Q&A for live portion of FH 2021

©2020-2021 D. Reiner - All rights reserved. If you'd like to re-use some of this information for your own event, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss usage and fee.

The Q&A below is oriented toward the Nov 4-7 Fiddle Hell Online. The live portion is complete, but you can sign up for replays through March 7, 2022 here.

General & Registration Questions
Click on a Question below to see the Answer.

When and where is Fiddle Hell Online?

Fiddle Hell Online is Thursday-Sunday, November 4-7, 2021, with sessions replayable for the next 4 months. It's virtual, so FHO is wherever you are!

What happens at Fiddle Hell Online?

In normal times, the Fiddle Hell Massachusetts Festival is a yearly gathering of fiddlers, cellists, mandolin & guitar & old-time banjo players, and singers to meet, jam, learn, listen, and have fun. It's both friendly and diverse, and covers many traditional musical styles. This is still true now that we're ONLINE! As a registered attendee, you'll have an amazing choice of 175 workshops, 35 concerts, and 35 jam sessions. Not only can you attend these sessions when they are live, but you can replay videos of any sessions during Fiddle Hell Online and for 4 months afterwards. Teaching at FHO is primarily by ear although sheet music may occasionally be available.

What’s different from the in-person Fiddle Hell?

Attendance and participation are from your laptop, desktop, tablet, phone, or other device. You'll be joining Zoom sessions conveniently reached (through our event software called "Whova") from a web browser or mobile app. At face-to-face Fiddle Hell, you had to make a difficult choice of where to go in each time slot; for FHO, you'll be able to replay videos of prior sessions for the next 4 months, so you won't miss your favorite instructors, workshop topics, jams, and performers. Optionally, you can access the online community once you register (it's live now right here), for discussions, messaging, exhibitors, and technical help if you need it.

Where do I find out about the schedule and instructors?

Please look at https://fiddlehell.org/schedule and https://fiddlehell.org/staff . Once you have bought your Fiddle Hell Online ticket, and set up your Whova account (see the first question above on Whova setup), you can also peruse the sessions and instructors through the Whova Agenda > Sessions and Agenda > Staff menus. If there are sessions you'd like to remember, add them to "My Agenda" in Whova. There is also a (downloadable) Whova Mobile App available as an alternative way to view the schedule, staff, and community topics.

You can attend any sessions (unless you have a "Concerts Only" ticket); there are no individual session signups.

How Do I Set Up My Whova Account & Sign In To Access Fiddle Hell Online?

Whova is the event system that helps you access Zoom sessions on the agenda, download handouts, see messages and announcements, visit the virtual exhibits, ask questions about sessions or in general, and (optionally) connect with other attendees.

If you've bought your Fiddle Hell Online ticket, here's how to set up a Whova account. Using your LAPTOP or DESKTOP computer, ideally with the Chrome browser, go to http://fiddlehellonline.org to set up your Whova account and sign in to Fiddle Hell Online once you've registered. At that website, where it says "Don't have an account?" click "Sign up here". Sign in with the same exact email address used for your registration as an attendee, and create a new password. On a laptop or desktop computer, you don't need to download any software - the Whova system is browser-based.

For iPads or other mobile devices, DO NOT follow that link! First, download the Whova Event & Conference App, then use the App to establish your Whova account, and only then look for the Fiddle Hell Online event in the App.
 

For iPads, here's the Whova app you're looking for in the App Store preview: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/whova-event-conference-app/id716979741 

Troubleshooting:
If you are asked for an "invitation code" when you're using a laptop or desktop to set up your Whova account, it's usually because you're using a different email address than the one you gave when you bought your FIddle Hell Online ticket. Please try again, using the same email address you gave when you bought your FHO ticket. Fiddle Hell Online support staff can help if needed.

If you are asked for an "invitation code" when you're using an iPad or other mobile device to set up your Whova account,
make sure to download the Whova Event & Conference App first and use the App to set up your account. Then you should be able to see Fiddle Hell Online right away as one of "My Events" or you can seach for it in "Find My Event". Even if you plan to view FHO with an iPad, it's easier to set up your Whova account first with a laptop or desktop computer if you have that option. 
What do the workshop and jam levels (L1, L2, L3, L4) mean?

Levels are discussed at https://fiddlehell.org/info/session-levels. Our four levels are approximations that you can use as guidelines to help pick your workshops and jams.

Levels indicate two things: the difficulty of the material covered and the pace of the session. L1 (beginner) sessions will have the easiest material and will be at a slow pace. L4 (advanced) sessions will have the most difficult material and will be at a rapid pace. L2 (low intermediate) and L3 (high intermediate) levels are in between.

Of course, your level may vary by instrument, by style, by technical facility, by ability to learn by ear, and more. Feel free to attend any workshops and jams you'd like, expecting that they will be taught and led at the advertised level(s). Also, feel free to leave any Zoom session that doesn't feel right for you and join a different one. You can always return to the agenda to see what's happening live at the same time.

What sessions should I attend? Do I need to sign up in advance for particular workshops?

