. COMMUNICATION. MeetUp Discussions vs. Facebook vs. MeetUp Group Email vs. Leadership Email. There appears to be a very exclusive email list now. There should only be one email list. General membership should not be excluded. Everyone should have the right to knowledge about the entire group. Don't snub the general SNHUG membership. Don't assume that some people don't care or that some people may not understand so its OK to exclude them. Do assume that everyone is genuinely concerned about the well being of the SNHUG.
12. RULES. Drinking, food, dress, complaints, children, non-ukulele instruments, voting, nondiscrimination, dues, etc.
13. POLLS. MeetUp has polls. They could be very useful. If MeetUp polls are not used, use other polling methods.
14. CHARITY. Once a year. Do a performance for a charity.
15. SPOTLIGHT PERFORMANCES. Solo, duet, trio, ensemble. Set time at every meeting for a couple of showcases. See item 18 below.
16. NONPROFIT STATUS. Does SNHUG have an IRS Tax Identification Number? It is OK to tell vendors and members that the organization is not for profit. But whenever he nonprofit status is mentioned it should also be noted that we do not have official IRS 501(C)(3) status.
17. SUGGESTIONS. It is great for SNHUG administration to ask or suggestions, ideas, and recommendations. But... Don't ignore items not liked. Respond to all who take the time to provide information. Be prepared to accept criticism. Make responses public.
18. RANDOM DISRUPTIVE PLAYING. Encourage everyone to use general practices effectively. Members should not be disrupting a general practice with random strumming and rifting between real practice pieces. There are some great players in SNHUG but if they want to show their skills see item 15 above (SPORTLIGHT PERFORMANCES).
David C.
user 73376602
Kingston, NH
Post #: 7
All good suggestions Art. I, of course, am a chief offender in the noodling-between-songs, bad-jokes department. Also the Leftist Marching Band is very active at the moment, so I am a no show as well. My sense of SNHUG is that what started out as a fun get together is now a juggernaut requiring a librarian and drinking rules. Your call to clarify how autocratic/consensus based the group is structured is timely. I appreciate the work that has gone in to the organization that does exist, like having an nice place to practice and good gigs.

Your work with beginners and seasoned slackers is a valuable part of the group. It helps bring everyone up to speed for performance tunes. Performances are a good deadline, but I also like to jam and see where it goes.

I really enjoy strumming with everyone and I will miss you all when I go away this winter. Probably the playing would be more professional under the stern baton of a maestro, but it might not be as much fun. See you in the spring. David C.
Johnny H.
user 19198851
Bedford, NH
Post #: 3
If the goal is to reach 100 + members, then the question must be asked, to what end? At the very least, we do require structure. That involves dealing with income of any kind and it's consequence regarding responsibility of how the funds are used. Questions include: Do we need bylaws, a board of directors, executive officers such as president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and various chairs with roles and responsibilities. Art Munger raises serious questions on many levels which I believe require careful consideration. Deb Jankura echoes his concerns. These are valued members we don't want to risk losing. Perhaps the time has come for the organizers of SNHUG to hold a general meeting where we can reach a consensus regarding much of what Art has proposed as well as what others may contribute.
Deb J.
user 31859892
Lee, NH
Post #: 62
I am going to agree with Art and David. I need to take a step back and continue playing instrumental pieces for myself, I enjoy figuring out tunes and making them work on the uke. I did not realize that a core group of SNHUG would become the decision makers, self appointed, and steer the group in ways they see fit.

SNHUG used to be fun and I am glad to have played with some very talented players. Time for me to step back and concentrate on other aspects of my life. I cannot commit to getting out out of bed every morning, so I cannot commit to this group to any great extent. I am glad to have been a part of last years Luau, I will bow out of this year's Luau. I am sure it will be successful, I will read about it. SNHUG was a good fit for me for awhile but now I need to move on.
Dan M.
user 12912850
Group Organizer
East Hampstead, NH
Post #: 6
WoW! It is great to see the comments and suggestions. I think a lot of the questions and discussion revolve around the desire of a few to bring a more formalized structure to the group. There were also some comments about the practice procedure and commitment required. I want to remind everyone of the groups mission statement which is to bring Ukester players together to have fun. That's basically the goal here. The SNHUG baby was born just trying to get a few folks together to jam and man has this kid grown up! We have a lot of passionate involved members but unfortunately not everyone has the same idea of what we should be. The desires run from a highly structured orchestra with lots of rules, financial statements, posted minutes and attendance reports to a weekly freestyle jam. With some many different skill levels and visions of what SNHUG should be it is a certainty that not everyone is going to be 100% satisfied. Here are a few of our current challenges. 1- There is a large faction of the active group that wants the performances to be more professional. 2- We provide lots of events from Friday jams to lessons to events to performances and all of these activities take effort to plan and coordinate with a small base of VOLUNTEERS who work hard to make it all happen. 3- The few members who actively participate in planning all we do all have jobs, families and other activities which makes it hard to give the SNHUG baby all it needs. I hope everyone realizes we are an all volunteer organization, none get paid for their time and energy. I want everyone to know that every suggestion received gets reviewed. If responses seem slow, sorry but again everyone has limited time to donate. As far as all the rules suggested I must say my original vision was to just get people together, let them lead themselves in a direction the majority desires and trust them to do the right thing. I stand by that vision. I hope everyone continues to make suggestions realizing that not everyone will be implemented as we move forward with the FUN and trying our best to please the majority. If you have time to donate and are interested in helping with, jam prep, arranging, song selection, event publicity, making copies, organizing files, finding meetup locations, policy making etc, please let me know. This weds in Portsmouth is av event planning meeting and we could use your input. Thanks for your passion!
Deb J.
user 31859892
Lee, NH
Post #: 63
Listen to Dan everyone. this group is a lot of fun and there are many individuals working very hard to male this work on many levels. The Luau last year was one of the best parties ever. Join in the planning and playing and go enjoy yourselves. Every skill level has a place, so don't think you have to be an expert. This group is evolving to be the best fit for all members. One day that goal will be achieved and it will be wonderous, Be a part.
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