2023 Workshop Descriptions

Daniel Ho 

Colorful sounds method; easier than ever  -Progressive, two-day class 

Daniel Ho will be debuting his new revolutionary method of playing the ukulele. Join this class if you want to learn the easiest way to play the hardest chords. 

Level 3 

The Beauty Within: How to Get the Best Tone Out of Your Instrument 

As a composer and sound engineer, Daniel is always looking to sonically take things to the next level. In this workshop, he will go over nuances in technique, and all the aspects of the ‘ukulele that contribute to a rich and pristine tone. 

Topics covered will include: 

Rest strokes, free strokes, picks, fingernails, strings (wound/nylon/fluorocarbon, High G, Low G), wood types (tops, backs, sides, and fretboard), wood thicknesses, body size and shape (e.g., standard, pineapple, dreadnought), bracing, finishes (French polish, polyurethane), fret size, and anything you’d like to address. 

Level: All levels 

Get Your Groove On! Percussion Basics on Bongolele and Shakerlele: 

Have you ever thought about contributing to a jam session with a different sound? Or maybe you have a partner who’s not yet ready to pick up the ʻukulele? Why not give percussion a try? Shakers and bongos are fun instruments you can play along with to any song. Learn styles and techniques using the Shakerlele and Bongolole percussion instruments Daniel co-designed with Ohana Ukuleles. He will teach examples of rock and Latin rhythms, back beats, accents, and playing in ¾ time. You can be the pulse that keeps the party going! 

Instruments will be available to borrow or purchase for this class. Visit the Starlight Ukes vendor booth. 

Level: All Levels - no experience necessary 

Easy as One-Two-Three -

Just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get any easier than partying on four strings… In a happenstance recording studio blunder, Daniel recently discovered a way to simplify the ‘ukulele even more! Join this two-day progressive class to learn about this revelation. It takes a vast knowledge of music to break down something to this degree, and the result is a no-compromise demonstration on how to play any chord in any key. To further make sense of this concept, Daniel will be referring at times to his “Colorful Sounds” method book.

Level 2

Heidi Swedburg 


Meditative and soothing, lullabies are amongst the oldest musical forms- they are truly an essential worker.  In this class we will learn songs from around the world in a variety of keys and time signatures, with lyrics in many languages (and sing-able English language versions too!) Simple rhythmic ukulele accompaniments are within the grasp of beginning students as well as interesting to more advanced players. 

All Levels 


Learn to sing and play Elizabeth Cotten's great American folk standard, even if you are a beginner. If you are ready, add second position chords, a classic “do-wack-a-do” strum and throw in some Travis pick- plenty of work for more advanced players, stretching their skills by switching between first and second position chords on the right hand while deepening left hand rhythm techniques. All players will learn to play and sing a darn fine song! 

Level 1-2 



Why are there so many songs about rainbows? The Rainbow Connection is a song that connects emotionally- simple yet elegant, poignant lyrics, great chord changes and a sweet ¾ time signature. There is a lot to learn in learning this song. Make connections about chord progressions and music theory, picking patterns with the lovers, the dreamers and me. 

Level 2-3 


This recipe uses only two ingredients: you and your new uke!  We will start making music together right away, adding one skill at a time until you can play literally hundreds of songs. It seems too good to be true, but that is the magic of the ukulele. Heidi Swedberg loves working with absolute beginners, making the complicated simple and fun, and sharing their joy of musical discovery. Gestalts and laughs a plenty. Let's get cooking!  

Level 1 


Loosen up and be free!  This is a great opportunity to de-program habitual tension and discover the sound of your own voice. See how much easier it is to sing, play your uke and live your life when you train your body the way professional actors and musicians do. Somatics delves into mind-body awareness and include both familiar and esoteric techniques as Pilates, yoga, Alexander, Feldenkrais, Laban, and Linklater.  This class is suitable for all levels of physical and musical abilities. Comfortable attire and a desire to open your instrument to the flow of the creative energy inside of you are the only requirements.  

All Levels: no ukulele!!!


Daniel Ward 

The Art and Ritual of Practice 

Using several methods and materials, we’ll focus on how to create and manage a great inner and outer space as you work on your music. By running through a daily ritual, we’ll build a way to practice that keeps working long after you’ve left the festival. 

