Ukuleles, dobros, harmonicas, spoons, washboard ties

 

“Ukulele Clare” Innes has shared the joy of making music with hundreds of ukulele students and audiences in camp fires, concert halls, coffeeshops, libraries, adult ed classes, roadsides, restaurants, breweries … and even the Ticonderoga Steamboat at the Shelburne Museum.

 

During the pandemic she began offering online lessons and jam sessions, stretching her reach beyond her Burlington, VT-area sandbox to include students and jam participants from around the world.

 

All you need is a song in your heart and a sense of adventure

Clare’s teaching approach is lighthearted and welcomes those who think of themselves as shy or ‘nonmusical.’ She has been called a “Ukulele Whisperer” for her knack for untangling the knottiest chords, strums, and concepts and helping people venture into the flow and the joy of making music.

 

With no formal musical training herself, and a lifetime of grappling with intense shyness, Clare now shines as a motivational teacher, offering group and private lessons. “All you need is a song in your heart and a sense of adventure,” she says, as her returning students find their truth in this as well.

 

Ukulele Shenanigans, or jam sessions, draw beginners and experienced players alike. Clare and her partner — singer-songwriter and bandmate Rebecca Padula — sprinkle technique tips throughout the live and online events. As of this writing, many events are still online, with occasional outdoor appearances as the pandemic settles down in fits and starts.

 

Clare also writes songs and plays the harmonica and Dobro, kazoo (of course!), washboard necktie, and plays a mean set of spoons. Her teaching and performance musical style embraces Americana, spanning many genres, listing heavily towards bluegrass, folk, country, and old jazz favorites.