The Lightly Strung Orchestra

Founded in 2013, the Lightly Strung Orchestra (LSO) is a performance ensemble for ukulele players who want to stretch their musical boundaries, learn new techniques and upskill their knowledge whilst celebrating the joys of making wonderful music together with the happiest instrument on the planet!

What can I expect?

The LSO offers participants:

  • 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

  • A relaxed and supportive environment for you to learn and have fun!

  • Plenty of performance opportunities, including solo and lead vocal/instrumental parts for those who wish to push themselves a little bit further.

As a result of the Covid lockdown, we have been able to reflect on what changes are possible to make our UBER-UKE-TASTIC ensemble rock even more! From mid 2020, there will be 3 levels on offer to cater for the extremely diverse skill sets and musical goals of individuals within the group. These will include:

  • NEW! Level 1 for Advanced Beginners: for anyone with at least 6-12 months playing experience. This level will cover people already in the Silver Strings Ensemble as well as LSO players seeking an easier option.

  • Level 2 for Intermediate Players: for people with at least 2-3 years playing experience. This level will cover people already in the LSO.

  • NEW! Level 3 for Advanced Players: for anyone with at least 4-5 years playing experience and/or has a high level of proficiency over a diverse range of skills. This level will include the more experienced members of the LSO. Entry into the advanced level will be based on prior experience or audition.


Everyone will learn the same music, ukulele techniques and chord vocabulary, however, intermediate and advanced participants will be 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.

Level 1: Foundation

For advanced beginners

You are an advanced beginner who has completed a Foundation Level Ukulele Course and has at least 6-12 months playing experience.

You may be an existing member of the Silver Strings Ensemble or someone from the LSO seeking a little less challenge.

You will be able to:

  • identify and play any chord shape in open position

  • play all chords in the key of C proficiently

  • understand and play basic tab notation (music notation is not compulsory)

  • play foundation level strumming patterns such as the shuffle strum, rock strum and popular strum (even if not mastered just yet)

  • play basic finger picking patterns (even if not mastered just yet) 

Level 2: Intermediate

For current LSO members

You are an advanced beginner or intermediate level player who has completed an Intermediate Ukulele Course and has at least 12 months playing experience. 

You may be an existing LSO member (although you may switch into Level 1 or 3 depending on your skill base).

You will be able to:

  • play most chord shapes in open position and some barre chords

  • transpose music into another key using the musical alphabet wheel

  • transpose music into another key using a capo

  • read and play basic tab notation (music notation is not compulsory)

  • play a variety of different strumming and finger picking patterns including the off beat reggae strum and 3 or 4 beat brush strum

  • demonstrate a solid understanding of how to execute techniques such as chunking and slap/up (even if not mastered just yet)

Level 3: Advanced

By audition only

You have completed an Intermediate Level Ukulele Course and have at least 2 years playing experience. You will be able to:

  • play any open or barre chord shape with ease

  • easily transpose music into different keys with or without a capo

  • read and play tablature proficiently (music notation is not compulsory)

  • work out standard chord progressions in any key (e.g. I-vi-IV-V7) from your thorough knowledge of the musical alphabet wheel 

  • play from memory the 12 bar blues in the key of C, D, F, G A and "rock the chords" as appropriate

  • play more advanced and syncopated strumming patterns and finger picking techniques in simple and compound time

  • demonstrate advanced strumming techniques such as chunking, fan & triplet strumming, hammer ons, pull offs, bends and vibrato

  • play a solo part - whether transcribed into tab or as an improvisation

Fees & Timetable

Online sessions in Term 3 will be held on Mondays from 11am-12:15pm (including plus post-session social time). The term will run for 6 weeks from 10th August - 14th September.

Our timetable will most likely change when we return to face-to-face classes post "lockdown" depending on venue logistics.

Face-to-face sessions will run for 90 minutes and may include breakout groups or sectional rehearsals depending on the repertoire we are working on. Our Leadership Team will work across all levels to allow us to give more detailed instruction and feedback on the different parts.

Fees are generally charged on a term by term basis and we offer a range of passes to suit your schedule:

  • 10 Class Pass: $200 (attend up to 10 day OR evening sessions during the term)

  • Unlimited Pass: $250 (attend as many daytime and evening sessions as you like during the term)

  • Casual rate (pro-rated x # weeks): $25

Please note, there are no refunds or makeup classes for missed sessions. If there are exceptional circumstances whereby a participant is unable to attend rehearsals for an extended period of time, this situation can be discussed with the musical director and arrangements agreed upon.

If you postpone your enrolment to a future term within 5 days of the term start date, or after you have commenced a term, you will incur a $20 administration fee.

Contact us


"I really enjoy being a part of the LSO. It has such an uplifting vibe."

Sue, newbie to the LSO in 2020

"What a wonderful gig that was, I had so much fun as did everyone there!! I love being a part of this uke group."

Carolyn, LSO member since 2019

"I just want to thank you SO much for today and for being such a wonderful teacher and inspiration. I just loved it!!! It gave me such a buzz. I am enjoying playing so much and my fellow LSO players are very nice and friendly."

Jenny, LSO member since 2015

"Janine, you have a wonderful gift as a teacher. You encourage and motivate us to reach our goals. I feel as a group we enjoy the experience of the ukulele as we each become more skillful with your guidance. Thank you."

Denise, LSO member since 2014

"Janine, Jenny and Anne! Thank you for the opportunity to have a great time! What a lovely sight it was for me to see the smiles on the faces of the audience as they sang and clapped their hands to our music! I am very proud to have been part of spreading that love of music and the joy of singing along with other people."

Shirley, LSO member since 2014