Starting a pod

Pod co-ordinators

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?

Here is some advice for getting a pod up and running – do bear in mind that many of those ideas won't be possible while Covid-19 measures are in place. Feel free to get in touch with our dedicated Pod Councillor, Zoe Turner ( or your Area Representative if you might be interested in setting up a local pod.

If you're ready to volunteer, email, and she will send you contact details for your pod members.

Getting started

  • 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.

Next steps

  • When you've organised an event, please email the details to 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
  • Write a report on your event for the AOTOS newsletter and send it with photos if you have them to
  • If you'd like spare copies of the magazine to give potential new members, or AOTOS fliers, email

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.)