Session 1 | 10:30am 

1) Tips and tricks for expanding your musical horizons
Presenters: Sonia & Nigel
Sonia and Nigel are a multi-cultural acoustic duo featuring French-American Paris-born Sonia Wilson on vocals and ukulele and Kiwi-American virtuoso musician Nigel Gavin on 7-string guitar. They will share insights, musical games and practical tips from their teaching, touring and recording careers. All levels of playing experience are welcome.

2) Strumming patterns and different chords (up the neck)
Presenter: Dave Maybee
Dave is a multi-instrumental session musician, recording producer, composer, songwriter, recording artist, and longtime resident of Raglan. In this workshop, he puts on his teaching hat to guide folks around different strumming patterns and chords (up and down the neck). Suitable for beginners to advanced players on soprano, tenor, and baritone ukulele.

3) The other ukes
Presenters: Brian Wilson, Deb Hand, Lynne Wilkins, Marcia Mitchley and Nella Pairama
There are more kinds of ukes than your standard sopranos, concerts and tenors. If you’re curious about other ukes – or if you have a different uke yourself you’d like to show and talk about, this session is a sharing of info, led by our panel of local players:

  • Brian Wilson – 8 string and Low G ukuleles
    ” I played guitar for years, and only picked up the ukulele 4 years ago when I was given one. I was asked to teach some ukulele, so thought I’d better learn to play it myself! From these lessons we formed a ‘play for fun’ group, which quickly grew into The Ragtimers.”
  • Deb Hand – Baritone ukulele
    “I always wanted to play the guitar but, it was too big with too many strings! Found the Baritone 18 months ago…it was love at first strum.”
  • Lynne Wilkins – Guilele, bass ukulele
    “As part of the folk duo WilkieMac, I feature the guilele in some of our songs. I’m also a bass player, and I’m a member of the Raglan ukulele band The Blister Sisters.”
  • Marcia Mitchley – Baritone banjolele
    “I’ve been loving learning to play the ukulele and am grateful for the support of the Blister Sisters in this journey. I happened across a beautiful banjolele in Alistair’s Music Shop in Wellington last year. I love its sound and look, but have a long way to go before I’m confident to play it (in public!).”
  • Nella Pairama – Banjolele and baritone/tenor ukulele
    “I’m forever learning. My challenge – being left-handed. I choose to play upside-down, so that I can play anybody’s ukulele. I’m pleased with my achievements so far and laugh lots at my “Gee I got that wrong” moments, as for me some chords are impossible, but I’m good with basics.”

Session 2 | 12:00 noon 

1) Dancing chords
Presenters: The Big Muffin Serious Band
The Big Muffin Serious Band’s pioneering ukulele tuition method involves the band members all wearing oversized chord charts. Through a synchronised series of entertaining dance moves, they either reveal or conceal each chord for the songs that they’re teaching, in sequence. The workshop starts with fairly simple tunes for complete beginners, and increases in complexity, incorporating many different chords and several strumming styles and rhythms. The transposing of tunes into other keys (for many people – a mysterious and confusing concept) is de-mystified by means of another Muffin invention – The Transposometer. (Affordable pocket-sized versions, with complete instructions, will be available at the conclusion of the workshop).

2) Singing waiata
Presenters: Lucy Haru and Betty Diprose
This workshop is all about learning Te Reo in a fun and musical way, accompanied by the ukulele and with strums that reflect the wonderful and lively Polynesian rhythms. Nō Whāingaroa a Lucy (Lucy is from Raglan). She is a teacher of Te Reo and a lover of music. Together these passions make a wonderful vehicle for learning Te Reo in a fun way. Nō Whāingaroa a Betty (Betty is from Raglan). She is a teacher and ukulele enthusiast.

3) The secret life of chords
Presenter: Penni Feather
“Chords… in the wild. They’re frequently found in groups of three or four… but why is that?” (I hope you read that in your best David Attenborough voice!). If you’ve ever wanted to work out the chords to a song, jam with other players, or change a song to a better key for your voice, this workshop is an easy intro to chord theory. Penni is a singer/guitarist/ukulele player who performs as Penni Feather. She also leads Raglan ukulele group The Blister Sisters.

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