One reason AOTOS exists is to let us broaden our horizons by exchanging ideas and experience. We do this on a large scale at our conferences, on a smaller scale at our area days, and locally with pods.
The aim of pods is to link you up with the members who live nearest you. Once they are allocated an area – North, Central, South West, South East or Overseas – every member is also added to a pod, based on their postcode. We ask for a volunteer to co-ordinate each pod: they will email the members to try to organise where and when to meet, and what to do.
If for any reason you want to opt out of pods completely, please contact the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will remove you from the pod list and ask the pod co-ordinator not to contact you.
If you'd prefer to be part of a different pod, just email email@example.com.
If your co-ordinator has never been in touch, then your pod probably doesn't have one. Could you volunteer, even if it's just to organise one get-together to kick things off?
To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will send you contact details for your pod members.
- Go to a concert together – perhaps a pupil's concert
- Spend a morning or afternoon swapping teaching ideas and techniques
- Hold a repertoire session – ask members to bring their favourite songs for a particular teaching technique or exam board
- Meet together at a local music festival – and swap repertoire ideas for competitions
- Go to a workshop or masterclass together – for example an AOTOS area event
- Ask an examiner in your pod to do some demonstration exams with pupils.
- Could you combine with nearby pods to hire a speaker? Is there an AOTOS Council member nearby who might come and give a talk on their special subject?
- Pod events should be self-funding or self-sufficient.
- To find a date everyone can manage, you might like to use an online app, Doodle.
- Please don't arrange a pod meeting at the same time as an AOTOS conference or area event.
- You can invite non-AOTOS members to a pod event, but please encourage them to join AOTOS!
- Why not car share, or travel together by bus or train? Older members, such as Emeritus, may particularly appreciate this.
- When you've organised an event, please email the details to email@example.com and the administrator will put details on the website.
- Don't forget to take photographs of the event!
- Do post pictures of your event on our Facebook members' page. (This is a secret group: for an invitation, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Write a report on your event for the AOTOS newsletter and send it with photos if you have them to email@example.com
- If you'd like spare copies of the magazine to give potential new members, or AOTOS fliers, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Emailing pod members
Please be considerate when emailing other pod members – most of us have very full inboxes!
- If there is a local event such as a course or workshop that you think pod members might want to hear about, please email details to the administrator and she can share them with yours and nearby pods, only contacting members who have said that they would like to hear about local events.
- Every AOTOS member has the opportunity to send two free emails a year about relevant events or courses to selected members. We don't generally share information about concerts, as members tend to be doing so much that it would get out of hand!
Please do NOT share members' email addresses with anyone else or add them to mailing lists without asking them first, or you're breaking the law.
(And by the way... if you've got people's permission and you're sending out a bulk email, make sure you don't share all their email addresses by mistake. You need to put them all as bcc – not cc, which lets everyone see them.)