Surry County’s first ukulele group lessons launch on June 25, with an hour-long lesson each Tuesday for eight weeks.
Olde Mill Music, located in downtown Mount Airy, is offering the ukulele group lessons with instructor and musician George Smith.
Smith emphasized that all ages and skill levels are welcome to enroll.
Jennie Lowry of Olde Mill Music said they are happy to offer ukulele lessons and has high hopes for their success. “Ukulele is so popular right now…it’s big with young people, but older people also remember it from the 1960s popularity. There are different chord formations, but it is very easy to play and pick up and we are hoping a class might encourage people to get involved.”
Smith said he first came up with the idea for ukulele lessons after his wife Jin suggested a group class, because she and a friend both wanted to learn. Since Smith worked for Olde Mill Music as an instructor, it was the perfect opportunity to start a new class, and with Lowry on board, the idea blossomed.
“This is a good way to spend time in the summer, by taking ukulele lessons. It is a cool opportunity to get people interested in music and encourages a sense of community with the group lessons. This type of instrument really lends itself to group involvement,” Smith remarked.
For those who may have prior guitar or string instrument experience, ukulele chords are slightly different, and Smith said many consider it easier to learn.
“It is suited well for beginners who have never played anything. There are a lot of simple chords using one or two fingers, which makes it accessible to most anyone, from beginners who have never played to the advanced musicians who can play lead guitar.”
Smith said he would like to incorporate ukulele versions of contemporary songs from artists such as Pink Floyd, Green Day, Radiohead, and more. “I think it is really interesting to try these songs out on the ukulele, but still keep some rock elements with it. I know I have some creative people involved in the lessons so I hope to also allow for some original songs.”
Smith added that if the weather is nice, he hopes to take the group outside for an outdoor jam session or two.
For a final concert, students will be invited to perform as a large group for a free public concert at Old North State Winery, tentatively scheduled for a date in August.
Visit George Smith’s webpage at musicofgeorgesmith.com for more information about his performances.
Ukulele group lessons are scheduled to begin on June 25, with two sessions each Tuesday, one from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and a later class from 8 to 9 p.m.
The cost for the lessons is $80 per person, which averages out to be $10 per lesson.
Contact George Smith at email@example.com or call Olde Mill Music at 786-8742 for more information or to register for ukulele lessons.
Reach Jessica Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1933.