Full list of class offerings
This is a list of classes that I teach.
For classes that have been scheduled, visit this page.
UKULELE SHENANIGANS (on Zoom)
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. The first 45 minutes features easy-peasy songs; after that, anything on the song list is fair game!
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.
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 August 26! 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+.
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.
Family fun songs
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+.
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+.
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 2-hour 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 - In-person and Zoom options
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+.
Live online ADULT LEVEL 2 Ukulele Classes
Four-week Level 2 classes delve into various techniques to improve strumming, moving smoothly among chords, and playing well with others. You'll pick up some tricks and tips that will help make you a stronger, more confident player. Please be familiar with maintaining a basic strum and be able to move with relative ease among these chords: Am, C, D, Em, F, G & G7 (chord chart available on this page). This class is online and live through Zoom, so there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get help. NOTE to baritone uke players: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Geared for adults ages 18+.
BEGINNER HARMONICA CLASSES
Harmonicas are always in tune, very portable, and fun to play. We'll learn how to pick out single notes to create familiar melodies and techniques to create fun textures and sounds. 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. We'll focus on learning to play melodies, bending notes, getting different tones, and spontaneously bursting into song! Geared for ages 18+. NOTE: YOU WILL NEED A 10-HOLE HARMONICA IN THE KEY OF C. Other keys won't work with class materials. 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! Burlington/Montpelier, VT-area shops include Guitar Sam in Montpelier, Recycled Reading in Bristol, or Randolin in Burlington.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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!
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+.
LET'S JAM: How to play well with others with confidence
Even on Zoom, it can still feel intimidating or like you're not exactly synching with the crowd. Let's change that! In this 1.5-hour session, we'll explore those music basics that seem to come naturally to others. We'll take a step-by-step approach to developing the tools that will help you feel more comfy playing with others - or even just yourself! 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+.
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+.
SOLSTICE & HOLIDAY SHENANIAN
We'll play Christmas tunes, songs of love and peace, and anything else you want to play. NOTE TO BEGINNERS: We'll start out with a half hour of easier tunes and ramp it up from there. Along the way we'll talk technique as questions arise. Here are the details:
TROPICAL STRUM TUNE-UP
That tropical strum is so handy and you can get it down with some focused time. It's 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 surpising 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+.