Level 2 and up. three day class – drop-ins OK but the material builds with each class 

Flamenco Sevillanas   

In this workshop, we’ll learn two short traditional songs in the flamenco style that is named after the town they came from…Sevilla. There are hundreds of these songs that all share the same form. They are easy to learn and combine a tasty right-hand strum with Spanish melodies. They can be played solo or as a duet or group as well, and will lead to hours of fun long after our class is over. 

Level 2-3 

Calypso Song Party! 

The calypso strum is a great rhythm to add to your repertoire. Learn some fun songs that will make you feel like you are on a tropical vacation, no matter where you are.  “Jump in the Line, Rock Your Body in Time!” 

Level 2-3

Steven Espaniola 

Hawaiian Kani Ka Pila 101 

Steven focuses on 3 traditional Hawaiian songs from the extremely popular He Mele Aloha book with emphasis on arrangement. Learn how to lead a kani ka pila or jam session and get familiar with some of the common "rules" and terminology of a good kani ka pila from intros to solos to outros!! These techniques were elaborated in an article that Steven wrote for Ukulele Magazine. (Beginner) 

Level 1 

Hawaiian Strumming Part 1 

Steven teaches 3 of the most widely used strumming patterns in traditional Hawaiian music: Olapa, Classic, and Modern. Traditional Hawaiian songs will be used to show the strums in a real world context. These techniques were elaborated in an article that Steven wrote for Ukulele Magazine. Class will be taught in a fun, kani ka pila type of environment!  

Level 1-2 

Beyond the Basics of Hawaiian Mele 

Learn how to personalize a Hawaiian standard and make it your own. Steven dives into the process of arranging Hawaiian songs using various tools such as rhythm, intros, dynamics, tempo, kaona (hidden meaning) and melody play, so that you can make that classic song your very own! These valuable tools can be used for any genre of music.  

Level 2 

ʻUkulele & Leo Kiʻe Kiʻe (Hawaiian Falsetto) 

Steven will teach a comprehensive ʻukulele and leo kiʻe kiʻe workshop in a fun, yet informative kani ka pila style format! Learn the history of these beautiful art forms while being immersed in traditional Hawaiian music. Students will learn a few of the more common Hawaiian strumming patterns and techniques as well as the fundamentals of singing Hawaiian falsetto and finding your personal vocal range. Be sure not to miss this rare opportunity! 

All Levels 

Play Like A Pro 

Steven examines the tools needed to take you from the ‘ukulele jam and open mic sessions to the stage! Covering topics like arranging setlists, getting over nerves, booking gigs, proper mindset and more. These techniques were elaborated in an article that Steven wrote for Ukulele Magazine. 

Level 2-3



A regular chord - major or minor - is made of three sounds. These chords are often a good starting point for a musical piece. As the song unfolds, though, it's more interesting if the chords evolve, too, bringing the listener into new territories.  

In this workshop, we will discover how to build up interesting and beautiful musical movements without even thinking about the chord we are playing. We'll find out a way to create progressions, and we will discover how your ukulele can beautifully harmonize with your voice.  

Level 2  


Playing up and down the neck can be frightening, but after this workshop, it'll be a piece of cake! Most of the time, music works very well when something stands still while something else moves. In this case, we're going to use our four strings like four different voices. Two strings will play a fixed chord while two other strings will sing harmonized melodies up and down the neck. This way, your ukulele will simultaneously create a chord and two different voices, sounding very rich and fancy.  

Level 1-2


2 Chord Strummers

How many chords do you really need? In this fun strummin' workshop, we'll learn a handful of songs that only feature two chords! We'll focus on chord transitions, keeping a steady strumming rhythm, and (most importantly) having a blast! 

Track-list: Horse with No Name by America, Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles, Paperback Writer by The Beatles 

Level 1

Fingerpicking Fun: 

Want to try out some fingerstyle? Get jiggy with Viggy by learning some fun fingerpicking patterns and how to incorporate them into your chord progressions! We'll focus on fingerpicking technique (3 finger vs 4 finger method) as well as different strumming and picking combinations. 

Track-list: Theme from "Stranger Things", Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, House of the Rising Sun 

Level 1-2

Strum & Drum

Want to spice up your strumming patterns? Join Viggy is this rockin' workshop all about percussive ukulele! We'll learn how to incorporate kick drums, snare drums, and hi hats into our playing, no drum set needed!  

