Ukulele Classes, Workshops, Shenanigans, and Gigs

Most classes & events are held online via Zoom, some in-person. 

 

UKULELE SHENANIGANS AND SLOW AND EASY JAMNANIGANS

What's more fun than playing the ukulele? Playing with a pack of ukulelians! Lift your spirits and improve your playing with these fun, Zoom-based play-along/sing-along jam sessions, we'll play a wide range of songs and talk about technique and how to add a little extra dimension to each song. Chords and lyrics screen-shared.

SLOW AND EASY JAMNANIGANS feature easy favorites at a pace designed to build confidence and fun. Scroll down for dates and registration.

 

Current song list:  Here's the latest list (11-10-21)   choose songs you'd like us to play and enter titles in the Zoom chat box.


UKULELE SHENANIGANS (Hang on for the laughter and the ride - anything goes!)
WHERE: Zoom (you'll receive the link at registration - click date to register)

WHEN: 6:30-8:00 p.m. EST

SLOW AND EASY JAMNANIGANS (Features slow and easy favorites)
WHERE: Zoom (you'll receive the link at registration - click date to register)
WHEN: 6:30-7:30 p.m. EST

  • LIVE! December 8 @ 6:00-7:00 EST- This fun sing-along / play-along ukulele jam welcomes all levels of players. We'll sprinkle ukulele technique tips among the mixed bag of favorite easy and intermediate songs, drawing from Americana favorites: folk, country, Christmas, Hispanic, oldies, pop, and more. Singers welcome, too! Come when you can - latecomers welcome. Led by Ukulele Clare and Rebecca Padula.
    WHERE: South Burlington Public Library, 180 Market St. South Burlington, VT
    COST: FREE!
    WHAT ELSE: This will be held in the library's spacious, 100-seat auditorium, with plenty of space to spread out for social distancing. Chords and lyrics will be projected on the big screen, but if you want to have the full selection we'll be choosing from at your fingertips, here's the song packet (5.5mb PDF) that we'll be using.

Rebecca Padula and Ukulele Clare Live and Livestream Concert

An entertaining performance that draws deeply from the American Songbook, bringing the best of jazz, country, folk, and blues. Rebecca backs her smoldering alto with guitar and ukulele. She has performed throughout New England at coffeehouses, bars, events, festivals, town halls, opera houses, weddings, and has opened for acts from LeAnn Rimes to Patty Larkin. Ukulele Clare is a Vermont-based ukulele shenanigan instigator who brings a lighthearted style to the stage with her ukulele, banjolele, and harmonica. 

  • WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 5 @ 2:00-400 p.m. EST
    WHERE: Live at the Deborah Lawson Memorial Library, Jericho, VTand livestream
    REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Snag one of the VERY limited free in-person tickets by calling 802-899-4962
    For a free Livestream Zoom link, register through the Deborah Lawson Memorial Library 
    COST: FREE!

Take the Hum-Drum Out of Your Ukulele Strum Workshop

The strum is the engine of the song. It needs to run smoothly through thick and thin. It also needs to swing to add that lively lilt that moves the song forward. This workshop returns us to the basics -- those building blocks we need to master to more successfully move into more interesting territory.

In this 1.5-hour workshop, we'll: 

  • Re-establish a strong foundation for your strum.

  • Listen for a song's beat and learn to use that as the guide for our strum

  • Review the physicality of the strum, how it involves your entire body

  • Learn how the tropical strum can release you into the next level of strumming

  • Limited to 10 students to give us time to help each participant with their strum.


You will have access to the class recording for at least a year, so even if you can't make it or have to sign in late, you'll be able to take the full class.

  • WHERE: Zoom (you'll receive the Zoom link and class packet when you sign up)
    WHEN:
    Tuesday, Nov. 30 @ 6:00-7:30 p.m. EST Click here to register  
         or
    Sunday, Dec. 12 @ 3:00-4:30 p.m. EST Click here to register
    COST: $25

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SONG TUNE-UP

What's your favorite holiday song? If your answer is "All of them!", then this 3-week class is for you. We'll sing and laugh and explore some of the techniques and chords that will help get these songs well in hand in time for holiday gatherings. Baritone chords not covered. This class is geared for adults ages 18+.

UKULELE JAM BASICS

Playing with others can be intimidating. It doesn't have to be! In this 1.5-hour workshop, we'll take a step-by-step approach to that will help you have fun playing with others. One day in the near future, we'll be playing together again in person. This tutorial will help set you up for that fine day. It will help greatly for you to be able to switch with relative ease among these chords: Am, C, Dm, Em, E7, F, G, G7.  NOTE to baritone uke players: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults age 18+.

