Instructors include Director Kevin Carroll, Bernice Lewis and Gerald Ross.
2020 UKULELE SCHOOL
During this 3-day course, small group sessions will cover the basics to the fine points and will allow students time with each faculty member. The school will be held Monday, June 1 thru Wednesday June 3, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day at the nearby Schreiner University campus. Free transportation shuttles from the Festival to and from Schreiner University campus will be offered daily for workshop registrants.
Registration is $285 through March 31, 2020. Pre-paid reservations are required, prices increases to $325 after March 31. Your registration fee includes a KFF tote bag, admission to the festival and campground (including Sundown Concerts and tent camping), three days of ukulele classes and lunches on class days.
Players of all levels are welcome. Please bring your Ukulele/accessories, a notebook and a portable recording device (if you have one).
Class descriptions are posted below, and a detailed schedule will be posted here when it becomes available.
Beginner to Intermediate
Learning these 5 note "gateway" scales can unlock the secrets of improvising in various genres and contexts. Rock, blues, country, and folk music all make use of the pentatonic scales. This workshop has been very popular in ukulele clubs and classes in Canada and the US. Beginner and intermediate players welcome.
Confident Beginner and Above
This ensemble-style class will explore the Celtic music of Ireland, Scotland and the British Isles. Bagpipe drones, fiddly-bits, hammer-ons and pull-offs are just the beginning for this new offering. I have several tunes arranged in a ‘Ukestra’ style with a combination of single-note parts as well as chords. We will also try our hand at a couple of traditional “session” tunes where the ukulele will play Celtic fiddle melodies. Material will include a curated set of traditional music that has been tailored to fit the ukulele like a fine kilt. Prior note-reading and/or tablature reading experience highly recommended. Low-G tuning recommended, though not mandatory.
Ukestra-Differentiated Ukulele Orchestra
This has been a passion of mine for several years. This workshop will introduce your group to the great joy that comes from playing instrumental music in a "Ukestra." Don’t worry if you have never read music or played with others. I will
provide the arrangements in standard notation and tablature and lead you through a level-appropriate piece of music for up to 4 ukulele parts and U- bass. I'll even bring my baton and conduct the group.
Intro to Western Swing
Beginner and Above
Welcome to Texas! This workshop will focus on the great music of one of our state’s legendary musicians, the one and only, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. We will learn some easy 2-finger chords to play tunes like Ida Red, Take Me Back to Tulsa and Stay All Night. We might even get to to play the classic Steel Guitar Rag!
Songwriting for Ukulele
We’ll go over the anatomy and physiology of songwriting and talk about what makes writing on and for ukulele unique. We’ll take a look at the structure of songs, components, story line, use of poetic devices, chord structure, melody, and talk about how contemporary song has evolved historically. Bring your songs, and plan to write a song or two to share with our group.
Oh, I Don’t Sing
Maybe you sing in the shower, or in the car when you’re alone. Suddenly, when others are around, you can’t find a way to open your mouth and let it out. Everybody loves to sing once they get past the fear they experience when they hear the sound of their own voice. We will use simple vocalizing techniques and the basic mechanics of the voice to help you find and develop your own voice.
I Write The Songs
Whether you are writing them, or performing the songs of others, it’s important to understand how songs are structured, what makes them work and why. We’ll go over the anatomy and physiology of songwriting and talk about what makes writing on, and for, the ukulele unique.
I Have Stage Fright
Secrets for dealing with performance anxiety. Why do we have it? How does it help us? We will unlock performance techniques for managing your stage fright.
Three Note Chords/All You Need to Get That Bluesy/Jazzy Sound
(Confident beginner to intermediate)
Just because the ukulele has four strings doesn’t mean you have to play them all! Many times, you can say more musically with two or three notes than you can with four. We will learn how easy it is to finger three-note chords that sound much more bluesy and jazzy than their four-note counterparts. Simple Blues songs will be used to demonstrate this very effective, very hip-sounding style. No music theory needed, no music reading required, no knuckle-busting chord shapes to learn, just fun! Any sized uke tuned GCEA will work.
Take It! Single-Note Soloing the Easy Way
(Confident Beginner and above Level )
Have you ever wondered how musicians play just the right notes when it’s time to take a solo? Do they randomly pick notes out of thin air or is there some logic to the musical lines they play? Have you ever been to a jam session and when it's time to take an instrumental solo everyone looks at you says "take it!” We will learn what to do when that situation arises. It's not as difficult or scary as you may think. You can do it! Single note soloing is easy. We’ll learn some tricks and techniques that will have you playing more than just chords. You will be soloing within the first fifteen minutes of the class guaranteed!
(Confident beginner to intermediate)
The 1930s and 40s were a magical time in the history of popular music. Swing was mainstream. The ukulele was made for swing music! Any uke song can swing and sound jazzy. It's easy to make your instrumental accompaniment more interesting through chord substitutions and strumming patterns. The material covered in this class is not exclusive to the jazz/swing world it can be used for all styles of music. No music theory needed. no music reading required. No knuckle-busting chord shapes to learn.Just fun! A concert or tenor sized uke tuned GCEA is recommended.
Check out this video of Kevin Carroll leading a gypsy jazz ukulele workshop in Austin earlier this year!