Uke 101 is the perfect course for the beginner student. Video tutorials and handouts will take you step by step through everything you need to know to pick up the ukulele and get playing. By the end of this course you will be able to tune your uke, pick individual notes, read sheet music, read tabs (and know what these are!), and strum and sing along to popular songs. You will be ready to pull out your instrument around a camp fire and get the crowd singing!
Amanda Hennessey is a professional music teacher in the Vancouver School Board in British Columbia Canada. She teaches ukulele, guitar, bass, drums, and singing in the public school system as well as privately. In 2016 she won the MusiCounts grant for her school. This grant is affiliated with the Juno awards! In her free time Amanda likes to perform in small bars and coffee shops, write new music, learn new instruments, jam with friends, and walk her dog Yoshi.
Let's get some hesitations out of the way first.
1. You're busy. Your life is hectic and this is probably why you haven't taken lessons yet. The great thing about taking our Uke 101 course is that you can learn anywhere. All you need is a device and your ukulele. You could be on a business trip or taking a lunch when you find 15 minutes to continue your lessons. You don't have to book months in advance with a private teacher or community center and worry about your schedule changing.
2. Lessons are expensive. This is true, but this course is extremely affordable. Right now is the lowest it will ever be as it is in its beta version. Most private lessons cost about $50 for an hour long lesson. You could get hours of lessons at your finger tips for less than the price of two private lessons.
3. Not enough time in the day. Once you start playing you won't want to stop. Even though there are plenty of lessons to watch and learn, you will be picking songs, strumming, and singing along after just a few times hitting play. You don't need hours of time, just 15 minutes here or there.
4. I don't know anything about music. Do you like to listen to music? Do you tap your toe to the radio or sing in the car? You can play an instrument! All you need is an interest and a will; Amanda will walk you through everything else!
Why the ukulele?
The ukulele is a fantastic choice as a first instrument to learn as well as a great one to add to the musical instrument repertoire. I'll give you four reasons why:
1. They are inexpensive. Instruments are pricey, but the ukulele is a cheaper option that still sounds great. In the first module of the course, Amanda walks you through the different kinds of ukuleles and help you choose which one is the right one for you. You can pick up a ukulele at the dollar store, but she highly recommends spending a little more. You can spend as low as $30 on a good quality ukulele, $80 for an impressive sound, or high into the hundreds on a specialty instrument.
2. They are super popular. Once you take Uke 101 you will be able to take your skills to ukulele circles at local community centers or jam with your buddies. So many cities today have ukulele get togethers on a regular basis where you can go practice your skills and make new friends.
3. They are very portable. This one doesn't need too much explanation. They are small and easy to carry!
4. They are easy to learn. A lot of schools use the ukulele to teach children because they are easy on the fingers, and very rewarding. You can play a song after your first session.
Why learn here?
There are lots of free resources scattered all over the internet. Digital Music School gives you all the information in one place ordered in a logical manner to learn the ukulele. Each lesson is given clearly by a professional teacher. There are worksheets to practice, which are each gone over with the teacher.
The course is taught by a professional. Amanda Hennessey received a degree from the University of Ottawa and then a second degree in Teaching Music from Queen's University. She teaches in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In December 2016 because of her innovative teaching methods, and the amazing kids she teaches, Mariana's Trench and MusiCounts foundations surprised the school with all new instruments. You can see the kids being surprised while playing "Who do you Love" directed by Amanda here as well as coverage in the Vancouver Sun and CBC.
Who doesn't love free stuff?
Module 3: Warm Ups and Module 4: 1st Notes and C Chord are free for you to check out. When you join the mailing list down below you will receive links to these modules in a welcome email.
When you go to check out the free modules you will also be able to see the layout of the rest of the course. "A Letter From Your Teacher" is also open for you to view.
There will be plenty of tutorial videos to walk you through each step of learning and worksheets to help you practice. You can also send Amanda questions at [email protected] and she will do her best in answering them and updating the lessons if there are pieces of information you found missing missing.