TROPICAL STRUM TUNE-UP WORKSHOP

The tropical strum is a great step towards freeing your strum from the same ol' down-up-down-up pattern. Let's do it! In this 1-hour session, we'll get the pattern down and apply it to some of your favorite tunes, like "Under the Boardwalk" and "Walking after Midnight," and other surprising places where it can add texture to a song. It will help greatly for you to be able to switch with relative ease among these chords: Am, C, Dm, Em, F, G, G7.  NOTE to baritone uke players: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults age 18+.

EVERYONE'S IRISH ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

In this 3-week course, we'll practice playing some Irish favorites, learning new chords and get that quintessential 6/8 Celtic timing down pat. Wet your whistle with your favorite Irish whiskey or brew and we'll have a lark of a time! Before the start of the course, work on smooth transitions among these chords for best results: A, Am, C, D, Dm, D7, E7, Em, F, F#m, G, G7, Gm. NOTE to baritone uke players: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults age 18+.

  • WHEN: 3-week class, Thursdays, Feb. 24, March 3 & 10
    WHERE: Zoom
    COST: $35
    REGISTRATION: Click here to register

INTRO TO UKULELE WORKSHOP

Want to dip your tootsie into playing the ukulele without a commitment to a full-on course? Sign up for this fun class and you'll learn the basics of how to hold it, strum it, make chords on it, and work those skills into your favorite songs. If you've been playing for a while and want a refresher on the basic mechanics that can help kick your playing up a notch. 

NOTE: We don't cover baritone uke chords in this class. Geared for adults ages 18+.

ADULT LEVEL 1 UKULELE COURSE: Find your inner musician

The ukulele is one of the easiest instruments to learn - you don't have to have any musical experience to learn quickly how to play hundreds of songs. In this light-hearted class, you'll learn how to hold the uke, strum it, form chords, and play songs. All you need is a song in your heart and eagerness to learn. Zoom-based classes are recorded and available to class members on YouTube. NOTE to baritone uke players: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults ages 18+.

4-WEEK COURSE

  • WHEN: Tuesdays, Jan 4, 11, 18 & 25 @ 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST (Power outage make-up date Feb. 1)
    WHERE: Zoom!
    Cost: $45
    REGISTRATION: Click here to register

  • WHEN: Tuesdays, Jan 4, 11, 18 & 25 @ 6:30-7:30 EST (Power outage make-up date Feb. 1)
    WHERE: Zoom!
    Cost: $45
    REGISTRATION: Click here to register

  • WHEN: Mondays, Jan 24, 31, Feb 7 & 14 @ 6:00-7:00 EST (Power outage make-up date: 2/28)
    WHERE: Zoom!
    COST: TBD
    REGISTRATION: Register through the UVM OLLI Program

  • WHEN: Mondays, April 11, 25, May 2 & 9 @ 6:00-7:00 EST (Power outage make-up date: 5/16)
    WHERE: In-person at Champlain Valley Union High School (369 CVU Rd., Hinesburg, VT - unless Covid numbers make Zoom the safest choice - We'll let you know the week of class)
    COST: $65
    REGISTRATION: Register through the CVU ACCESS

6-WEEK COURSE - Want to go a little farther? Get more chords and technique at your fingertips

  • WHEN: Tuesdays, Feb. 8, 15, March 1, 8, 15 & 22
    WHERE: In-person at Champlain Valley Union High School (369 CVU Rd., Hinesburg, VT - unless Covid numbers make Zoom the safest choice - We'll let you know the week of class)
    COST: $95
    REGISTRATION: Register through the
    CVU ACCESS 

 

ADULT LEVEL 2 UKULELE COURSE

You've got a handle on strumming basics and can get to a few chords - now what do you do? You sign up for this class and take your playing to the next level! We'll drill into strumming technique, introduce some fun textures, learn more chords, tip-toe into fingerpicking, jamming, and just a tiny bit of music theory. You'll get the most out of the class if you have a relatively steady strum if you can get to the following chords fairly well: Key of C: C, F, G7, Am; Key of G: G, C, D, Em. Zoom-based classes are recorded and available to class members on YouTube for at least a year. NOTE to baritone uke players: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults ages 18+.

  • WHEN: Thursdays, Jan 6, 13, 20 & 27 @ 6:30-7:30 EST (Power outage make-up date: 2/3)
    WHERE: Zoom
    COST: $45
    REGISTRATION: Click here to register

  • WHEN: Thursdays, March 7, 14, 21 & 28 @ 6:00-7:00 EST
    WHERE: Zoom
    COST: TB
    REGISTRATION: UVM OLLI Program - registration link to come

THE FOLLOWING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS - They'll come back around soon!

