Ukestarter campaign to fund new album

Here are the details of my “Ukestarter” campaign to help fund my upcoming recording project. I am so grateful for the donations that have already come in. If you might buy a copy from me, I really encourage you to pre-order and become a part of the recording process.

This page is specifically for those who would like to help me fund my next album project. This one is a solo ukulele venture of instrumentals. It will be a mix of original compositions and classic cover songs from the 60’s and 70’s mostly. In working hard to create a quality album, it is always a challenge to strike the right financial balance. I have chosen to use a high quality recording studio and engineer, Dan Barrett of Rubicon Artist Development; a talented graphic artist, Mike Harnisch; top notch photographer James Goulden; and local manufacturers Any and All Media. These are all professional grade services and though, reasonably priced, are by no means inexpensive. That is where your help can be invaluable, especially on the front end of this project. By pre-ordering, your contribution can help ensure a timely fruition of this process as well as help me gauge some realistic quantities for a first run of cds. In the spirit of crowd-funding sources such as Kickstarter, I am offering several levels at which one might contribute. There are perks and bonuses for each level listed below. I will keep this page updated to let folks know a few details of the recording process, but, not too much, to keep it fresh when it is released. It will contain at least 10 songs and will be available as a cd or a digital download. But wait, there’s more:

Level One donation: $10 The Early Adopter Digital download code for finished album as soon as it is available for purchase. These donors will be the first to hear and have the album. Estimated release date is 12/12/13

Level Two donation: $15 Old School Physical copy of album and shipping in the contiguous 48 states. These donors will be among the first to have a physical copy. Estimated release date is 1/10/13

Level Three donation: $20 The Old and the New Digital download code and a physical copy of the album when it is released. For those who want to hear it first and have a physical copy of the cd.

Level Four Donation: $50 The Giver Digital download code and 4 cds shipped in the contiguous 48 states. This is for the gift giving types.

Level Five Donation: $100 The Uker Digital download code, 1 cd, 1 hour long skype ukulele lesson and the tablature/notation/chords with study notes to one of the songs from the album.

Level Six Donation: $250 The Impressario Digital download code, 1 cd, 2 sets of live instrumental ukulele music at your home in central Texas within 100 miles of Austin in 2014. Scheduling to be determined based on availability.

Level Seven: $500 Heart of Gold/Philanthropist This package includes digital download code, 10 cds shipped in the contiguous 48 states and 6 hours of private ukulele lessons for a youth who attends one of Austin’s Title I elementary schools and who could not otherwise afford lessons. Documentation provided through and groundwork music project.

Uke on!

To donate and see more pictures click the link below:


Fall Classes 2013

Group Classes

Mondays 7-8:15pm Beginning Ukulele: This class is geared toward beginners and will start with the basics of holding, tuning, and strumming the ukulele. This 6 week class will teach several simple songs and leave each student with the tools to learn more songs and the chance to play music with others.
September 9-October 14 $180 Teen-Adult
Drop-in price $35

Tuesdays 6:15-7:30pm Ukulele in the Classroom Level 2: This class is for students who have completed the Level 1 book or those with strong sight-reading skills who want a more formal approach to learning music. This book is loaded with challenging pieces and is encoded with a depth of knowledge that steeps its students in a tradition of musical literacy. 12 weeks. Book and cd required, not included.
September 10-December 10 (off October 22 and November 19) $360 Teen-Adult
Drop in price $35 (no drop-ins after 4th class 10/1)

Tuesdays 7:30-8:45pm Blues Ukulele Ensemble (BLUkEStration): This 6 week series will cover the basics of blues forms, rhythm and
chord progressions. This class will incorporate many of the “ukestration” techniques I recently learned and apply them in learning and arranging songs as riffs, chords, vocals and then putting it all together as a vibrant piece of music. 6 weeks.
September 10-October 15 $180 Teen-Adult
Drop-in price $35

