I am an absolute beginner and can't read music. Where do I begin?
If you have never played a ukulele before, or have very limited experience, our 4 week intensive Beginner Ukulele Course is a great way to kick-start your musical journey.
Absolutely NO musical experience or background is necessary.
You will learn techniques to maximise the quality of your sound, strum a few different rhythmic grooves and gain an understanding of how to play melody.
You will not be required to read music notation on any of the Beginner or Intermediate courses.
I've taught myself a little already so I'm not a complete beginner. Do I need to join a Beginner Course or are there other options?
Even if you have a little experience, our Beginner Ukulele Course is an intensive 4 week program designed to really gain a solid foundation set of skills and techniques that will be assumed knowledge in more advanced programs.
- learn how to really make a nice sound with correct playing technique in the "sweet spot" to maximises quality sound production
- gain a solid introduction to the musical alphabet and basic chord vocabulary.
- learn to read chord charts and gain a fundamental grounding in basic chords and common chord progressions
- experiment with different strumming & finger picking techniques
- be introducted to TAB notation and playing melody (you are not required to be able to read music).
At the end of the course you will have the skills to play hundreds of songs and be well placed to continue your progress by yourself or with others.
An alternative is having one or more 1:1 private lessons to assess what skills you have picked up already and identify the developmental areas to work on going forward.
Are you running face to face classes yet and are they Covid safe?
Although we have not held any face-to-face classes since March 2020, Making Music 4 Life is now registered as a COVID Safe Business. NSW Health have only recently eased restrictions so that up to 30 people can now meet indoors to sing/play musical instruments provided they remain socially distanced to the 1 person per 1.5sq metre rule.
Because this is new to us too, our intention is to slowly roll out classes from May 2021, commencing with Lightly Strung Orchestra rehearsals. However, until we gain a sense of how things work once we are all back in the classroom again, we cannot commit to running our full complement of Beginner & Intermediate Courses in the short term. Stay tuned!
Anyone attending our ukulele lessons will be required to use the Service NSW App to check-in electronically on arrival (or sign in on the form provided) at ALL sessions using our COVID Safe Check In QR code.
The health and well-being of our participants is our most important priority. To minimise the possible transmission of COVID-19, you must NOT attend a session if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, fever, fatigue or shortness of breath OR you have been unwell or had close contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Participants are also advised to BYO "everything" including ukulele, music stand, water bottle, pens, etc as there will be no sharing of equipment.
Why is learning an instrument good for my brain? What other therapeutic benefits does playing music have?
Unlike any other modality, MAKING MUSIC is like a TOTAL workout for ALL areas of your brain. Learning to play an instrument can change, enhance and optimise brain function by stimulating new neural pathways. Long term benefits of playing an instrument include enhanced memory, focus and coordination. You can literally grow a bigger brain by playing the ukulele!
There are also multiple therapeutic benefits that making music can have on your health and well-being. You may feel more vitalised, energised, relaxed, destressed, intellectually stimulated, socially connected and you may even gain a greater capacity to cope with life's challenges. We believe the therapeutic benefits from playing the ukulele are almost immediate, it stimulates your mind and creativity, and being able to play the songs you love is absolutely UKE-tastic!
So, come and experience it for yourself. Even if you have absolutely NO musical background whatsoever, we can help you find the “happiness factor” that comes with playing the ukulele and we hope it inspires you to MAKE MUSIC FOR LIFE!
Will online courses continue in 2021?
The global pandemic certainly put a stop to any communal ukulele playing, in person, in the same room. And online lessons certainly gave us a way to continue teaching students during 2020. However, with the recent easing of restrictions, our focus is on rolling out "live" ukulele courses and ensembles "in person" and seeing how this progresses as 2021 unfolds.
Hopefully we will be able to offer courses across the skill spectrum soon!
Thank you for your patience and understanding in this regard.
I've been playing on my own and want to join a group. Can I join the LSO?
Our motley crew of joyful ukesters loves welcoming new ukulele friends!
If you are unsure whether the LSO is the right fit for you, come along and sit in a trial session ($20) to get a feel for how things run. A typical session is structured to include:
- expert tuition in ukulele techniques, music theory and performance skills.
- diverse sessions that aim to meet the needs of different skill levels in the group through multi-part musical arrangements
- performance opportunities, including solo and lead vocal/instrumental parts for those who wish to push themselves a little bit further.
While everyone in the LSO learns the same music, ukulele techniques and chord vocabulary, intermediate and advanced participants are offered more challenging strumming patterns, chord options and finger picking parts.
No matter what level you are at, you will be supported to develop at your own pace.