ARRIBA! HISPANIC SONG TUNE-UP

Let's celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) with a fun exploration into songs of Hispanic origin. We'll learn a fantastic roster of songs from Central and South America and Cuba, from traditional to popular, covering techniques that you will be able to use to spice up other songs in your repertoire. You'll get more out of the class if you are able to switch among basic chords with ease, and be able to maintain a relatively steady strum.

NOTE: We don't cover baritone uke chords in this class and it's geared for high-G tunings, but the basic principles apply to all instruments. Geared for adults ages 18+.

CAMPFIRE SONG TUNE-UP

Want to feel more confident singing 'round the campfire and other gatherings? We'll bone up on some fun campfire sing-along tunes in this lighthearted 4-week course that finishes up in time for the Vergennes Campfire Sing-Along listed below on Sept. 10! This course is uke-centric, but if you want to join in with other instruments - including just your vocal cords - you're welcome as well. We'll explore ukulele techniques that you can apply to many tunes as we learn some great old and new favorites. It'll help if you can move with relative ease among at least the basic chords (A, C, D, E7, F, G, G7) and have a relatively steady strum. NOTE: We don't cover baritone or other instrument chords and techniques in this class and it's geared for high-G ukulele tunings. Geared for adults ages 18+.

DEEP DIVE SONG WORKSHOPS

Have fun learning how to coax out the emotion, the nuance, the flavor of each song as we peel away the layers of melody, lyrics, and rhythm to find YOUR way of playing it. You will get the most out of the class if you have the ability to move among at least basic chords with ease, be able to maintain a relatively steady strum, AND, of course, have an adventurous spirit. NOTE: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults age 18+.

  • "Morning Has Broken" - This one will stretch your strumming abilities with a variation on the 1-2-3 waltz strum and give you a focus for getting that bar chord down!

  • "Gentle on My Mind" - We'll play with different voicings of the G chord and noodle around with a sweet shuffle strum. 

  • "With a Little Help From My Friends" - This one uses all the chords in the keys of C and G and a straightforward strum - with some interesting timing elements.

  • "I'll Fly Away" - Three chords and a double-down-dribble strum make this old favorite a joy to play - especially when you add some simple, cool D chord voicings.

  • "Jolene" - A driving rhythm can add a lot of attitude and emotion to this one. We'll look at emphasis points and strumming and chording filigrees.

  • Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - Another great song to help you get that bar chord down. We'll also explore how he uses variations on the tropical strum to create his sweet, deceptively simple sound. 

DEEP DIVE: UKULELE STRUMMING & CHORDING

This class is for those who want to take a deep dive into working on smoothing out those chord transitions and developing a more intuitive strum - and have a lot of fun and laughter,  singing and playing in the process. It's a natural progression from the Level 2 class, but Level 2 is not a prerequisite. What you learn here will resonate as you continue to learn new chords and techniques to apply to your favorite songs. You will get more out of this class if you have some familiarity with these chords: A, A7, Am, C, C7, D, D7, Dm, E7, Em, F, G, G7, and if you can maintain a relatively steady down-up-down-up strum. (NOTE: We don't cover baritone chords in this class.) This class is online and live using Zoom, so there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get help. Class video will be available to review through 2021. Geared for adults ages 18+.

 

EASY JAZZY UKULELE TUNES 

Some standard jazz songs are hard ... not for us, though! We'll break down the chords and rhythms and be swingin' on a star in no time. Singer-songwriter Rebecca Padula co-leads this dive into the jazzy side of playing the uke, helping add to your chord vocabulary, and breaking down songs and techniques into easy steps. Soon you'll be applying those new ideas to the rest of your repertoire! You'll get more out of this class if you can maintain a regular strum and move among these basic chords with relative ease: A, Am A7, C, D, D7, Dm E7, Em, F, G, G7. 


FIND YOUR GROOVE: Focus on right-hand technique

Bored with your same ol' strum? Synch your strum in fresh ways to your favorite folk, rock, country, swing, and blues tunes. Singer-songwriter Rebecca Padula will join us in this 4-week class as we explore strumming strategies and right-hand technique. ABILITY LEVEL: Be able to switch among chords with relative ease in the keys of C (C, Am, F, G7); G (G, C, D, Em), and A (A, D, E, F#m [easier than it looks]), and maintain a regular strum. NOTE to baritone uke players: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults age 18+.

FINGERPICKING

In this 3-week course, you'll learn a variety of fingerpicking patterns that you can apply to many songs. We'll work on tunes from a variety of genres, including folk, pop, Celtic, bluegrass, and classical. It'll help if you can move with relative ease among at least the basic chords, including A, Am, C, D, Dm, D7, E7, F, G, and G7, and have a relatively steady strum. 

NOTE: We don't cover baritone chords in this class and it's geared for high-G tunings, but the basic principles apply to all instruments. Geared for adults ages 18+.

