I hate clubbing. I hate large crowds, cover charges, sticky floors, skintight dresses, cologne overkill, loud trance music, a-hole bartenders, watered-down drinks, and worst of all, the dreaded bathroom attendants. Don’t get me wrong- I do enjoy spending time with friends, listening to music, dancing, and drinking, but there is nothing about “clubbing” that appeals to me.
Until now. Last year, I came up with an idea to make my own club – one that incorporated all the things I liked about going out and refused all the things I hated about it. With that idea, AoTM11 was born. (The acronym stands for “Album of the Month” and the number 11 represents the count of original members). Like a book club, it focuses primarily on creating a respectful yet opinion-driven discussion amongst peers. Like a night club, the music never stops spinning, which makes my heart so happy.
Looking to start a social music club of your own? Here’s a sample of how it works:
1. Find some peeps. Send out an email blast to some friends and tell them you want to start a monthly music club. Serious takers only! Flip-floppers make for poor attendance at your meetings! Try to discuss what your regular dates will be in advance so people can plan around the meeting schedule. (For example, we try to meet every third Sunday).
2. Set some guidelines. For our first year, our club decided that the selector of each album must pick a record they have never heard in its entirety. Next time around, we will set different guidelines, such as selecting only albums that were released prior to our birth dates. This helps set a common thread for the year.
3. Keep It Consistent… People like to know what to expect for the most part. The album selector for the month takes on “routine” responsibilities such as printing lyrics and/or score sheets, planning a meal or assigning potluck duties to the group, and facilitating discussion.
4. …But Switch It Up: There are plenty of different musical tastes in our group which means we get to experience something new each month. Other ways we keep our meetings fresh is by rotating meeting locations (usually they take place at the home of the album selector) and creating a theme for each meeting’s accompanying meal. (We’ve done breakfast bagels, Italian night, fondue, etc.) There is always something to look forward to!
5. Have Fun! The point of your club is to socialize, find and support new musicians, and have a good time! If you’re stressed out, you’re not doing it right! Our group starts off every meeting with a made-up cheer, and we all carry cheesy laminated membership cards because we embrace the nerdy joy of belonging to an awesome social music club. Now that’s clubbing!