As much as we love listening to the ukulele, playing it is even better! We’ve got a phenomenal workshop lineup for you learn new skills or hone your talent.
Workshops are listed according to the festival schedule (this will probably change but will be locked down two weeks out from the festival!) and include the suggested participant experience level: Beg – beginning player, Exp – Experienced player, Adv – Advanced player.
11 – 11:45am
Ukulele Boot Camp led by Craig Chee
Craig’s most popular workshop! Craig’s ever-adapting Boot Camp will dive into a ton of exercises that will help strengthen and quicken your fingers as well as focus on your tone.
We will then show how these exercises are applied to intermediate and even advanced techniques to take you to the next level! ‘Ukulele beginners to intermediates will have lots to chew on as there are many variations for all levels.
*High G tuning recommended
Singing the Strings led by The Naked Waiters
Learn to sing basic harmonies in any song using notes from the strings on your ukulele. Start to view your ukulele as a four-piece choir. We’ll learn this trick with a couple of different popular songs and how you can use it with your favorite song, or even your own original songs!
12 – 12:45pm
Ukulele From Scratch led by Heidi Swedberg
This recipe uses only two ingredients: you and your new uke! We will start making music together right away, adding one skill at a time until you can play literally hundreds of songs. It seems too good to be true, but that is the magic of the ukulele. Heidi Swedberg loves working with absolute beginners, making the complicated simple and fun, and sharing their joy of musical discovery. Gestalts and laughs aplenty. Let’s get cooking!
Hand Strengthening led by Sarah Maisel
As an Ukulele Player who has arthritis, I understand that it can be difficult to play. Join me as I show you ways to improve hand strength and flexibility. We will go over exercises with the ukulele and ALSO cover stretches and other techniques you can do while you are AWAY from your ukulele. As a special edition, we will also cover some ‘cheater’ chords you can use when you just can’t get your fingers to work.
Advanced Strumming led by Daniel Ward
(Beg – Adv)
In this workshop you’ll learn to group the ups and downs of your strumming hand into short patterns. These easy patterns are then used as building blocks to explore any style of music. The difference between a simple folk strum and more advanced strums like Latin styles, polka, or even disco and funk are just one or two ups and downs away from each other! Clear handouts to take with that outline the whole class.
1 – 1:45pm
Intro to Soloing (Ridiculously Easy Music Theory) led by Craig Chee
(Beg – Exp)
Ever wonder how the pros do it? Craig will show you the tricks to starting your solos. Whether it’s playing solo, or jamming with others, he will get you feeling confident about your skills. Utilizing drills, a bit of theory, and exercises that are fun and easy to practice, you’ll have a blast in this class. Get out of your strumming rut and start soloing!
Children’s Ukulele led by Heidi Swedberg
Working with children is both challenging and rewarding. Understanding childhood development markers and having a fluid repertoire can go a long way to making the experience joyful. Heidi Swedberg has taught children’s music classes for 20 years and is passionate about sharing the techniques, songs and concepts she has honed, and letting you prepared to sing and play with the wee folk.
Chunky Is Funky led by The Naked Waiters
The “chunk” is a great rhythmic strumming technique to create a beat for yourself while you’re playing. We’ll look at the chunk as a backbeat (on beats 2 and 4), and focus on both pop/rock and swing-jazz rhythms, and feel the difference between the two. You’ll then be able to apply these techniques to any song.
2 – 2:45pm
Transposing Songs led by Sarah Maisel
(Exp – Adv)
What do you mean there is another key besides C?! YES there is – and Sarah will take you through every step, giving you the confidence to be able to transpose ANY STYLE of song! Transposing is a wonderful tool and has a variety of uses. With this skill, you can get songs to be in your right vocal range, or even add extra dimension to your songs by changing keys WITHIN the tune! No prior music theory required.
Flamenco Rhythms For The Ukulele led by Daniel Ward
(Beg – Adv)
This is a fun workshop that explores several different flamenco forms. The short rhythm studies in the handouts outline several techniques and rhythms that really make the sound of this special music come together. Rumba, Sevillanas, Tangos, and a few other styles will be the focus. Apart from being fun to learn, these techniques will also be useful in all the other music you play and add a deeper command of rhythm to all your playing.
3 – 3:45pm
Shaping Your Sound led by Craig Chee
(Beg – Exp)
Every Musician has their own voice, and this class will help you create yours. Craig will take you through expanding the basics of hammer-ons/Pulls offs, Percussive elements, as well as some right-hand techniques to get you on your way. You’ll be surprised at how simple elements can completely change the feel and sound of a song. All the techniques taught in this class can be used on any form of music- whether it be Island Pop, Jazz, or Rock and Roll. This is the perfect class for the strummer who is looking to do more than strum. You must be comfortable with your basic chord shapes and be prepared to play a few barre chords.
Harmonies and Songwriting led by The Naked Waiters
(Beg – Adv)
Learn the basics of writing your own song, as well as where to add harmony to really make it pop! We’ll learn a basic song format and how to follow it, writing section by section until your song is complete, then we’ll learn elements you can add to spice it up!
Fun & Games led by Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward
(All, ukulele not required)
Ukulele is a social instrument and this workshop is all about sharing a good time. Using folk songs from around the world, we will play each other’s instruments and participate in musical games that will connect you with to your community. Sing, dance and share in this unique and bonding musical experience.
Workshop schedule, description and lineup subject to change and artist availability. Workshops are limited to room capacity and are provided on a first come first serve basis.