Track-list: Sunday Morning by Maroon 5, Ram On by Paul McCartney, Count on Me by Bruno Mars 

Level 2

Victoria Vox

The Glory of Ukulele (chord melody)  

Learn to play “Glory of Love”, a number one pop song by Benny Hill, written in 1936, and first recorded by Benny Goodman. The song has been also recorded by artists Peggy Lee, Bette Midler (Beaches Soundtrack!), and Keb’ Mo’ (and many more). Variations will be provided to swap out barre chords, if needed, but you will still use some partial barres. TAB and music will also be provided. If this is new to you, don’t be shy! You should be comfortable with chords/shapes: G, C, D, F7, Fm, Cm, Bbmaj7 and not afraid to use your pinky ;) That’s the Glory of Ukulele.  

Level 2 

Remember the Music 

How much can one learn in one song? With Victoria’s original song called “Remember the Music” you will learn about strumming / rhythm, chord changes, song structure, diminished chords, vamping intros and outros, minor line clichés, and singing and strumming at the same time. This song is jam-packed with musical know how that you’ll never forget!  

Level 2-3 

Songwriting with Victoria Vox and Jack Maher Jr. -  2 day class

Take those melodies, chords, and ideas in your head and turn them into something tangible and unleash the creative songwriter within you. Bring in Your WIPs (works in progress) to this workshop / class, even if it’s just a small bud of an idea! Through song analysis and crafted strategies, you'll learn how to rewrite/edit, get out of a rut, make your current song stronger, find and fix any problem spots, play with rhythm, rhyming, and harmony, and learn which song structure is best suited for your title. It's sometimes hard to self-critique your own song and find the thing that isn't "working for you”. We can offer constructive criticism and some real solutions!  

All Levels 

Quest for Love

Learn to play the ukulele arrangement of “Quest for Love” by Victoria from her new album, Nirvana in REM. This song uses a muted right-hand strum pattern for the verse and rhythmic chord melody for the chorus. If you already can play barre chords, this is a great class to expand your playing! 

Level 3

Arthur Hopkins


Brand new player or tired of the ol’ up ’n’ down? 

A fun session of basic strum instruction. This workshop will examine the mechanics of strumming and explore how various strum styles can express many soundscapes. What fingers to use, different strum patterns, and tips and tricks to give your strum hand a voice! 

Level 1 


Strum Styles Part 2 

Expand on what we learned in Part 1 with even more strum variations to add to your bag PLUS we will learn some awesome tips, tricks, and special effects to throw in your strumming to add that WOW factor! (Attending Part 1 not required; class is a stand alone workshop as well.) 

Level 1 


Do you have the "I wish I could play the Blues" Blues?!? This Workshop is for you!: 

Sound like you? Fret no more, we got you covered in this beginner intro to the blues. Learn basic blues progressions then we will learn how to pick notes and create your own blues solos! NO PICKING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED! Guaranteed to smile those blues away! 

You will know how to create your own blues songs and solos by the end of this fun-filled interactive workshop especially for the beginner! 

Level 1

Moses Kamai

Truly Beginner

I-IV-V chords using simple straight 4, straight 8, and maybe one more strum using same song, or at most 2-3, through 3 of the most common keys (C, F, and G) during jams leaving students with practice techniques to improve themselves.  Focus is on familiarization of knowing the 1-IV-V/V7 chords, enough to participate in many jam sessions. 

Level 1  

Pachelbel (Cannon) to Maroon 5 (Memories)

Pachelbel to Maroon 5’s song Memories.  Students will learn both position 1 and up the neck chords for Pachelbel in C (not D), then will show them the rhythm change to play Memories from Maroon 5.  Beginners will get the basic Pachelbel and rhythm in first position.  Intermediate and brave Beginners will get playing inverted chords up the neck and walk down.  Entire song is based on 3 I-V chord pairs, ending on a I-II/II7.  They key is learning the rhythm shift into the syncopated version used by Maroon 5 (Adam Levine) for their song, Memories. 

Level 1-2  

Easier Chords for Hotel California

Using all first position chords, students will learn the simplified chord progression of this iconic song.  Similar to the Maroon 5 progression of I-V pairs and ending on a I-II for the verse then a bridge of last two chord pairs.  Intermediate students will learn the same progression using inverted chords to arpeggiate a close proximation of the iconic intro RIFF.  Also, both levels will learn the simplified strum pattern I use to sing the song played in first position. 

Level 1 

Julie Holloman 

Sing and Pick - A progressive two day class

Get ready to rumble with classic rock tunes. You will have a complete arrangement for ukulele and voice. You'll learn strum patterns, licks, instrumental breaks, and vocal harmonies! Learn to play melodies with a pick (yes, pick)! Sing the strings to learn vocal harmony! