Summer 2018


Summer is OVER! Don’t read this.

Summer 2019 will be announced in April-ish.

Ukulele Summer Institute 2018!

Download the Summer Institute Flyer HERE!

Summertime music from the seas,
the islands, the pirates, the Caribbean,
Hawaii, and ships waiting to sink.

Open to ANYBODY who owns an ukulele and wants to get better at playing it! We’ll teach plenty of skills all summer, but every week we’ll rawk music from California, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Oceania, and beaches around the world. Flowered shirts welcome.

Here’s a partial list of some of the songs we might tackle all summer: Aloha Oe, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Don’t Worry Be Happy, Drunken Sailor, E Ku’u Morning Dew, Gilligan’s Island, Girl from Ipanema, Good Vibrations, Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini, Jamaica Farewell, Lava, Little Mermaid songs, Under the Sea, Margaritaville, Moana songs, Other Pirate Songs, Over the Rainbow (Iz), Santa Lucia, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Sweet Lelani, Three Little Birds, Tiny Bubbles, That Stupid Song from Titanic, Ukulele Lady, Under the Boardwalk, White Sandy Beaches, Yellow Submarine, and YOUR ideas too.

Monday, June 11: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10

Ihulaanimatedsland Strummers: Get your hands on the ukulele standards and prepare for summer luaus. We’ll make sure your chords are in great shape and get you set up for a fun summer chunking away on your ukulele. We’ll use these songs all summer long to build your tool box of awesomeness. No registration necessary, just show up!

Homework & Handouts:
Aloha Oe : Beyond the Sea : Drop of Nelson’s Blood : Drunken Sailor : Girl from Ipanema : Lava : Over the Rainbow : Over the Rainbow Iz : Personal Goals : Practice Log : Santa Lucia : Sweet Leilani

Wednesdays, June 13 to August 8: 4:15 o 6:15 pm OR 6:30 to 8:30 pm at LCCfaststrum

Introduction to Ukulele: Join us weekly in the afternoon or evening for six weeks of ukulele bliss. Learn everything you should know from the ground up with no previous experience required. No class on July 4 or 18. Call the Lakewood Cultural Center (303) 987-7845 to register.


Sundays, June 17 to August 26: 4 to 6 pm at World Headquarters $10

DenverGuitarOrchestraLogoSunday Evening Guitar Orchestra: Add a couple of strings to your ukulele and give it a great big body and suddenly your life is over the top complicated. Come join us for a summer of playing great music without the pressure of needing to be great. We use standard notation along with tablature and chord charts. More info at the DGO website:

Monday, June 18: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10arpeggio

Arpeggio Kick Off Party: Add great patterns to your regular strumming to make our islands songs sound dreamy and learn to dominate the ukulele as an amazing instrumental tool. No registration necessary!

Homework & Handouts:
Cheeseburger : Island Strum Along : Jumping Flea Key of C : Obladi Oblada : Technical Exercise 1 : Jumping Flea Arpeggiator

Monday, June 25: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10: barchord

Bar Chord and Chord Inversions Workshop for Ukulele! We do it every year and this is your turn! Take the mystery out of playing bar chords and put them to action in making your playing better and more versatile. One night of making your fingers hurt and suddenly you’ll forget those lonely days when B-flat was a problem. We’ll review the 16 chord shapes that make up virtually every chord. No registration necessary!

Homework & Handouts:
Bar Chord & Chord Inversions

Thursdays, June 28 to July 26 6:30 to 8:30 pm at LCC

DenverGuitarOrchestraLogoGuitar Orchestra Levels 1 and 2: Why not play the extra big ukulele with the same advanced chord-melody focus? Level 1 is for the complete beginner and you’ll be rawking right away. These classes prepare you to play with the Denver Guitar Orchestra. No class on July 19. Call the Lakewood Cultural Center (303) 987-7845 to register.


Monday, July 2: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10

UkuleleCircleofFifthsTwo, Three or Four Chords —> Then Red Rocks: Go platinum with just two chords. Others have done it, you should too. Turn a few chords into magic with a hint of theory behind them. Come prepared to laugh too much. And afterward, use your mad skills to write 50 songs in 90 days or just be a smarter player. No registration necessary!

Circle of Fifths Worksheet


Monday, July 9: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10fingerexerciser

Melody Drills: Time to get your brain out of the way and master automatic fingering. We’ll study the exercises classical guitar players have been using for centuries to get the flexibility and speed you’ll need to dazzle an audience and survive in a ukulele orchestra or any song where melody picking is needed. No registration necessary!

Finger Exercises

Monday, July 16: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10

duetsArranging and Duets! Uh oh, scary stuff! We’ll work on effective harmonic accompaniments to sweet melody playing and presenting to an appreciative audience. We’ll also learn how to prepare music for larger groups and work through musical challenges faced by most arrangers. No registration necessary!


Monday, July 23: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10strum

From Chord-n-Lyrics to Real Music: Ever thought, “Hey, I’d like to turn that song from my teenage years into something cool on the ukulele!” (?) Well, let’s learn how to create great cover versions from the crummy songs you liked back in the day. No registration necessary!

Cheeseburger in Paradise Sheet Music


Monday, July 30: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10

yuckString Changing (and Instrument Care) Workshop! Bring your favorite set of new strings and let’s get those gawd-awful white ones (or the ones that are a year old or more) off your baby. We’ll also have plenty of strings for you to buy on the spot if necessary. No registration necessary!


Monday to Saturday, August 6-11: 10 to noon at World Headquarters $65ukulelegirl

ONE WEEK Intro to Ukulele BLITZ! You just bought a ukulele. You need to get ready to play in a big hurry! Join us for six straight mornings and learn everything you’ll need to know to sound great by the end of the week. You must pre-register by calling (303) 984-0777.


Monday, August 6: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10

singingSinging Basics: We’re lucky to have professional singer Marnie Ward ready to help us stop sounding like frogs. With a few basic tools you can stop scaring the neighbors. Get an overview of matching pitch, singing the melody, finding a harmony (for those who dare!), warming up your voice, finding better resonance, and breath control. No registration necessary!


Monday, August 13: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10ukescoot

Ukulele Fretboard: Find out how to find the best fingering choices on your fretboard. It’s a fun one-night challenge that’ll pay you back forever. Make better choices playing, arranging and composing. No registration necessary!


Monday, August 20: 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the basement of GMUMC $10

ukuleleconcertEpic Summer Concert Featuring YOU! A fun night of ukulele performances by all the members of Summer Institute. Come hang out in a supportive environment and bring the sounds of the oceans, islands, and beaches alive in a summer luau extravaganza. No registration necessary!

The main topic each week will focus on skills development followed by playing lots of real songs, making raucous laughter, and being proud of our cacophonous mistakes. Come join the fun no matter how good (or not) you are.

Call (303) 984-0777 for more information or visit for details (you’re already there!).

Private Lessons are also available by appointment: 303-984-0777

We also have ten zillion library classes going on for free. Check the calendar.

Locations (click on each one for a map):

GMUMC: Green Mountain United Methodist Church: 12755 W Cedar Dr, Lakewood, CO 80228

LCC: Lakewood Cultural Center: 470 S Allison Pkwy, Lakewood, CO 80226

World Headquarters: Historic Grant Avenue Community Center: 216 S Grant Ave, Denver, CO 80209