Ukulele Classes, Workshops & Shenanigans

All classes & events will be held online via Zoom. It's still a hoot and you'll have fun learning to play the uke!

Weekly Wednesday Ukulele Shenanigans and Slow & Easy Friday Jamnanigans

There are now two levels of Shenanigans: The regular Shenanigans, where we play a wide range of songs, pretty much at speed, some songs with challenging chords - plus the NEW Slow & Easy Jamnanigans stick with good ol' basic chords, with songs at a nice, relaxed pace. Either way, it's a fun opportunity to lift your spirits and improve your playing. Anyone can join with any instrument or just sing along. Between songs, I'll answer questions about ukulele technique to help you grow your abilities as we go. In this Shenanigan series, we'll draw from this list of songs (Jamnanigans will focus on songs preceded with a "1." Everyone will be muted except for Rebecca and me or whoever is leading a song. We'll screen-share chords and lyrics for all the songs we play. If you would like to lead a song, please email me at least 2 days in advance and include the song sheet, which I'll share. In all sessions, the goal will be to have as much fun as possible!

  • SHENANIGANS: Wednesdays, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.,  May 5, 12, 19 & 26
    (NOTE: In June, July & August, we'll be offering them monthly in the summer on first Wednesdays: 6:30 - 8:00; with a slow & easy from 6:30-7:15, then anything goes 7:15 - 8:00: June 2, July 7, August 4)

    Where: Zoom
    Cost $5 per Shenanigan
    Registration: Email ukuleleclare@gmail.com and let me know which date/s you'd like to sign up for.

  • SLOW & EASY JAMNANIGANS: Fridays, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m., May 4, 11, 18 & 25.
    June, July & August, w
    e'll be be offering them monthly in the summer on first Wednesdays: 6:30 - 8:00; with a slow & easy from 6:30-7:15, then anything goes 7:15 - 8:00.
    Where: Zoom
    Cost: $5 per Shenanigan
    Registration: Email ukuleleclare@gmail.com and let me know which date/s you'd like to sign up for.

 

DEEP DIVE SONG WORKSHOPS

We'll have fun focusing on one song in each workshop and learning how to coax out the emotion, the nuance, the flavor. We'll practice peeling away the layers of melody, lyrics, and rhythm to find YOUR way of playing the song -- the goal is for you to be able to apply what we learn to other songs in your repertoire. Some of the songs that we will focus on will be easy-peasy, some challenging -- and we'll see how each song leads us to use different tools and techniques to express it. 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: We don't cover baritone chords in this class. Sign up for any or all of the workshops. Geared for adults age 18+.

WHEN: Every other Tuesday in June, July & August, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Zoom!
COST: $10 each workshop session (all six for $50) via Paypal, Venmo, or check
REGISTRATION: Email ukuleleclare@gmail.com and let me know which dates you'd like to sign up for. You'll get payment info, a Zoom link to the workshop, a song packet, and a session filled with laughter and exploration.

  • June 8: "Morning Has Broken"

  • June 22: "Gentle on My Mind"

  • July 13: "With a Little Help From My Friends"

  • July 27: "I'll Fly Away"

  • August 10: "Jolene"

  • August 24: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

COMING THIS FALL
Here's what's on deck so far: 

FINGERPICKING

In this 3-week course, you'll learn a variety of fingerpicking patterns, including 1- 2- 3- and 4-finger rolls, frails, and walk-downs. We'll work on tunes from a variety of genres, including folk, pop, Celtic, bluegrass, and classical. This class is for anyone interested in exploring this style of playing, but it's helpful to already be comfortable strumming and making basic chords, including A, Am, C, D, Dm, D7, E7, F, G, and G7. 

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. This class is online and live through Zoom, so there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get help. Geared for adults ages 18+.

  • WHEN: 6:30-7:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 13, 20 & 27 (power outage make-up date: 10/4 at 7:00 p.m.)

  • WHERE: Zoom! You'll get the link and song packet a few days before class starts

  • COST: $35

  • REGISTRATION: Email ukuleleclare@gmail.com and I'll send payment link and class info.

ADULT LEVEL 1 UKULELE COURSE

Four-week Level 1 classes are for folks who have never played the ukulele or who want a refresher of the basics. It's light-hearted and fun, and we cover how to hold the uke, strum it, form chords (Am, C, D, Em, F, G & G7), and play songs. You don't have to have any musical experience for this class - just a song in your heart and eagerness to learn. After each class, I will email a class recap. (NOTE to baritone uke players: 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. Geared for adults ages 18+.

  • WHEN: 5:30-6:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25 (power outage make-up date: 11/1)

  • WHERE: Zoom! You'll get the Zoom link and song packet a few days before class starts

  • COST: TBD

  • REGISTRATION: UVM's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

 

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

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.
 

Classes for kids

I currently don't have any group classes on the docket. I do offer private lessons for kids, year 'round.

 

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 prerequesite. 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 techniqueBored 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+.

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+.

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+.