Value #1: Revering the Circle
Every time someone leads a song in our presence they offer us a gift, not only of their music but also of their willingness to be vulnerable in our presence. We receive their gift best by giving them our full attention. We ask each participant to help keep the circle a place where the music is honored and each singer is respected as they share that gift. (If you’re reading this sheet during a song, flipping through a songbook or texting, you’re depriving another singer of your attention. That makes us sad.)

Value #2: So Many Songs, So Little Time.
We usually go around in a circle at least once, so everyone who wishes to gets a chance to share a song early in the Sing. When it is your turn, please be ready with one of your three options: 1) sing a song, 2) request a particular song from someone else, or 3) pass.  If you can’t decide, yield quickly to the singer waiting next to you. Passing is totally OK.

After we've gone once around the circle, the session leaders will switch to “moderated chaos,” where people are free to jump in spontaneously and sing when they feel moved. This can be great fun, and also a bit intimidating for shy folks. If you want to lead a song during moderated chaos but feel uncomfortable jumping in, just raise a finger or make eye contact with a session leader and they will call on you very soon.

We have a strong preference for chorus songs, ones that all can join in on. We also prefer to keep it simple so as to avoid spending valuable Sing time being taught difficult material.

Value #3: There Are No Bad Singers. 
We are eager to hear songs from experienced singers and novices alike. So whether you love your voice or not, feel free to share it with us. And if you’re feeling shy, you are always welcome to join in on the choruses.

CCE Irish/Scottish Singing Session. At rotating homes, on the 1st Friday of every month. For info or to be added to the mailing list, contact Michael Jones (

Jeremy's sing in Redwood City. At Jeremy's home on the hill, on the 2nd Friday of every month. For info or to be added to the mailing list, contact Jeremy Friedenthal (


Lark in the Evening in Oakland. At the home of Kristoph and Margaret in Oakland, on the LAST Wednesday of every month. For info or to be added to the mailing list, contact Kristoph Klover (

San Francisco Folk Music Club. At Cyprian's ARC, on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month. For information, contact Kim Probst (

Shanty Sing in San Francisco. On a ship at Hyde Street Pier, normally on the first Saturday of every month. 8pm-midnight. RSVP is required. To RSVP or for more information, contact Peter Kasin ( or 415-561-7171. To RSVP, give your name and the number in your party.

In Harmony's Way in Berkeley. 1st Wednesday of each month. BFUU, 1606 Bonita Avenue, Berkeley, south of Cedar. For info or to be added to the mailing list, contact Marlene McCall 

Nevada County Song Circle meets on the 3rd Friday of the month at various locations in Grass Valley-Nevada City. It's a very lively gathering. Details? Contact *Rise Up Singing songbooks encouraged.

Sacramento Song Circle meets on the 2nd Friday of the month at various locations in Sacramento and the surrounding area. For info or to be added to the mailing list, contact Joe Offer ( *Rise Up Singing songbooks encouraged.

Singers and Pickers in Davis. At rotating homes in the Davis area, on alternating Wednesdays. For info or to be added to the mailing list, contact Martha Teeter (

Circle of Song in San Rafael. At Artworks Downtown, 1337 4th St., on the 2nd Sunday of every month. For info or to be added to the mailing list, contact Margaret Miles (

In Harmony's Way Song Session Values and Culture

Other Singing Opportunities

Value #4: The Circle as a Food-Free Zone.
Everybody gets the munchies, and we usually have a few snacks on a nearby table. But eating, chewing, crinkling wrappers and such take focus away from the music. Help us keep the circle a place of reverence for song and singer. If you want to grab food, please wait until the song is over to leave the circle. When you return, please do so food-free and in a way that does not take focus away from the lead singer.

Value #5: Save a Tree: Memorize Your Song.
We love the closeness that comes from sharing songs in the oral tradition and we have seen how much richer the singing can be without lyric sheets. Songs that come straight from the heart tend to communicate feelings more than those delivered through paper (or smart phones.) Give memorizing a chance, even if it means taking a bit of time to prepare before the session. And if you really feel you need to bring a lyric sheet, no worries.  Please bring just one sheet for yourself so we can give our attention to you rather than to papers in front of us.
And remember, whether you memorize or not, we are glad you're sharing.

Value #6: We Love Guitars, But ….  
We are primarily an a cappella session. If you would like to accompany yourself on a song that you lead, go for it, and then quietly put the instrument away. Also, if you want to body percuss during someone else’s song, please do so in a way that is not intrusive.

Value #7: Rejoice in Song! 
It’s great that you're here and not home watching TV!