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Strumming Along on the Uke

by Melinda James on January 9, 2015

in Featured Classes, Featured Teacher, Music & Dance, We Still Make Things

Want to play an instrument to accompany singing?
Don’t want to sing?  Just have fun strumming along.
Four fingers, four strings… the ukulele was made for you!

Try Beginning Ukulele with instructor Peter Thomas February 22-27.

Learn basic chords, keys and styles like Hapa-Haole, Tin Pan Alley, old timey, bluegrass, folk, and rock – the uke can handle them all!

Thomas_Peter_MU_BA_ 2_BIO


Peter has fond memories of his dad playing the ukulele. Peter says his dad only knew three chords, but could sing and play any song with just those three cords. Peter grew up singing old songs to the the strumming of the uke.

Time went by and Peter learned to play guitar and bass. In the early 1990’s his brother mentioned he had a ukulele and that he should get one too, and they could play along with their dad.

Peter bought his first ukulele at a flea market. It was a nice Aloha Royal Hawaiian ukulele for only twenty bucks. With the old instruction manual, he tuned up the uke to A,D, F#, B (what he now calls the mainland tuning) like the manual told him to do and learned the chords.

The family didn’t form a band together, but he and his dad enjoyed playing songs like “Moonlight Bay,” “Pretty Baby,” and “Dark Town Strutter’s Ball.” He fell in love with the ukulele and brought it with him everywhere he went.


In 2002, Peter founded the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz with Andy Andrews. From that time he has been leading ukulele bands, selling ukuleles, ukulele books and teaching ukulele lessons.

Peter Thomas will be teaching Beginning Ukulele, February 22-27 at the Folk School.

For more information or to register, please our visit the website:

Visit Peter Thomas’ website.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

carolyn barranca January 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm

I am very excited about taking this class. My friend and I are going to register for the week, and we want to buy ukeleles but don’t know where to begin. I didn’t know there were soprano ukeleles. I have experience playing classical guitar so I am not a complete novice. What uke do you suggest.


Melinda James January 12, 2015 at 8:35 am

We are happy you will be attending the Folk School and taking Beginning Ukulele. The instructor Peter Thomas would be the best person to ask about a ukulele to purchase. His email is:
See you in February!


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