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Music, Film, Drama and Creative Writing


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Start date: 17th Jun 2020

Time: 17:30 - 19:00

Cost: £35

Day: Wednesday

Duration: 5 weeks

Tutor: Alison Lyon

Course code: 20SU098

Please contact us for availability

This term, Alison has devised a special course that can be enjoyed on-line, as we are not able to meet in person. This term’s virtual ukulele group is for absolutely anyone who wants to have fun making music with other people and can get their hands on a ukulele. This applies whether you have never played before or are an advancing player, or if you are somewhere in between. This is because the course includes some weekly on-line one-to-one tuition at your own level. When the class all meets up on-line, later in the week, we will all play THE SAME MUSIC together, but each person may be playing it in a slightly different way, using skills they have been learning at their current level.

For the first session students will need:

  • You need to have a ukulele. It can be a soprano, or a concert ukulele or a tenor - they all work the same way. You may like to buy a cheap strap for it too (about £3 from ebay for a cheap strap that will do the job).

  • You will need to have a device that can connect to the internet and has a camera and a microphone so that’s your smartphone or tablet.

  • You will need to download Skype to your computer, phone or tablet. Its free.

  • If youve been playing for a while, you might wish to obtain a cheap capo but its not essential.

    Additional Costs; Nothing else!

    The course will cover:

    Each week, our lessons will be in two sections:

  1. Each week well start with a personal video call with Alison, and this can be at an agreed time - to suit you on Tuesday or Monday. In this call you will get 15 minutes of one-to-one tuition on this weeks music, starting from whatever level youre currently at, and as well as demonstrating, Alison can watch and listen to you play, and help you with anything you are finding tricky. We can use Skype, or if you prefer Whatsapp, thats fine.

  2. The second session each week will be a group video call, using Skype. (Alison will call you at the start of the session. Just answer the phone, and we’re off!) In this lesson, Alison will lead the group in the songs weve been learning, and you play along at home . Remember, everyone in the group will be learning THE SAME SONGS, so we can enjoy making music together, although some people will have beginner skills to play them, and others may be getting a bit more fancy at home. Please do invite other family members to join in at home if they like, whether they can play an instrument of any kind, or want to sing. Youll need your mic turned off, otherwise other group members will hear that were a bit out of synch (because of an unavoidable delay on the line). But turn your mic on again to ask questions, make a comment or chat and joke with other class members. This is very much a social occasion.

The course will be backed up with all the written learning materials youll need. Each week, Alison will send you, via email, song sheets with chords and lyrics, and other helpful printables, such as chord diagrams, playing tips and explanatory notes about techniques weve been learning.

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Play some popular songs on the ukulele, using new skills pitched at their personal level of prior experience basic chords and strumming techniques for new and recent beginners, or chords from a wider repertoire for more experienced players, along with some further skills as appropriate (eg finger- picking, muting, damping, chunking, hammer-on, slide).

  • Relax a little bit, despite the crazy times were witnessing, bust the stress, and find a calm mental space in which to enjoy the good things in life, including music, friendship and, hopefully, some laughs.

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african drumming pic for ROSSETT

Alison Lyon

The course is led by Alison Lyon, of Drums Agogo. Alison has been teaching African drumming for 16 years, to both adults and children, and is known for her clear and accessible teaching style that makes learning friendly and fun. Alison now brings this fresh and friendly approach to the ukulele, which she has played since 2013. She has taught ukulele in schools, and devised the “Ukulele jukebox” part of the course as an instant-fun workshop project which has been enjoyed by everyone from WI groups to Scouts and Guides.

See Alison Lyon's other courses >