Hawaii’s gift to the world — the lovely little ukulele — has been at the center of my passion as a musician for 20 years. My own joy of discovering the fun of playing the ukulele and singing along inspired me to practice for hours and to learn and research as much as I could about the ukulele.
After a year teaching ukulele as a volunteer in an elementary school (about 50 children, 1st Grade to 6th Grade), near our home in Ashland, Oregon, I realized that my rigorous study of the instrument coupled with my classroom experience had brought me to a place where I understood the fundamentals of playing ukulele and also had amassed enough musical knowledge to create a curriculum to work from. I also realized that I had the personal qualities required of a teacher to successfully transmit that knowledge to children, adults, elders — anyone!
My unique ‘Fundamentals of Ukulele’ three-lesson plan aims to teach the important basics of playing the ukulele to beginners. It can also provide a kick-start for those already strumming and smiling but who want to enhance their musical understanding in order to improve their playing. The aim of my three lessons is to help each person get comfortable with the ukulele and then become the pilot of their own musical journey. Some students continue with me beyond the first three ukulele lessons, of course — it all depends on a person’s individual goals. My hope is that — with my help and regular practice — each of my students will find themselves learning to strum freely, happily singing with their own voice, and enjoying every day the many, nourishing benefits of creating live music on the sweet-sounding ukulele.