Find out the latest from the world of Learn to Uke – lessons, workshops & more!
We (Andy, Lorraine and Nick) have been approached by lots of fellow ukers who want a chance to play in a context somewhere between a workshop and a jam session. Some brave folk are even eager to perform — in public! We know that workshops are great for continued practice and learning to play and sing together in some parts, and we all know how much fun a jam session at Ukulele Wednesdays can be; but we agree that it is time to take your feedback on board, and try something new.
We’ve secured space at The Prince of Wales Feathers and we’re really excited to pull this concept together. The idea is we enjoy a good meal then crack on into a session in which we’ll learn to both play and sing in parts, so we can perform a song as a group. Think the skill development of a workshop meets the fun group atmosphere of a jam night, with the goal of shaping a team of finely tuned musicians over 7 evenings of fun social dinners and a structured jam/boozy practice.
The details are below and we hope to see you there!
If you’ve not been keeping an eye on our ukulele blog, you might want to see the history of this story, here. It’s a story of romance, love and secret ukulele lessons!
If you have been keeping an eye on our ukulele blog, you’ll know that Lorraine was teaching some top-secret private lessons (after the beginners course) to a bride-to-be, who wanted to surprise her husband by playing Ho Hey by the Lumineers on ukulele to him (and all their guests) at their wedding. She’d taken the course entirely in secret, and had been saying she was working late each Monday after work when she went to the course. For the private lessons, she made up all manner of excuses, including badminton (she hadn’t allowed future husband at-the-time to see the ukulele, so he had absolutely no idea), swimming, and dinner with a friend.
The bride-to-be has allowed us to unmask her true identity to you, right here and now, online, and she’s also allowed us to share a video and some photos of her special day.
The bride-to-be was Miss Amber Chung. Her married name is now Mrs Amber Moore. Her husband is David and she learned to play The Lumineers song, Ho Hey on the ukulele (with the lyrics re-written to suit their special day) to surprise him at the reception on their big day. After a rehearsal, she upgraded to an electric ukulele, and contacted the sound man for the wedding to arrange for a microphone and DI box so that she could be amplified for all of their guests to hear her as well as her husband. As anyone who’s been learning for a few months will tell you, this is no mean feat. She is one determined, fun and lovely lady. We’re proud to share the story of her learning and her beautiful wedding day with you. Here you go!
Learn To Uke has turned out a number of performers and groups, who are happy to go on record and talk about their time with us and where it’s taken them to. In this Interview, we get to talk to one of our wonderful performing alumni groups, The Martini Encounter. If you’ve never come across this charming trio, you ought to check them out. They sing close harmonies, in a cheeky cabaret style. Tongue firmly in cheek, they offer a 1930’s take on older and modern classics from the Andrews Sisters to Blur, Cab Calloway and The Muppets. Their tagline reads “Permanently shaken. Occasionally stirred. It’s happy hour with The Martini Encounter” and I think this says it all!
Here’s our interview:
What was your first instrument?
Maud: well I do not profess to be an expert, though my acquaintances say I am quite the natural. As a small child I dipped my rhythmical toe into the water with my very own set of spoons. Things really just snowballed from that moment.
Why did you take up the ukulele?
Muffy: Well it’s just the most darling instrument. What’s not to love about a baby guitar?
How did you find Learn To Uke?
Binkie: A very amiable young man introduced me to the idea whilst showing me his g-string at the Royal George in London Town. I was instantly smitten.
Would you recommend them?
Muffy: Yes of course!
Maud: You would need to speak to our agent.
What was your favourite song to learn to play on the ukulele:
Binkie: Oh but we loved them all and now we have an all-encompassing repertoire ranging from Cab Calloway, The Andrews Sisters, The Bonnie Tyler, Blur and, of course, The Muppets.