Wednesdays 6:30-7:45pm “Ukestration” Ensemble (Contemporary songs): This will be Austin’s first glimpse of the techniques,
approaches and songs I learned from Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart who have had great success with their “Ukestra” in Australia. This class will focus on contemporary pop music and will break each song down into a series of parts much like an orchestra or band would. Songs by U2, Gotye, Michael Jackson and others will be “Ukestrated”. Singing is an important part of this process and is highly encouraged. 6 weeks.
September 11-October 16 $180 Teen-Adult
Drop-in price $35

Wednesdays 8-9:15pm Beginning Ukulele: This class is geared toward beginners and will start with the basics of holding, tuning, and strumming the ukulele. This 6 week class will teach several simple songs and leave each student with the tools to learn more songs and learn to play music with others.
September 11-October 16 $180 Teen-Adult
Drop-in price $35

Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm Ukulele in the Classroom Level 1: This approach to learning to read music on the ukulele has been a great success in Canada, and abroad and has already become a staple of my teaching as well. The goal is to develop musical literacy and the book utilizes an ensemble approach to differentiated parts and is very friendly to the low-G ukulele (recommended, though not required). The material includes songs from around the globe in the folk and classical tradition. Book and cd required, not included. 12 weeks
September 12- December 12 $360 Teen-Adult
Drop in price $35 (no drop-ins after 4th class 10/3)


Thursday September 19 7-8:15pm $30
The Pentatonic Playground:
In this 75 minute class students will learn the magical 5 note scales that are common in songs of all genres. These scales are the foundation for melodies, riffs and improvisation. We will learn the notes,shapes, and fingerings of a few pentatonic scales and then apply them in various ways in multiple musical contexts. There will be some basic music theory included (no more than we can apply) and students will leave with several resources for continuing their pentatonic playing. This workshop was very popular amongst the ukulele groups I visited this summer in Bellingham, Vancouver, Seattle, Sisters, Bend, Medford, Ashland and Sacramento. Teen-Adult

Saturday September 28 3-4:15pm $25 for adults $15 for children
Ukulele for the Family: This workshop is geared toward parents and children learning together and is designed to help create the beautiful gift of music in the home. By speaking to the very different developmental and learning patterns of adults and children, I will help to unlock ways to use the strengths of each to play some simple songs together and even write your own. Children ages 5-12 welcome. (Family discounts available for 3 or more)

Give it Away

Here’s a video from my tour of the Pacific Northwest with Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart. They are passionate teachers from Australia and have a wonderful approach to Ukestrating music for ukulele ensembles.  Check out their many inspiring and community-building projects here: The Sum of the Parts

I can hardly begin to unravel the depth of learning that took place on this trip that started with James Hill’s Ukulele Initiative teacher training and took Mark, Jane and I through British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California as we led ukulele workshops and performed a concert together.  I will revisit these and share them soon.  For now, just enjoy the video.  Happy ukings!

2 Spring Ukulele Classes in Austin!

Upcoming Ukulele Group Classes

Ukulele Songs (that everyone should know)  Mondays 6:30pm

This group will cover the ukulele classics and will develop strumming, chording and musical literacy.  We will learn to play as a group and how to play songs by ourselves.  The song range will be from the 1920’s through contemporary music.  Singing  will be encouraged, but, not judged.  By the end of the 6 week session each student will be familiar with and able to play at least 10 songs.  Good, clean fun!!!

Starting 4/1-5/13 (off on 4/15)

$180 for 6 week series

Secrets of Strumming  Tuesdays 7:30

This 6 week series will unlock the secrets to great strumming.  This is the aspect of ukulele that I have the most requests for teaching.  We will learn counting, strumming, accents, downbeats, upbeats, swing, shuffle, reggae, muting and more!  By the end of the series each student will have at least 10 strumming patterns to employ to any given song.

Starting 4/2-5/14 (off on 4/16)

$180 for 6 week series

Contact Kevin for more info: 512.739.5946 or