There are 35 concerts, 35 jams, and 175 workshops. During each of the four days November 4-7, we'll alternate one-hour sessions with 30-minute breaks, going from 10AM ET to 11PM ET. In almost every time slot, you'll find a concert, a jam, and 5 workshops (except during the Saturday Night Concert). To decide which sessions to attend, look at the style (such as Old-Time, Irish, Scottish, New England, Bluegrass, etc.), the target instruments (such as fiddle, cello, guitar, mandolin, old-time banjo, ...), the instructors or performers, the level of the session, and of course the session title and description. You won't miss out since you'll be able to replay sessions for 4 months afterwards, so it's fun to stretch out and try a new style or instrument - or just to relax and watch a fun concert. You don't need to sign up for individual sessions - just go where you like.

Can kids attend Fiddle Hell Online?

Yes, kids can attend FHO! There is a 10% discount for kids to $144 (or just $100 if they qualify as an additional household member). Kids are welcome at all sessions; the session description should be useful in making decisions about what will interest them. There are no sessions specifically for kids in this year's Online version of Fiddle Hell, due to online privacy restrictions. Please read on for details, which are different for different ages of kids.

An adult can purchase a ticket for an older kid (13-17). During the registration process, the ticket purchaser will need to accept these additional terms: "I certify that I (the ticket purchaser) am 18 years old or older. I agree that the child being registered (13-17 years old) will be supervised at Fiddle Hell Online by an adult 18 or older, who has the responsibility of supervising the child's safe and non-disruptive participation in any or all Fiddle Hell Online activities."

A parent or guardian can purchase a ticket for a younger kid (12 or under). The parent or guardian must also purchase their own ticket (possibly as an additional household member, at $100). To comply with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA), there are important, required procedures to avoid sharing personal information about the kid, which includes name, display name, audio, video, chat posting, and more. While the kid can hear and see any sessions, during live sessions the kid should not be identified, nor audible, nor visible, since these sessions are recorded for later replay. During the registration process, the parent or guardian purchasing the ticket will need to accept these additional terms. It is not an option to consent to share personal information about a younger kid, since such permission could later be withdrawn, and the actions required of Fiddle Hell Massachusetts LLC (such as removing videos) in association with a revoked consent could be burdensome and challenging to comply with.

What's the price of Fiddle Hell Online? Are discounts available?

 

The price for an Adult (26-64) is $160, for access to all sessions (concerts, jams, workshops) during FHO and for 4 months afterwards. 

We offer 10% discounts to $144 for Seniors (65 or over), Young Adults (18-25), Kids (13-17), and Kids (12 or under). 

We offer additional 10% early bird discounts before October 20th to $144 for Adults (26-64), and to $130 for Seniors (65 or over), Young Adults (18-25), Kids (13-17), and Kids (12 or under). The earlier you sign up, the more giveaway drawings you'll be entered for (including a violin giveaway), and the more free workshops you'll be able to attend before FHO starts.

Tickets for CONCERTS ONLY are $100, for ages 13 and older.

Any additional household member wishing to attend ANY concerts, workshops, or jams also needs to register (for the reduced price of $100). And all registered attendees are welcome to the Saturday Night Concert; there are no separate tickets for it.

Should I wait until the last moment to register?

Sure, you could wait until the last moment ... But if you register right away for Fiddle Hell Online, you'll get free workshops online before FHO, and you'll be entered in various giveaways of books, CDs, online lessons from instructors, and even a great fiddle!  You'll also gain early access to the event.

Register now to plan your own agenda (with the My Agenda feature), ask questions about sessions, see announcements about new sessions, post to community discussion topics (like instruments for sale), test out your connections and software, and look through our online exhibitors.

You'll need to be registered to apply for a performance spot on the open mic concert, the teen concert, or the original tunes concert. 

We have scholarship funds available now; these may run out as FHO gets nearer.

Of course, if you register now, you'll also help Fiddle Hell to plan for a smooth and exciting event! 

That being said, you can actually register any time you like, even if Fiddle Hell Online has already started.

What's the Inlaid Violin GIVEAWAY for Early Birds?

Early bird registration is complete.  We will announce the winner of the inlaid violin and bow and case at the Saturday Night Concert at FHO on Nov 6.  You do not have to be present to win.

Register as an early bird for Fiddle Hell Online (which saves 10%), and you will be entered in the October giveaway for this beautiful violin! It's a handmade East European violin (~1890 to 1910) with beautiful mother-of-pearl inlays front and back, and striped purfling on the top and bottom edges. Its sound is warm and resonant, and it comes with a new carbon fiber bow (thanks to Scherer Violin Shop; see their virtual exhibit in Whova) and lightweight case. Worth about $1500 -- but its cool factor is off the charts! The winner will be announced at the FHO Saturday Night Concert on Nov 6.

If you register by Sept 13th, this qualifies you for all giveaway drawings (including THREE chances for this beautiful violin, as well as CDs, books, & lessons) and also gives you free access to 3 online workshops taught live by Andy Reiner ("Plan A: Power Chords," "Micro-Improvisation in Fiddle Tunes," and "Fiddle Hell Pre-Party!"). Register by Sept 27th for TWO chances at the violin and 2 free workshops.  Register by October 20th for ONE chance at the violin and 1 free workshop. Why wait?

