February 2020 news: Ukulele events to chase away the winter blues
Updated: Apr 28
Howdy, Ukulelian! You've had a month to break all your 2020 New Year's resolutions - now it's time to have some guilt-free fun! Ukulele classes, as well as Shenanigans, and performances are starting up again for you, for anyone you know who has been wanting to learn to play an instrument, and, of course, for anyone in earshot who appreciates all the work -- and fun -- that you put into becoming the ukulele player you want to be.
*** Special note: Harmonica classes are starting up as well! Harmonicas are easy to learn, fun to play, great for anyone who wants to strengthen their respiratory system, and even more portable than the ukulele!
So c'mon out of your winter funk: The days are getting longer, those bluebird skies are getting sweeter, and more ukulele playing opportunities are hoving into view:
Ukulele Level 1: Starting with the basics, you learn how to hold your uke, tune, strum, make chords, and put it all together into song. Starting out for the first time or need a refresher? Don't consider yourself musical? Play another instrument and want to try the uke? Want to laugh, have fun, and learn all at once? This is the course for you.
Mondays, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (UVM campus, Burlington, VT). Dates: Feb. 3, 10, 24 & March 2 (snow day: Feb. 9). Registration: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Tuesdays, 5:45 - 6:45 p.m. CVU High School (369 CVU Rd., Hinesburg, VT). Registration: CVU Access Program Dates: Feb. 4, 11, 18, March 3 (snow day: March 10)
Ukulele Level 2: You know these basic chords: Am, C, D, Em, F, G & G7 (these are taught in Level 1). You can keep a relatively steady strum. This course will help you develop a steadier and more interesting strum, tip-toe into a little fingerpicking, learn more chords, and embrace some cool techniques, all while enjoying lots of playing and singing laughter.
Thursdays, 5:45 - 6:45 p.m. Waterbury Parks & Rec (28 N. Main St. Waterbury, VT). Dates: March 5, 12, 19, 26 (snow day: April 2). Registration: Waterbury Parks & Rec Dept.
Tuesdays, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Colchester's Bayside Activity Center (36 Blakley Rd., Colchester, VT). Dates: March 10, 17, 24 & 31 (snow day April 7). Registration: Colchester Parks & Rec Dept.
The Shenanigan is coming! The Shenanigan is coming!! We'll spend a couple of strummalicious hours playing and singing and horsing around at the Double E Lounge and Sound Garden Restaurant in Essex Junction. Chords and lyrics will be projected up on the big screen. You don't have to play the uke, you can just come and sing and enjoy the fun and food and bevvies! Bring a tall, cool pint o'courage in with you from the bar. Grab a bite to eat before, during, or after. We'll be drawing tunes from the Shenanigan packet, as well as my wild collection of songs, including a generous pour of Irish tunes, which I'll post soon on the resources page. WHEN: Sunday, March 15, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Ink it in! Forward this email to your friends! WHERE: The Double E Lounge and Sound Garden Restaurant 21 Essex Way, Essex Jct., VT (next to the movie theater). TICKETS: $5 - Get 'em at the door or in advance (ticket purchase link to come in the February/March e-newsletter). Seating is limited.
Aaaaaaaand, since you've read this far, here's a little something for ya. I love his loose-jointed strum/pickin' technique (a tip o'the tuner to John C for sharing this link).
Want to see the ukulele in action? I'll be performing with Rebecca Padula on Valentine's Day, and helping the Highgate community waft a little tropical breeze through a cold, winter day:
Friday, Feb. 14 – Rebecca Padula & Ukulele Clare at El Toro Mexican Restaurant Lots of old favorites and some originals by Rebecca Padula, with Ukulele Clare on ukes, dobro, vocals, harmonica and whatever else we can coax music out of. Plus ya gotta try the bartender's crazy-delish margaritas! WHEN: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. WHERE: El Toro, 82 Lower Main St., Morrisville, VT
Tuesday, Feb. 25 – It's Island Time at Highgate Library & Community Center! I'll be playing lots of tropical tunes for big and little people to sing and dance to. There's nothing like a tropical breeze to waft away the winter chill-- at least for a moment or two! Bring your uke and play along! WHEN: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. WHERE: 17 Mill Hill Rd., Highgate Center, VT
Want a chance to jam with other musicians? Beginners and listeners are warmly welcomed at the monthly SongFarmer Jam. Gather with acoustic musicians of all levels and instruments, led by banjo troubadour, Rik Palieri. It's always great to get together and swap songs with folks from various traditions and levels of expertise. It's a warm, fun, welcoming musical experience. It's free!
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 6, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Carpenter-Carse Library, 69 Ballards Corner, Hinesburg, VTDon't forget to check out some of these local ukulele jams! It's a great, zero-pressure way to improve your playing and laugh and sing with some fabulous folks.
That's all I have on the docket through February. Check out current listings at UkuleleClare.com. I hope to see you and your ukulele soon!
Cheers, Ukulele Clare