Couple Lessons Later

Ukulele Mix Plate

“My wife, Andrea, mentioned that she wanted to learn to play the ukulele when she retired. I don’t believe in waiting for retirement to do anything, so I bought her a ukulele for Christmas. She was thrilled and I decided to join her on this journey and bought one for myself. The local music store had a good selection of ukuleles but no support system for lessons. It’s important to advance rapidly to maintain interest, so we signed up for 10 weeks of lessons locally. We enjoyed our fellow students but clearly the instructors wanted to be performers and not teachers. The owner was rude and spent much of our lesson time each week on self promotion, our “lessons” were dominated by our instructor showing off his playing skills, giving students limited opportunity to play and learn. Neither demonstrated any understanding of teaching theory.

We struggled along and learned to play some songs, enjoyed our time together while many of our fellow students quit. We went to Maui and sat in on Mele’s beginner lesson at the Shops at Wailea. While in Maui we were blown away by the skill level of many performers and the people who worked in ukulele stores. We then signed up for a private lesson with Mele and received access to some pre-lesson material online. That’s when we realized that we needed to unlearn almost everything we had learned at our lessons in Vancouver! We spent the day before our lesson with Mele trying to do this. Our private lesson with Mele was fantastic! We learned more in 45 minutes with her than we’d learned in ten 90 minute lessons at home! Mele’s an accomplished entertainer but the focus of her lesson was on teaching us, she’s a professional instructor, who demonstrates a masters level of teaching theory.

For anyone learning anything, I recommend learning correctly from the start to avoid the inefficiency of having to unlearn bad habits and techniques that will not work as you advance. We’re going to continue by taking lessons with Mele online. Thanks Mele!” — Mark H. from Vancouver, Canada on 19 April 2015.

Mark and his wife took private small group ukulele lessons on 14 April and attended 8 April Ukulele Mix Plate at the Shops at Wailea.

(Photo of Andrea and Mark from Canada at their private ukulele lesson at the Bailey House on 14 April 2015)