Please tell your musical friends! 

 East European Inlaid Violin Front East European Inlaid Violin Back

Are scholarships available? How do I apply?

Yes! Thanks to generous contributors to our scholarship fund (including many of the instructors and attendees), 50 scholarships (and partial scholarships) are available to those who can't afford the fees. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to describe your request and circumstances, once registration has opened.

How do I register with a credit or debit card?

Go to the Registration Page. During the registration process, you'll be able to register just one person or several. You'll be asked some questions about each person being registered (email, state, time zone, instruments, ...), and will read and check off an Attendee Agreement (as we do at the in-person Fiddle Hell). Credit and debit card payments are accepted (see next answer for paying by check).

Can I register by sending a check instead?

Please send a check in the mail by October 13th (mail can be slow these days) to Fiddle Hell Massachusetts LLC, P. O. Box 316, Lexington, MA 02420-0316, and let us know who it's for, their age categories, and their email addresses. We'll then send you a 100% discount code (specific to each person) to use for online registration at https://fiddlehell.org/registerEach attendee needs a unique email address to register, and will be asked to agree to the Attendee Agreement when registering.

What Does the Attendee Agreement Say?

You'll need to accept this Attendee Agreement when you register.

Is it ok for my friends and family to watch or attend concerts, jams, or workshop sessions using my login?

No, it's not. As at in-person Fiddle Hell, each registration is valid for only one attendee at Fiddle Hell Online. Any additional household member wishing to watch or participate in any concerts, workshops, or jams also needs to register (each additional household member can register at a reduced price).

At a time when all musicians' gigs have largely disappeared, and are only slowly returning Fiddle Hell Online pays all instructors, performers, and technical staff, and we rely on your registration fees to do this. Please respect the artists who are at the heart of Fiddle Hell Online by asking your friends and family to register.

What happens once I register? And what is "Whova"?

1. You'll get a confirmation email from Whova with ticket purchase details.

2. Using a laptop or desktop computer, go to fiddlehellonline.org to set up your account (easy!). If you already have an account (from last November), sign in with your email and password. If not, where it says "Don't have an account?" click "Sign up here". Sign in with the same exact email address used for your registration as an attendee, and create a new password. The Whova website will be how you access Zoom sessions on the agenda, download handouts, see messages and announcements, visit the virtual exhibits, ask questions about sessions or in general, and (optionally) connect with other attendees. You don't need to download any software - the Whova Web App is browser-based.  

3. From your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone, you might want to download the Whova mobile app to conveniently browse the FHO agenda and talk to the community. This is required only if you want to view FHO from these devices (including setting up a Whova account). Otherwise this is optional, and you can ignore any emails from Whova telling you it's critical :-).

4. Please help spread the word about Fiddle Hell Online to your musical friends - fiddlers, mando players, cellists, guitarists, banjo players, singers, and more. You can direct them to our Fiddle Hell website, our Facebook group, our YouTube channel (for jam videos), or our Instagram channel.  

5. What happens at Fiddle Hell Online is different from an in-person Fiddle Hell, of course. But you'll likely try out new tunes and styles, pick up techniques and nuances, enjoy hearing others play, participate in guided jams, hear concerts, connect online with old friends and make new ones. Whatever your level and musical preferences, you'll find a supportive community and kindred spirits. There will be 13 year olds and 83 year olds, local musicians and attendees from far away, players who perform regularly and those who rarely play for anyone.

Speaking for the Fiddle Hell organizers - and all the instructors, performers, and technical staff - I hope you'll enjoy the event as it unrolls, and have fun throughout and for the 4 months afterwards when you can replay sessions. Relax and experience the unique gathering that is Fiddle Hell Online!
- Dave Reiner

How Can I Order a Fiddle Hell T-SHIRT?

Fiddle Hell Online t-shirts, with a great design by Autumn Rose Lester, are still available for online orders through Nov 10th by credit card or PayPal, to be delivered to the address you specify a few weeks after Fiddle Hell. These are comfortable and wash well.

CLICK HERE to browse choices and order.

Styles include Unisex T's, Women's T's, Unisex Long Sleeve T's, 50/50 Blend Unisex T's, and Women's Tanks. You don't have to be registered for FHO to order a t-shirt.

What's the Fiddle Hell Common Tune list?

The Fiddle Hell Common Tune list consists of 104 tunes that were suggested by the Reiner Family Band (the original 52) and by Fiddle Hell attendees (the new 52). It's a list of exciting tunes in various styles; most are traditional and a few are by known composers. These are suggested for your repertoire, and often show up in jams or workshops. Of course, many tunes not on the list are also played regularly at Fiddle Hell. The Reiner Family Band has recorded the common tunes (played both fast and slow) on two 2-CD sets, available for $15/set postpaid to US addresses at the Fiddle Hell Store.

How Do I Fill Out My Fiddle Hell Survey After the 4 Days Are Over?

Please help us make Fiddle Hell better by filling out our survey after the November event at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FiddleHellNov2021 

We read all responses carefully!

