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Aw-shucks moments

"Thanks so much for launching our concert series! It was a warm, down-homey performance that was well enjoyed by everyone. The varied instruments and "patter" made it extra lively, and I'm going to be raving about those fiddlesticks to anyone who will listen for some time to come. A special thank you for the ballads, which tugged at my heartstrings." -- Allard Square Winter Concert Series

"Confirmed, you're a rock star. Thanks for the very engaging, & super useful kickstarter to uke playing.  I appreciate that you put a lot of thought into your teaching and really get people started off with skills on many levels--mindset, physical, the why behind the physical, and enough take-home that even in just one session, a person can actually play & sing along." -- Venue host of 1-day uke intro workshop

"I think I can say this as a teacher myself...I love your approach to teaching!  You obviously love what you are doing and it shows. You make it fun for everyone.  I learned music theory so long ago and my teacher was a boring old lady, so it bored me to tears. Since attending your class I have a better grasp on basic theory (and we didn't even do that much of it) because of the way you explained it."  -- Ukulele student


"Clare Innes is on a mission to spread the love of playing ukulele! Her enthusiasm for this instrument has garnered her a spot as the most popular music class at Access. Clare's Intro to Ukulele classes have grown each semester to exceed class limits and without hesitation, Clare has offered extra sessions to accommodate all our eager ukulele community learners. Clare is an excellent music teacher. She is patient, organized and most of all fun! Her teaching style encourages all levels to confidently play the ukulele with ease. I would highly recommend Clare if you are considering learning this wonderful instrument." -- Access CVU program administrators

"In a small amount of time, you were able to touch on key areas which sparked excitement and the desire to learn much more." -- Ukulele Student

"Thank you for visiting and playing for us today. Your fun-loving smile brightens everyone's day." -- Cathedral Square Senior Living

A-hah! moments from students

I've never done anything like this before and I did pretty good on our jamming exercise. I felt like a rock star!

It was really fun getting together with fellow teachers to learn the ukulele. We got to see each other and do something fun together, which helped us get to know each other better, as more than teachers.

I guess I am still just looking for an instrument that fits my lifestyle and honestly, I think it is the uke! Drums and guitars are just not that portable when you are backpacking, kayaking or camping. The ukulele is a wonderfully portable instrument, and it's fun to play and seems to make other people smile.


I wanted to learn an instrument. My wife plays guitar and if I played an instrument, we could play together. Other people I know or have met also play and it gives me an opportunity to participate when we get together. It's also good for your brain to learn new things.


Once I found the strum that made the most sense to me, it really clicked in and became natural instead of a fight to strum consistently.


I found out that a small number of chords learned meant I could play lots and lots of songs!!


My breakthrough moments: You get better with practice. When I first memorized a song by breaking it down. When I am starting to hear what note to go to at a jam.


My Ah-ha was finding out about the simple 3 string pick..... now to get it down.


Learning chords was a bit slow, but improved a lot when I started trying to play the tunes handed out in our class. 


Playing with a group was helpful as I felt I didn’t need to hit every chord if I didn’t know that chord yet.


Practice! Practice! Practice! I won't improve unless I practice, and I learned a long time ago that if I practice with people who are better than me I will also get better.


I can make bar chords easier on a uke than a guitar! 


Movable shapes!  WOW! 


What helped me break through to the next level was practice. I also love the pinky G and variations thereof.


Playing real songs is helpful; it's instant motivation to learn it and master it.


While I know it's needed, practicing piano as a kid, all those scales and exercises were excruciating.  Having some songs I already loved in the packet makes it so much more motivating to go home and practice it.


It was great to go to class and have a friend rather than a spouse teach me. it was good to understand there is often more than one way of learning & practicing.


I was having trouble holding on to the concert uke. It felt as though it was always slipping away, so I got a “Uke Leash” to use as a strap and that has helped a lot


I liked to hear how different strumming works better with a song and another pattern on other songs. And being given "permission" to just hear and feel which strum works.


Changing the key to fit into my voice range.


I still use the "peace sign" every time I find a song to play in order to figure out what chords will likely be in the piece. I have also started to break down songs into parts. I work on new things in sections until I feel comfortable with the part and then I move on.


Just having time to play with others and jumping right in to attempt a song. Also, when you were able to help show us transitions from one chord to another, that was really helpful.

GCEA = Give Clare Every Accolade for teaching us the uke!

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