Category Archives: Suzukulele Ensemble – SuzukiMusic

Kicking off 2015! Registration info for Winter – Spring adult programs

Now that was a fun way to kick off the new year! Here’s a great shot my husband took of our Ukulele Choir playing ‘O Canada’ at yesterday’s Ottawa 67s game at TD Place. Many thanks to the Ottawa Folklore Centre for organizing this event! I was very happy to participate and help to lead this beautiful group and also very proud that 2 of my young Suzukulele students and 2 of my adult students came too! There’s talk of another opportunity to play again, coming up in March.

There’s also an audio clip of a story on CBC Ottawa Morning here, and some Facebook videos of our pre-game rehearsal and of the actual performance on the ice!

Photo by Steve LeBlanc.

Photo by Steve LeBlanc.

Registration is now available for the following Adult Ukulele Programs from Winter to Spring 2015:

Play Ukulele Level 1– Tuesday nights from 7-8:30pm at Brookfield HS starts Feb 3rd. Course #75051

Play Ukulele Level 2– Wednesday nights from 7-8:30pm at Brookfield HS start Feb 4th. Course #75053

To register for the OCDSB’s Continuing Education programs go to or call 613-239-2751

Ottawa Folklore Centre Ukulele Choir– Thursday nights from 7-9pm

To register contact the Ottawa Folklore Centre

If you have any questions about repertoire, how much practice required, level of knowledge required, etc… please feel free to contact me directly.


Fall Registration for Ukulele programs

So I guess I’ve “burned the boats”, now that I’ve given up my day job to focus on doing what I love. I’ll be teaching Ukulele in a set of new programs here and there. Here are the details:

2014_08_0002This fall, I’m starting a new ukulele program for adults at Brookfield HS, through the OCDSB’s General Interest Program. I’ll be using the ukulele method from James Hill/Chalmers Doane which includes some basic note reading, scales and playing ensemble pieces, along with chord-accompanied singing. Level 1 is for new beginners on Tuesday evenings and Level 2 on Wednesday evenings, is for intermediate players who may have already mastered some chords but would like to learn to do more with the ukulele. Material covered will be similar in both classes, levels simply determine the pace of the lessons. The first 10-week session starts on Sep. 23. Registration is available online or by phone: 613-239-2751.

For kids at Castor Valley ES, Rockcliffe Park PS and Elmdale PS, registration to their Extra-curricular programs begins on Sep. 2.

And finally, I’ll be teaching the senior students at SuzukiMusic again this year, and also adding an open adult class on Saturdays there too. Parents of senior students, former Suzuki students and even grandparents are welcome to join me for some SuzUkulele fun! Registration information for this one will be sent directly to SuzukiMusic community members.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about programs!

Suzukulele Update

Our last Ukulele group class before the holiday break at SuzukiMusic was last Saturday and I’m so glad to have a few weeks to prepare more material for these kids. They have been consuming everything I bring in at a considerable rate!  (So, I finally just invested in the teacher edition of Sibelius 7 )

It’s certainly a lot of fun teaching these guys. Tuning is a quick process each week as many of them, having been Suzuki students for many years already, have developed a very fine ear for pitch. The range of age is quite wide, at 10 to 17 but their learning levels are fairly even. As I suspected, singing seems to be the biggest challenge so far. Not their ability to sing but their willingness to be heard is more the issue. We’ll just have to keep at it…  Anyway, I’m looking forward to continuing with this pilot project in the new year. 

I’ve put up a few links to the arrangements I’ve made on Sibelius so far on a new page of the blog so check them out.  Feel free to use and share these pieces!

Suzukulele – Ukulele for Suzuki students

Well, another year done! After last night’s portfolio wrap-up webinar session with James Hill and my fellow Level 2 teachers, I have now completed my second year of studying/teaching with JHUI. No stopping now…on to Level 3 at the end of July in Vancouver, for me. I’ve also completed my first full year of teaching the ukulele program at the OCDSB and am really looking forward to continuing with my students and hopefully many new ones in September. But for right now, my summer project is developing the “Suzukulele” senior program for this coming fall at SuzukiMusic.

After successfully bringing in the ukulele to the younger student musicians at SuzukiMusic’s summer camp last year, the idea for offering ukulele as a fun, team-building, skill-building option for senior Suzuki students has been brewing away in my head ever since.  As a one week summer camp enrichment class with the younger students, we mostly focus on singing fun camp songs and strumming together, while making parallels between their main instrument (either violin, viola, flute, guitar or cello) and the ukulele. We can find many things in common with each of these: number of strings, size, clef, shape, materials, etc… and the children realize that being a musician is not limited to the instrument you play. You can use and build your existing musical skills into many different styles and purposes. Suzuki students already have a great natural ear and are used to the group environment so ukulele class is a really fun exploration for them. I’m really looking forward to summer camp again this year.

When it comes to introducing the ukulele to the senior students this fall, building camaraderie between instrument groups and challenging their musicianship skills will be the main focus. We’ll be working on ensemble playing in parts, classical, jazz and folk styles and singing too. Shinichi Suzuki said: “It is necessary to be concerned about the importance of educating a really beautiful human spirit”  What better way than to bring teen spirit together in song? Oh yes, there will be singing.