General & Registration Questions

Technical Questions
Click a Question below to see the Answer. 

How do I log into Whova? Can I try this out beforehand?

Whova is the event system that helps you access Zoom sessions on the agenda, download handouts, see messages and announcements, visit the virtual exhibits, ask questions about sessions or in general, and (optionally) connect with other attendees.

Once you register and create an account on Whova, you can use Whova's browser-based event system from laptops and desktops (Chrome browser is highly recommended), and Whova's free downloadable Event & Conference App on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone.

If you've bought your Fiddle Hell Online ticket, here's how to set up a Whova account. Using your LAPTOP or DESKTOP computer, ideally with the Chrome browser, go to http://fiddlehellonline.org to set up your Whova account and sign in to Fiddle Hell Online once you've registered. At that website, where it says "Don't have an account?" click "Sign up here". Sign in with the same exact email address used for your registration as an attendee, and create a new password. On a laptop or desktop computer, you don't need to download any software - the Whova system is browser-based.

For iPads or other mobile devices, DO NOT follow that link! First, download the Whova Event & Conference App, then use the App to establish your Whova account, and only then look for the Fiddle Hell Online event in the App.
 

For iPads, here's the Whova app you're looking for in the App Store preview: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/whova-event-conference-app/id716979741 

Troubleshooting:

If you are asked for an "invitation code" when you're using a laptop or desktop to set up your Whova account, it's usually because you're using a different email address than the one you gave when you bought your FIddle Hell Online ticket. Please try again, using the same email address you gave when you bought your FHO ticket. Fiddle Hell Online support staff can help if needed.

If you are asked for an "invitation code" when you're using an iPad or other mobile device to set up your Whova account,
make sure to download the Whova Event & Conference App first and use the App to set up your account. Then you should be able to see Fiddle Hell Online right away as one of "My Events" or you can seach for it in "Find My Event". Even if you plan to view FHO with an iPad, it's easier to set up your Whova account first with a laptop or desktop computer if you have that option. 

Zoom:
There are no Zoom meeting IDs and passwords to remember once you sign in to Whova. Please see the next question is this list to learn how to attend sessions and how you'll get to Zoom from Whova.

Technical questions:
If you have technical questions about Fiddle Hell, using Zoom, navigating Whova, or anything else, we encourage you to attend the Fiddle Hell Online practice session before the festival begins, from 8:30-10:30AM on Thursday, November 4th. There will be several people from our large Fiddle Hell Online tech staff ready to help answer your questions and get you ready for the event! There will also be tech support available during all four days of the festival.

How do I attend a workshop, jam, or concert in Whova?

This information is for both attendees and instructors.

We assume you’re on a laptop or desktop, preferably running the Google Chrome web browser. 

[On an iPad or smartphone, you’ll have downloaded the Whova Event & Conference App, and the interface will be a little different. You'll need to look for Musicians under Additional Resources rather than under Agenda.
  1. Sign in if you haven’t already (using your email address and Whova password) to Fiddle Hell Online at www.fiddlehellonline.org . 

    If you haven’t yet set up a Whova account, click on the blue “sign up here” text, type in the email address you used in buying your Fiddle Hell Online ticket, and create a new password. [Instructors should use their instructor email addresses.] 

  2. You will see the Home page of Fiddle Hell Online on Whova, with a big banner, words of welcome, and a menu on the left. If you're not in the Eastern time zone, you can choose at the top of the Home page to have times displayed in your local time zone or switch to the event time. Here are the magical menu choices to help you navigate to different parts of Fiddle Hell:
Home – Big banner, video & words of welcome
Agenda >
      Sessions – See sessions, search for them, see details, attend sessions, make your own agenda
      Staff - See instructor bios, send them messages 
Attendees – See & search for other attendees, send them messages
Community – See community discussions, see announcements, set up virtual meet-ups
Messages – See your messages from other attendees & organizers, and respond
Photos – See photos people have posted
Exhibitors – Visit our wonderful virtual exhibitors, including t-shirt sales
Leaderboard – Not in use at FHO
Resources >
      Session Q&A – Ask questions about sessions, see instructor responses if any
      Video Gallery – A random collection of videos of sessions & from virtual exhibitors
      How To – Helpful answers to very key questions
      Handouts – Collects handouts from all sessions; you’ll see the right ones in each individual session at the bottom
      Links – Fiddle Hell links to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Mailing List
      Take Survey - Take our anonymous survey after FHO is over
Whova Guides
 – The Whova Attendee User Guide is pretty good! 
  1. Click on Agenda > Sessions on the menu to get a Full Agenda of all sessions. As you look at the sessions, you can make your own agenda by clicking on "Add to My Agenda" on the right of a session. Next to the words “Full Agenda” at the top, click on “My Agenda” to see only those sessions you have added to “My Agenda”. Click on “Full Agenda” to go back to seeing everything. 

  2. You can filter sessions at the top left. Where it says “Filter by tracks” click on “Tracks” at the top to turn off all checkmarks, and then select the tracks you want (by type, style, level, instrument). Click “Tracks” at the top again to turn off filtering. You can also choose the day just below that – Thu, Fri, Sat, or Sun.  