BEGINNER HARMONICA CLASSES

Harmonicas are always in tune, very portable, and fun to play. We'll focus on learning to play melodies, bending notes, getting different tones, and spontaneously bursting into song! Playing a harmonica regularly can also help improve your lung capacity and function -- which is great for anyone with lungs - Hey! That's you and me! - but especially folks with respiratory issues. Geared for ages 18+. NOTE: YOU WILL NEED A 10-HOLE HARMONICA IN THE KEY OF C. If you're shopping for a harmonica, note that cheaper ones are actually harder to play, but we can work with whatever harp in the key of C that you bring. My favorites are the Hohner Big River and the Hohner Special 20. Support your local music store!

INTERNATIONAL MAKE-MUSIC DAY

Grab your acoustic instrument - any one or two or three will do - and join the SongFarmers of Hinesburg as we all play together at this free, laid-back music festival. It's happening all around the world! Lead some tunes, play along, sing along, or come just to listen and enjoy the community coming together in song. There will be facilities and picnic benches, but you might want to bring your own chair. Don't forget bug dope, sun goop, cool shades, a picnic basket, and something to drink to keep up your strength!

  • When: June 21, noon 'til dusk

INTRO TO UKULELE WORKSHOP

Want to dip your tootsie into playing the ukulele without a commitment to a full-on course? Sign up for this fun class and you'll learn the basics of how to hold it, strum it, make chords on it, and work those skills into your favorite songs. If you've been playing for a while and want a refresher on the basic mechanics that can help kick your playing up a notch. 

NOTE: We don't cover baritone uke chords in this class. Geared for adults ages 18+.

LEARN A SONG BY HEART

It's not as hard as you may think to learn a song by heart. Learn a few techniques that you can apply to any song and you'll be playing without song sheets in no time. You don't HAVE to give up your song sheets - these techniques also help you play more smoothly even if you never give 'em up.ABILITY LEVEL: Be able to switch among chords with relative ease in the Key of C (C, Am, F, G7) and the Key of G (G, C, D, Em) and maintain a regular strum. NOTE to baritone uke players: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults age 18+.

 

LIVE SING-ALONG/PLAY-ALONG SHENANIGANS 

It's a sing-along/play-along fun time for the whole family! Grab your favorite instrument or just our voice and your sense of fun and c'mon down. We'll sing and play along to a roster of old and new favorites. 

SING & PLAY TUNE-UP

You may have learned how to play the ukulele but still feel that you could use more focus on coordinating strumming and singing. In this 3-week course, we'll use the basic down-up and shuffle strums on familiar songs to build coordination and confidence. ABILITY LEVEL: It will really help if you can play chords in the Key of C (C, Am, F, G7) and the Key of G (G, C, D, Em) with relative ease, and are able to maintain a regular strum. NOTE to baritone uke players: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults ages 18+.

SINGING FOR UKULELE PLAYERS: Building joy and confidence in your voice

In this lighthearted workshop, we'll explore vocal tools used by the pros and use our ukuleles to help us find the melody and rhythm of a song. Vocal teacher Jody Albright joins Ukulele Clare and Rebecca Padula in this special class where we’ll explore a variety of techniques, identify our vocal ranges, see how easy it is to change the key of a song to match different vocal ranges … and we’ll learn what the heck a key is! 
 

In this 1.5-hour workshop, you'll:
- Loosen up with some physical and vocal warmups
- Learn how your breath can better support your singing
- Identify your vocal range and learn how to change song keys to match it
- Tune your voice and ear to the melody notes in a song
- Practice coordinating singing and playing the ukulele
- Get access to the class video for a full year

 

You will get the most out of this class if you can maintain a steady basic strum and switch among the following chords with ease: Am, C, D, Em, F, G, and G7.

Led by Jody Albright, a vocalist who enjoys singing many styles of music and especially loves to improvise. She is also a voice instructor and circle-singing leader. She has been performing and teaching since the 1980s. Jody has always been especially interested in helping people 'find their voice' and discover the joy of singing. She holds a Master’s degree in music from the New England Conservatory in Boston.

Hosted by "Ukulele Clare" Innes, who has taught hundreds of students to play the ukulele; and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rebecca Padula. 

YODELLING FOR FUN AND RIDICULOUSNESS

You don't have to be a highland goatherd to get a kick out of yodelling. I do it every time I ride my bike through a tunnel! Garth Brooks includes little micro-yodels in just about every song he sings. You can find it in songs by the Cranberries, Hank Williams, Nanci Griffith ... across many genres. We'll cover yodeling basics and you'll come away with song sheets that spell out the yodeling sections so you can keep refining your yodel. PREREQUISITE: You must be willing to leave your dignity at the door. This class is geared for adults ages 18+.