Ukulele Classes, Workshops & Shenanigans

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

MONTHLY FIRST WEDNESDAYS UKULELE SHENANIGANS

In these fun, Zoom-based play-along/sing-along jam sessions, we'll play a wide range of songs and talk about technique, chord changes, and other aspects of adding a little extra dimension to each song. Participants choose from a list of about 200 songs. Chords and lyrics screen-shared.The first 45 minutes will draw from the slow and easy-peasy song list; the last 45 minutes -- anything goes! 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. During songs, everyone will be muted except for Rebecca and me or whoever is leading a song. 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!

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: Monday, June 21, noon 'til dusk
    Where: Live! At D.A.R. State Park, 6750 VT Rt. 17 W, Addison, VT (contact them if you'd like to reserve a camping spot)
    Cost: Free for musicians! Park entrance fee is waived for honorary members of SongFarmers of Hinesburg (that's YOU!)
    Info: Email Rik Palieri at rik@banjo.net

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. We'll see how each song leads us to use different tools and techniques to express it. 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. It will help to 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. 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: Click on the registration line for each class you'd like to attend and you'll be redirected to Eventbrite to purchase tickets. If you want to attend them all, click on the link in the "Screaming Six Pack Deal" - the last one on the list below. If you need another payment means, email ukuleleclare@gmail.com.

  • June 8: "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! Click here to register.

  • June 22: "Gentle on My Mind" - We'll play with different voicings of the G chord and noodle around with a sweet shuffle strum. Click here to register

  • July 13: "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. Click here to register.

  • July 27: "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. Click here to register.

  • August 10: "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. Click here to register.

  • August 24: 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.
    Click here to register. 

  • Screamin' Six Pack Deal - Want to take all six workshops? Pay only $50! Click here to register.

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 on August 26! This course is uke-centric, but if you want to join in with other instruments or just to learn the songs, 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. 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., Wednesday, July 22, 29, Aug. 5 and 12 (power outage make-up date: 8/19)

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

  • COST: $45

  • REGISTRATION: Vergennes Recreation Department

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. 
 

  • We'll have lots of campfire tunes at this one! Sign up for the Campfire Song Tune-up (see above) and you'll be singing and playing with more ease at this fun gathering
    WHEN: 6:00-7:30 p.m., Thursday, August 26

    WHERE: Vergennes Town Green
    COST: Free! Sponsored by the Vergennes Recreation Department
    SONG PACKET: Print out this song packet or bring it on your device so you can play and sing along!

  • We'll be pickin' and grinnin' to a wide range of tunes for everyone.
    WHEN: Sunday, August 30, 2:00-3:30 p.m. 
    WHERE: Waterbury Public Library Garden, 28 North Main St., Waterbury, VT
                   In case of rain, we'll hold it in the Town's municipal building's community room, same address.

    COST: Free! Sponsored by the Waterbury Public Library
    SONG PACKET: Download Ukulele Shenanigan song packet here so you can play and sing along!

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: Click here to register.

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 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., Wednesday, Sept. 15, 22 & 29 (power outage make-up date: 10/7) We finish in time for the Oct. 13 Ukulele Shenanigan, where we'll play the tunes we've learned as well as others from the Shenanigan list.

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

  • 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 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 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: 9:30-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 25 
    WHERE: Zoom - you'll get a link when you register
    COST: TBD
    REGISTRATION: University of Southern Maine OLLI Programs - registration available soon!

ADULT LEVEL 1 UKULELE COURSE - In-person and Zoom options

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., Tuesdays, Sept. 14, 21, 28 & Oct. 5 
    WHERE: In person! At CVU High School, 369 CVU Road, Hinesburg, VT
    COST: TBD
    REGISTRATION: CVU Access

  • WHEN: 5:30-6:30 p.m., Wednesdays, Sept. 15, 22, 29 & Oct. 6 (power outage make-up date: 10/12)
    WHERE:
    Zoom! You'll get the Zoom link and song packet a few days before class starts
    COST: TBD
    REGISTRATION:
    CVU Access

  • 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)

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+.

  • WHEN: 5:30-6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct 19, 26, Nov. 2 & 9 (power outage make-up date: 11/16)
    WHERE: In person! At CVU High School, 369 CVU Road, Hinesburg, VT
    COST: TBD
    REGISTRATION: CVU Access

  • WHEN: 5:30-6:30 p.m., Wednesdays, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3 & 10 (power outage make-up date: 11/17)
    WHERE: Zoom! You'll get the Zoom link and song packet a few days before class starts
    COST: TBD
    REGISTRATION: CVU Access
     

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.

  • WHEN: 7:00-8:00 p.m., Sept. 14, 21 & 28 (power outage make-up date 10/5)
    WHERE:
    In person! At CVU High School, 369 CVU Road, Hinesburg, VT
    COST: TBD
    REGISTRATION: CVU Access 

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+.

  • WHEN: 7:00-8:00 p.m., Nov. 2
    WHERE: In person!
    At CVU High School, 369 CVU Road, Hinesburg, VT
    COST: TBD
    REGISTRATION: CVU Access

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

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+.

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+.