  3. You can search for sessions across all days at the top middle search box. This is very helpful - it finds titles, instructors, and descriptions. If search doesn’t show what you expect, turn off filtering (#4 above). If you want to see sessions for a particular instructor, enter all or part of their name.

  4. When you see a session of interest, click on the View Session button to read more about it, to ask a question in the Session Q&A, to join it live (as an attendee or as the instructor), or to replay it after it has happened. When you’re viewing a particular session, you can add it to or remove it from My Agenda or Like it. [Instructors can also moderate the Session Q&A for their sessions.] You can experiment to see what Show Agenda and Hide Agenda will do. At any time, you can click on Agenda in the menu column to restore the initial Full Agenda view.

  5. To attend a live session, click on the blue button "join live stream" (or just "Live Stream" on a phone). In the (recommended) Google Chrome web browser, say yes to the question about opening zoom.us (which will open your Zoom app for the session, and give you a chance to download the Zoom app from https://zoom.us/download if you don’t have it yet). [In the Safari or Firefox browser, click on the words “Zoom app” at the end of the yellow banner.] You may be asked for your email when attending concert sessions.

  6. Instructors should join their sessions early for sound check (20 minutes for concerts, 15 minutes for workshops & jams). Session attendees may be held in the Zoom waiting room until sound check is done. 

  7. If you’re not familiar with Zoom, see How To Use Zoom During Live Sessions in the How To menu. We’ll be using the Zoom Chat for workshops and jams (but not concerts); please ask your questions in the Zoom Chat (NOT the Whova Chat). Wiggle your hands in the air for Zoom applause or happiness. 

  8. When a Zoom session ends, or if you leave early, just return to your initial Fiddle Hell Online browser window. Click Rate Session to give us quick, anonymous feedback.

  9. To view a replay of a previous session (whether or not you attended it before), click on View Session from the Agenda in the usual way. If the video has been uploaded, the video will be visible and you can click on the play icon in the bottom left. It may take Fiddle Hell staff a few hours to upload videos to Whova once the live session is over. Please be patient as the length of this process depends on multiple factors that are out of our control.

  10. When replaying a session video, you can pause it in the bottom left, or make it full-screen in the bottom right. If you click on the Settings icon (looks like a little gear) in the bottom right, you can slow the video to half or three-quarters speed without changing the pitch! You can click on another menu item and your video will pop into a different window so you don’t lose your place in it. The Community command in the upper right will show you a small community window without disrupting the video playback. 

 

How do I get technical help if I need it, including help with Whova or Zoom?

First, you may find the answers you need at our Q&A page. Second, the Chrome browser is highly recommended for laptops and desktops.

During Fiddle Hell, our Fiddle Hell Online support staff will be reachable by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and by phone at (857)-246-8097. On Thursday, the hours are 8:30AM - 11PM, On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the hours are 9AM-11PM.  Support staff can help with registration questions, Whova navigation and use, and Zoom use. It may take a little while to help you out; please be patient.

You can ask questions to the Whova support staff by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Here's the general Zoom help center and a set of Zoom Q&A's from Zoom itself (select a Q&A category on the left and see questions on the right).

You can test out your connection and software from 8:30-10:30AM on Thursday, Nov 4 - a very good idea! In Whova, go to the DROP-IN HELP Session, which is first on the Agenda.

How can I see a session video after the live session has occurred?

You'll easily be able to see workshops, jams, and concerts after they have occurred through the Whova website for Fiddle Hell Online on laptops and desktops, or in the Whova Mobile App for smartphones and iPads. Just look at the agenda and click on the session, and then on the video, which will play inside Whova.

You can pause and continue a video, slow it down to half or three-quarters speed (without changing the pitch), or make it full-screen.  And you can click elsewhere in Whova and return to the video later. 

There are more details in "How Do I Attend a Workshop, Jam, or Concert in Whova?" above.

What are best-practice suggestions for using my desktop / laptop / tablet / phone to attend?

This information is also in the "How To" resources. on the Whova web portal. 

SEEING: Use a laptop or desktop computer to attend Fiddle Hell Online - you'll see more than on a tablet or phone. Make livestreams and videos full-screen if you want to see details more easily. And it's always helpful to update your Zoom app to the latest available version: 1. Sign in to Zoom desktop client at zoom.us . 2. Click your profile picture, then click Check for Updates.

BEING SEEN: This is for live Zoom meetings, not replays. Aim your camera straight on at you (not from below), using the built-in camera in your laptop, or a webcam. Get good lighting from lamps and natural light in front of you (not backlit or overhead lights only). Have a non-distracting real background if possible (please, no virtual backgrounds, since they sometimes cut instruments out and can cause problems for people with light sensitivity).

INTERNET: Your wifi may work just fine!  But if it’s slow or freezes,

SEEING: Use a laptop or desktop computer to attend Fiddle Hell Online - you'll see more than on a tablet or phone. Make livestreams and videos full-screen if you want to see details more easily. And it's always helpful to update your Zoom app to the latest available version: 1. Sign in to Zoom desktop client at zoom.us . 2. Click your profile picture, then click Check for Updates.

