*** Due to COVID-19 outbreak we're cancelling our gigs for the near term. We'll send out a note when it's deemed safe to return to hospitals and nursing homes to spread cheer safely.***
Our group's aim is to play for people at nursing homes, hospitals, community centers - any place where we can brighten the day of people who otherwise would not be able to listen to live music. Everything we do is completely volunteer. We are simply a group of individuals who come together and share our music with a deserving audience.
Here is how a "typical" gig has worked in the past: We get a group of people together, usually around 5 or 6. We play songs from our group's songbook, or from any our volunteers bring. We all play and sing as a group. This means that sometimes you play songs you don't know but it turns out that that is a great way to learn some new tunes. It also gives you the opportunity to teach others some of your favorite songs.
Our objective is entertain our audience. We know that many of our volunteers have beginner or intermediate skills. The songs we play are not too complicated. If you know your basic chords, you can join a gig. Those who 'only' sing are more than welcome!
That's how a typical gig works. We've had musicians of all kinds: guitarists, pianists, violinists, percussionists, accordian players, etc. We also play all styles of music: folk, rock, jazz, blues, latin, pop, country, etc...
GIG DESCRIPTION & RULES:
1.) The gigs are very fun, rewarding, an opportunity to meet new friends and, most importantly, a way for us to create some joy for our audience.
2.) We like to have a minimum of 3 players at each gig, and a max of 6.
3.) Please assume that you will need to bring your own instruments. On occasion, venues may have a tuned piano but most often they have not.
4.) The goal is to have everyone sing together. From time to time only one player may know the song, in which case he or she will sing ‘lead’ on it. However, we want to stress that that isn’t the norm. We want to make sure that each gig is a group effort
5.) We want to make sure that there is consistency for the sake of our audience, so gig attendance is counted. Multiple no-shows may result in our needing to suspend your membership from the Meetup.
6.) Appropriate behavior is of utmost importance at all time at our gigs, both toward our audience and each other. Drinking or other substance usage before a gig is not tolerated. The comfort of all of our members and our audience is important, so please be mindful of appropriate interactions with other players and audience members.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR VOLUNTEERS: 1. We are a nonprofit group and we play for the enjoyment of others. If someone offers you money please politely decline and thank them for listening. 2. We want to keep the environment enjoyable for all of our volunteers. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, please approach the staff of the facility or organization you are volunteering for to ask for help. You can also ask your gig leader for assistance. 3. We volunteer as a group under We Band Together. You are not obligated to give any personal information about yourself to the audience members. 4. Let any of the gig leaders know how else we can improve your volunteer experience. Thank you for your feedback and for volunteering with us.
Q: Are we limited to the music in the WBT songbook? A: No. We are open to playing any music that will contribute to the listener's (and volunteers') enjoyment. If you have a song you would like to play and can bring in enough copies for everyone (2-3 copies overall), we can give it a try. We do ask that you are comfortable with playing and/or singing that song so you can teach it others.
Q: Do you ever rehearse? A: Not usually. We pick songs that everyone/most volunteers know or can easily pick up. The audiences at the nursing home/hospital are pretty patient with us and always appreciative of the music. This works for our volunteers, who usually have time to play at the venues outside of their daytime schedules.
Q: Can I just audit a volunteer session? Can I invite a family member to watch? A: No. Because we need to be mindful of space as well as ensure our hosts at hospitals and nursing homes that everyone we bring is contributing, we need to only have active volunteers at each gig. But don't be afraid to bring your instrument and your voice and join us.
Q: Do I need to play at a certain level in order to volunteer for WBT? A: We don't expect professional musicians by any means nor do you need to know how to read standard notation. However, there are some basic skills that make for a positive musical experience for all: Know basic chords and how to read them on a chord chart. Keep rhythm - don't speed up, don't slow down. Finally, be a good listener.