Welcome to our new addition!

Mother, father, and baby sitting on a couch and smiling at homeclose-up of baby Oscar

We are so pleased to announce the birth of our son, Oscar, on September 7, 2018! These first several weeks have been a roller coaster, but we are all happy and healthy and finding our way as a new family of three. As announced earlier, we are taking a break in September and October, but plan to return in November with a series of workshops and in January with regular classes again. We look forward to seeing you then!

Need some recommendations in the meantime? Check out these other ukulele opportunities in Portland!

Classes on hold for Fall 2018 – How to cope with the withdrawal?

With a baby due in early September 2018, I’ll be taking a break from classes this fall. The plan is to return with some workshops in November and December, then resume regular classes in January 2019. That said, keep checking back, or sign up for our monthly newsletter, to get the latest news and updates, as that plan could change!

In the meantime, what’s a ukulele player in Portland to do? Not to fear, we live in a ukulele-rich city with a LOT of opportunities to keep up your playing:

  • For beginners / intermediate, check out Chuck Cheesman’s classes at the Multnomah Arts Center (p71 in this brochure)
  • For those looking for a challenge, check out Tracy Kim’s Jazz & Blues for Ukulele class at Artichoke Music.
  • For kids, I’ve had a heck of a time finding class offerings, but it looks like there are some private lesson options at Ethos in N PDX and Vibe Studio in SE PDX. I’m not personally familiar with either of them, but have heard good things from those who have gone.
What you can do …
  • Remember to make practice a regular part of daily / weekly routine.
  • If you’re like me and like the accountability of a group jam or class, but have some specific material you want to work on, start a practice group with your friends from class. If you’re open to it, let me know about it and if any students I know and trust are looking for a group, I can point them in your direction.
  • Keep an eye out for upcoming performances by local and touring ukulele artists, where you can get inspired
  • Join an online learning community – I personally recommend following Cynthia Lin, whose style is similar to mine; and James Hill’s The Ukulele Way for instrumental ukulele instruction.

No matter what you do, follow whatever brings you joy in making music – good luck, and let me know what you find!

Ukulele Forecast: Workshop Season Continues for Portland, Oregon

Avery leads a ukulele workshop with thirty-plus people in the room.

Workshop season got off to a great start in Tualatin where I was hosted by the Tigard Ukulele Group (check out their weekly jams!). There’s more where this came from, coming up in both SE and SW Portland, both weeknights and weekends. Join us for these upcoming workshops below …

Featured Workshop: Chords Up the Neck

Ukulele and hands. Text: Song by Song Workshop: Chords Up the Neck.

You’ve got over 12 frets on your fretboard, why relegate your playing to the first three or four? Learn new chord shapes based on the 5th fret and up that you can apply to songs you already know and add more variation to your playing. Check out the video preview below.

Register: Ukulele Chords Up the Neck

Other Workshops

Sneak Peek at this Saturday’s workshop

Ukulele J-Term is under way! Here’s what to expect from our first workshop…

Saturday, January 13 – 10:00am-12:30pm

Artichoke Music – 2007 SE Powell Blvd, SE Portland

Register here

Check out other upcoming workshops here and buy your 3-class pass here

Happy New Year 2018!

Welcome back, everyone! I hope and trust you all had pleasant and (somewhat) restful holidays, wherever and whatever you celebrate…

Beginning a new year is always a great time to take stock of what matters most and what we find ourselves wanting to work for in the future. This month marks *five* years since I began teaching music, and it boggles my mind to think of the journey it has already taken me on: the people I have met, the songs we have sung, and smiles and laughs we have shared. Thank you so much to all of you who have been a part of this journey! As you take stock of your own 2018 adventures, I sincerely hope that music, and making music in community with others, is at or near the top of your list, as well.

If so, I’m excited to offer you several opportunities to make music a part of your life this year:

Ukulele J-Term: January 11 – February 1

Ukulele 1: Thursdays, 5:30-7:00pm at Artichoke Music – For the absolute beginner, this class will get you started on the right path with your ukulele. (Note: Baritone ukulele players should contact me separately, as it is tuned differently and may require private lessons to give you the best start.) Class starts January 11 – Register here

January Workshop Series: Saturdays, 10:00am – 12:30pm at various locations – For Advanced Beginner through to Advanced players, this series of workshops is intended to focus on specific skills to support your playing:

  • January 13: Music Theory at the Campfire* – Artichoke Music (Inner SE PDX)
  • January 20: Playing & Singing Harmony with the Carter Family* – W Hills UU Fellowship (SW PDX)
  • January 27: Build Your Sense of Rhythm – Lincoln St Methodist (SE PDX)

* For these classes, it is best if you are familiar with the three-chord families of the key of C, D, G, and A. If you’re not sure about a workshop, or have any questions, email me at: avery@learnsongbysong.com

Find complete class descriptions and registration here


Regular Weekly Classes Resume February 6

For those of you ready dive back into weekly classes, check out the upcoming schedule here so you can save the dates and decide which class works best for you. Registration will open soon!


Happy uke-ing, my friends!