BEING SEEN: This is for live Zoom meetings, not replays. Aim your camera straight on at you (not from below), using the built-in camera in your laptop, or a webcam. Get good lighting from lamps and natural light in front of you (not backlit or overhead lights only). Have a non-distracting real background if possible (please, no virtual backgrounds, since they sometimes cut instruments out and can cause problems for people with light sensitivity).

INTERNET: Your wifi may work just fine!  But if it’s slow or freezes, here are some ideas (these will help for more than just Fiddle Hell):

Connect to your network via an ethernet (preferably “cat6”) cable instead of using wifi. If you are unable to do that, locate your computer as close as possible to the router.  It’s also ideal if there are no walls between you and the router.  If that’s not possible, you might consider a wifi repeater or extender which will extend the coverage of your wifi network. If you’re on wifi, please take your phone off the wifi.

Certain times of day are often busy while others are not, depending on where you live.  If you can concentrate on the less busy hours, that may help a surprising amount. Since FHO sessions are replayable, you have quite a bit of control over when you see some of them. Also, close other programs on your computer, and persuade other members of the household to stay away from online gaming or bandwidth-intensive downloads or viewing.

If these suggestions don’t help, try your smartphone for replays, if you have one. Even with fast Internet, people sometimes find that their phones work more smoothly.

HEARING: Use good quality headphones and plug them into your computer before joining each Zoom session (you may need to select your headphones as the output device in Zoom audio settings after joining a session). Alternatively, use good Bluetooth speakers, or wired speakers.

BEING HEARD: You don't need anything fancy to perform in an open mic concert, or ask a question in a workshop. If you're playing an instrument that others will hear, it is important to adjust your Zoom audio settings (lower left-hand corner of the screen, ^ to the right of the mic icon) for the best sound. 
Uncheck the box “Automatically adjust microphone volume.” 
Set “Suppress background noise” to Low.  
Check the box "Show in-meeting option to enable "Original Sound"". 
Check the box "Echo cancellation". 
Close the settings window, go back to the meeting window and click on “Original Sound: Off” in the upper left (after you click on this, it'll say "Original Sound: On").

FIddle Hell Online has additional guidelines for instructors about mics, audio interfaces, and settings, which we are happy to share with attendees on request.

What are best-practice suggestions for using Zoom?

Signing up for a free Zoom account and installing the "Zoom Client for Meetings" at https://zoom.us/download on your laptop or desktop computer is strongly recommended for the best listening, viewing and participation experience for Fiddle Hell Online. You can also download the Zoom app for your smartphone or tablet, though you'll won't be able to see multiple instructors and other attendees in participatory workshops on these devices. Zoom does not knowingly allow children under 16 to sign up for their own accounts.

If you already have the Zoom desktop client installed, you can check for updates: (1) Open and sign in to your Zoom app. (2) Click your profile picture then click Check for Updates and follow instructions. For iOS or Android tablets or phones: Download the Zoom mobile app from the Apple Appstore or Google Play.

If you wish, you may disable your audio and video at any time in Zoom meetings so you will not be audible or visible to others during the live meeting or during future replays. The audio and video on-off controls, and access to audio and video settings (such as audio output to headphones) are in the lower left on laptops and desktops.

Please don't turn on a virtual background; some people have a sensory sensitivity to these.

You may wish to switch between "Speaker View" (just the instructor or performer) and "Gallery View" (everybody) by clicking on the "View" option in the upper right; this also lets you go to fullscreen view.

You can bring up the Zoom Chat window in workshops and jams, using the Chat command at the bottom of your screen on a laptop or desktop. Whova has its own chat, but we plan to just use the Zoom Chat. You can ask musical questions in the Chat to the instructor or technical questions in the Chat to the Zoom host of the session. Wiggle your hands in the air for Zoom applause or happiness. Zoom Chats aren't saved beyond the live session; if you want information to persist (such as a link), put it in the Whova session Q&A instead.

Using an iPad? Here are some iPad-Zoom suggestions. As on laptops, please don't turn on a virtual background; some people have a sensory sensitivity to these. BTW, for an iPad, a left to right swipe on a video will get you out of the video.

How do I view and download handouts?

Here's how to view and download handouts from specific workshops and jams (or even all sessions).

Basic approach on laptop or desktop:
(a) You can see the handouts associated with a session when you are in the detailed session view (after clicking “View Session” in the agenda). If you click on the Download button to the right of one of them, it’ll open the handout in a new browser tab (but won’t actually download it to your computer). 
 
(b) You then use the standard browser method to do a download (e.g., hover towards the bottom of the window on the Mac, the download icon at top right in Chrome, File / Export as PDF in Safari, etc.). However, the original PDF name is lost in these downloads (Thanks, Whova!). At least in Chrome, the recommended browser, you can rename the file before downloading it. 

(c) If you click on the "Handouts" menu choice instead, that will take a long time to load ALL the handouts. It's preferable to look at handouts in the detailed session views of interest.
 
