Ukulele Courses

Uke for your Life! 

“I’ve just completed Jill’s 4 week beginners Ukulele course and I would strongly recommend it. Having only very limited musical experience I found Jill’s instructions and explanations very clear and the classes were great fun. Although I can now play quite a few songs, I can’t wait for the next course.” Claire Vickers, “graduate of March 2017 Beginners’ Course”

“At the age of 68 I started off never having learnt to play any instrument and after four weeks found something that I thoroughly enjoy and much easier than I expected, all thanks to Jill and her professional teaching.  I must keep up the practising though!” Linda Winter, “graduate of March 2016 Beginners’ Course.

“I found the Beginners’ course fun, moved at a good learning pace and great interaction between students and Jill, with excellent follow-up written and musical material. I am now eager to continue improving.”  – Roger Marshall, “graduate” of September 2013 Beginners’ Course, and Refreshers’ and Improvers’ courses in 2014.

“Jill is a perfect teacher. She is well prepared, gives clear explanations, lots of resources and makes it all fun!” – Zoe Gerrard, “graduate” of January 2014 Beginners’ Course.

Uke for your Life! Summer Strum Special at St. Etheldreda’s Church, Old Hatfield

Happy n-uke year – 2019!
I hope that many of you are still enjoying playing your ukuleles and I would like to thank Alastair and Tricia Fraser for organising the UFYL sessions since last September. It takes considerable work to pull it altogether and I really appreciate their time and support.
However, I now have some news, which is slightly sad for fans of UFYL, though exciting for me – I have just been appointed Education Manager of Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival. This is an exciting new role that has been created by the Festival Trustees to engage, inspire and enable young people in our community to access and be involved in high quality chamber music, both at the Festival in September and eventually, throughout the year. It compliments my role as Director of Music at St. Etheldreda’s, Old Hatfield and will strengthen ties between the church and the House and help us to develop better links with our community.
As a result of this, I cannot continue to organise and present ukulele courses and events – I have just not got enough time available at the moment. It may be possible to organise some private ad-hoc lessons during the daytime and run some UFYL Jammin’ sessions later in the Summer. I will update the website and let you all know in due course.
Thank you for all your support since we started UFYL in 2013 – 5 years of amazing ukulele fun and games – as well as a bit of learning for us all.
With best wishes – and keep on strumming/picking/singing

Please contact Jill for further details and if you wish to be added to the mailing list for 2019.

Ukulele Beginners’, Improvers’ and Picking Single ad-hoc Sessions  – these are for individuals or small groups who wish to work on specific aspects of technique, or improve their fluency and playing in certain songs/arrangements. Please contact Jill to arrange.
When: Date/time by mutual arrangement
Where: Venue – Welwyn Garden City
Cost: £15 per person 
To book: Contact Jill for further details and if you wish to be added to the mailing list.

4 week Basic Beginners’ Course –
Where: Venue – Welwyn Garden City
Cost: £50.00 
To book: Contact Jill for further details and if you wish to be added to the mailing list.

My own electro acoustic ukulele!   

The ukulele is relatively easy to learn to play. It’s a great little instrument as it’s so easy to pick up and carry around with you – you can strum and sing along in your bedroom, the garden shed or on even in the car (as long as you’re not driving at the same time!).
During this course you will learn to play 5-6 songs on your ukulele in each session. No prior musical knowledge is necessary but you must be prepared to do regular practice between sessions throughout the course in order to make progress and enjoy it. We will cover basic chord shapes, strumming patterns and simple plucking patterns across a variety of songs ranging from traditional to rock and pop. The course is for absolute beginners – you will be taught how to hold, tune and play your ukulele confidently.
You will need to have your own ukulele* – either a soprano or a concert variety is a good type to start with, depending on what sort of tone you prefer. The best thing to do is to try out a few and find one that you like without spending too much initially. Makala is a good quality entry-level make and not too expensive, but the Stagg ukuleles are also quite reasonable too. If possible, try to buy an instrument with Nylgut strings rather than plastic for better sound quality, (Aquila are a recognised good quality make) though you may need to buy these as extras and have them fitted.

Locally, you can find a good selection of ukuleles and accessories at:
The Sound Garden, 36-38, High Street, Barnet
Gig Gear, Harlow

You will also need an electronic clip-on tuner so that you can tune your own instrument. (These can also be purchased on Amazon). Please contact me through my contacts page if you would like further advice on choosing an appropriate instrument or take a look at Ukulele Hunt which offers lots of useful advice.

4 week Ukulele Beginners+ (Refreshers’)Course 
This course reinforces the basic chords,strumming techniques and chord picking learnt in the Basic Beginners’ Course, with 4-5 new songs each session. We will also look at some new more “jazzy” chords and songs needing more frequent chord changes. There will be some basic melody line picking too. Some practice will be required!
Where: Venue – Welwyn Garden City
Cost: £50.00
To book: Contact Jill for further details and if you wish to be added to the mailing list.

“Back to Basics Picking” course
This 4-week course will look purely and simply at how to pick melodies and read ukulele tab from the very basics, picking chord accompaniments to songs and picking chords to create melodies. It is suitable for anyone who knows how to strum the basic chords on a uke and wants to have a go at the melodic lines.
When: please let me know if you are interested and if there are enough people, I may be able to arrange this course.
Where: Venue – Hatfield/Welwyn Garden 
Cost: £50.00 
To book: Contact Jill for further details and if you wish to be added to the mailing list.

Electronic tuner

Ukulele Improvers’ Course  
Where: Venue – Welwyn Garden City
Cost: £50
To book: Contact Jill for further details and if you wish to be added to the mailing list.

This 4 -session course is designed for people who have attended the Beginners’ Ukulele Course and the Beginners’+ too, and are confident with playing the main major chords, and a few simple minor and 7th chords in first position. You need to be reasonably comfortable with changing between these chords without always relying on looking at the chord charts. If you are not sure about these, please try a Refresher Course or re-do a Beginners’. It’s worth it just to develop that extra feeling of confidence with the basics, before moving on. At the suggestion of some students, the course has been spread over a 4-month period to allow for extra time to practise between sessions.

This Improvers’ course will include more complex chords and chord sequences, different strumming patterns and picking out melodies, chords and lead lines using tab notation. We will learn around 4-5 songs in each session. Please bring your own ukulele and an electronic tuner. All other learning materials are provided. You will need to practise regularly in order to gain full benefit from the course, so please make sure that you have time for this before booking a place.

Please register as soon as possible if you are interested in joining any of these courses as numbers are limited to allow for some individual guidance. 

Three Ukulele Ladies