On your phone or iPad there's a different (and in some ways better) approach
In the Whova Event & Conference App, you can click on "Handouts" and then "Export All Documents" to get them ALL emailed to you in a zip file, with the handout names correct in the email and mostly preserved in the actual filenames.
How can I be a responsible and respectful online attendee of FHO?

We're glad you asked! Most of this is just common sense to make FHO a positive experience for you and other attendees. Since each registration is valid for one attendee only at FHO, please make sure that any additional household member wishing to attend any concerts, workshops, or jams is also registered (for a reduced price). Please know that it is against Fiddle Hell Online policy (and your Attendee Agreement) to share your personal Whova password, discount codes, video replay links, or any other links related to Fiddle Hell Online sessions with other attendees or non-attendees. Multiple concurrent sign-ons using the same email address will not be accepted by the Whova platform.

The Whova platform does not allow videos of sessions to be downloaded, so please don't attempt to download any FHO videos (workshops, concerts, or jams); these will be viewable and replayable during the event and for four months afterwards to FHO registered attendees only. PDF downloads (of sheet music, for example) are fine. Please mute yourself conscientiously on Zoom. Please don't post inappropriate or derogatory photos, videos, comments, messages, links, or other material.

Please don't engage in Zoom bombing, cyberharassment, online bullying, or any activity prohibited by the Attendee Agreement you agreed to at registration or by law, during FHO sessions and afterwards. Please don't share your screen unless invited by a FHO instructor. Please be aware that violating these requirements may result in your FHO attendance being restricted or terminated at the discretion of FHO without a refund of your ticket purchase price.

Are audio or video recording allowed?

Audio recording of FHO workshops and jams is allowed (but not really needed) unless the instructor requests no audio recording.

Taking video recordings of your computer screen during a workshop or jam is not allowed unless it is invited or pre-authorized by the instructor.

To respect the professional instructors and performers, please do not record audio or video of concerts at FHO, including the Saturday Night Concert.

All sessions are planned to be viewable and replayable during the event and for four months afterwards, through your Whova account, on your laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone. Additionally, audio recordings of some tunes and songs taught during workshops may be provided after the workshop by certain instructors.

How do I sign up to be on the Open Mic Concert, the Original Tunes Concert, or in a Masterclass workshop as a soloist?

Once you are registered for Fiddle Hell Online, contact the concert coordinator or the workshop instructor through Whova to request your inclusion. Lineups may be finalized shortly before FHO, or slots may still be available at the time of the concert or workshop. Please recognize that slots are limited, and decisions of the instructors and coordinators are final.

How can I interact with my friends at Fiddle Hell Online?

Once you are registered for Fiddle Hell Online, you'll be able to interact with your registered friends (and make new friends) through messages and though Community discussion topics. Unless your friends have turned off their videos in Zoom, you'll be able to see them and chat with them in the Zoom Chat window. It is also possible in Whova to schedule and attend a virtual meet-up with other attendees (click on Community in the Whova menu, and then Meet-Ups or Virtual Meets).

Logistics & Miscellaneous Questions
Click a Question below to see the Answer. 

How can I encourage my friends to attend?

Please do encourage your friends through social media to attend this epic event! With many styles, instruments, and levels represented, they're likely to find lots of workshops, jams, and concerts of interest. If they want, they can attend sessions in a low-key manner, with nobody hearing or seeing them. And they can replay session videos for up to 4 months after the event. 

You can tell your friends this (customize as you like):

REALLY SHORT Version: 
I'm going to Fiddle Hell Online, November 4-7, 2021, and I think you would really enjoy this amazing event! FHO will have 175 live workshops to learn from, 35 live concerts to enjoy, and 35 live jam sessions to join on Zoom, for fiddle, mandolin, cello, guitar, old-time banjo, & singing. Info and registration (and discounts) at FiddleHell.org.

SHORT Version:
I'm going to Fiddle Hell Online, November 4-7, 2021, and I think you would really enjoy this amazing event!  FHO will have 175 live workshops to learn from, 35 live concerts to enjoy, and 35 live jam sessions to join on Zoom, for fiddle, mandolin, cello, guitar, old-time banjo, & singing. From beginner to advanced levels, and all sessions can be replayed (and slowed down) for the next 3 months. 100 instructors -- experienced & supportive teachers, and wonderful & inspiring players -- will cover Bluegrass, Blues, Cajun, Cape Breton, East European, Electric, Québécois, Gypsy Jazz, Irish, Jazz, Klezmer, Latin, Mexican, New Acoustic, New England, Old-Time Southern, Scandinavian, Scottish, and Swing styles. Click for Registration (discounts for early birds and for seniors & young musicians) and to see the OverviewScheduleInstructors, & Racial Justice Statement. You can also sign up for the Mailing List, join the FH Facebook group, visit the Facebook event, and subscribe to the FH YouTube channel.

LONG Version:
I'm going to Fiddle Hell Online, November 4-7, 2021, and I think you would really enjoy this amazing event!  FHO will have 175 live workshops to learn from, 35 live concerts to enjoy, and 35 live jam sessions to join on Zoom, for fiddle, mandolin, cello, guitar, old-time banjo, & singing. All sessions can be replayed (and slowed down) for the next 3 months. 100 instructors -- experienced & supportive teachers, and wonderful & inspiring players -- will cover Bluegrass, Blues, Cajun, Cape Breton, East European, Electric, Québécois, Gypsy Jazz, Irish, Jazz, Klezmer, Latin, Mexican, New Acoustic, New England, Old-Time Southern, Scandinavian, Scottish, and Swing styles. 

Historical and technical workshops are also on the program -- "Songs from Black History," "Using Roots Music to Confront Racism," "Play Your Fiddle In Tune! - Improving Intonation and Tone," "What Chords Go With a Tune," and many more. Workshops and jams are designed for Beginners, Low Intermediates, High Intermediates, and Advanced players, although you can attend any sessions you like.

These inspiring and incredible sessions are a great value for players and listeners, with discounts for seniors and young musicians, and further discounts and giveaways for early bird signups.  Scholarships are available, too. Click for Registration, and also to see the OverviewScheduleInstructors, & Racial Justice Statement. You can also sign up for the Mailing List, join the FH Facebook group, visit the Facebook event, and subscribe to the FH YouTube channel to replay & slow down jams for free.

Visit FiddleHell.org to see the 4 teaching levels, the common tune list, repertoire CDs, jamming guidelines, links to online resources, and more. The Fiddle Hell Online event software from Whova, accessed from your web browser or tablet or phone once you’re registered, helps you browse the agenda, ask questions, chat with the FHO community, easily attend live Zoom sessions, replay sessions once they’ve happened, and visit the virtual exhibitors.

How can I order a Fiddle Hell T-SHIRT?

Fiddle Hell Online t-shirts, with a great design by Autumn Rose Lester, are still available for online orders through Nov 10th by credit card or PayPal, to be delivered to the address you specify a few weeks after Fiddle Hell. These are comfortable and wash well.

CLICK HERE to browse choices and order.

Styles include Unisex T's, Women's T's, Unisex Long Sleeve T's, 50/50 Blend Unisex T's, and Women's Tanks. You don't have to be registered for FHO to order a t-shirt.



 

What’s Fiddle Hell doing to support racial justice and actively foster community inclusivity?

We have written a detailed statement outlining Fiddle Hell's efforts for racial justice and have shared it on our website. We hope you will read it to learn about how we are approaching this very important topic. We are committed to teaching and accurately attributing repertoire from Black and Indigenous sources, to supporting diverse instructors and performers, and to actively reaching out to and more explicitly welcoming participants of color into the Fiddle Hell community. As you look through the FHO Agenda, you will see sessions reflecting these goals.

What Is Fiddle Hell's Privacy Policy?

Our privacy policy is on the Info menu here.

Do you share my email address with other attendees or sell it?

The Whova system knows your email address, since you sign in with it, but doesn't share your email with other attendees.  If anyone sends you a message in Whova, your email isn't shown to the sender. You can propose "Exchange contact info" with another FHO attendee in the Mobile App, but they won't see your email unless you send it to them (and vice versa). If you visit a Virtual Exhibit and "sign up for offers and deals" with the exhibitor, you'll be asked for your email so the exhibitor can contact you.  But that's under your control.

And of course, FHO doesn’t sell your email address or share it with anyone externally.

How does Fiddle Hell select instructors and performers?

We look for instructors who are great musicians; friendly, supportive, well-prepared, effective teachers; and diverse in backgrounds and gender. As we always do from year to year, for the November Fiddle Hell, we're rotating many instructors out and some new ones in, to offer attendees an ever-changing lineup of musicians and sessions.  We were able to add certain instructors who live farther away because travel isn't needed for an online event, making it possible to have them join us. We were excited to add instructors with ties to Black and Indigenous music and musical history, and we'll be continuing to do this each year in the future.

Can I volunteer to help at Fiddle Hell Online?

We appreciate your enthusiasm! While we are not seeking volunteers at Fiddle Hell Online, we might need you when we meet in person in the future. In the meantime, you can help us a lot by recommending Fiddle Hell Online to your musical friends.

Is there a Fiddle Hell Online store for instructor CDs, books, and more?

Instructors' merchandise (recordings, books, etc.) is generally available through their own websites, which are listed in their bios in Whova. For the Reiner Family Band, books and CDs (including the two sets of Common Tune CDs), are at our online Store.

Can I buy or sell an instrument at Fiddle Hell Online?

Yes, once you're registered, through messages in the Community Topic "Instruments for Sale or Trade or Wanted." Any sales or trades are private transactions between the parties, and Fiddle Hell Massachusetts LLC is neither directly involved nor responsible for transactions or any problems.

When is the next in-person Fiddle Hell Massachusetts?

The next in-person Fiddle Hell Festival is planned for November 3-6, 2022. The in-person vs. online decision depends on considerations of safety, legality, liability, and site availability, as well as comfort levels of organizers, instructors, and attendees.

The next two online Fiddle Hell Festivals are planned for:

November 4-7, 2021
April 7-10, 2022

Please take a look at the schedule for November, 2021, which is amazing!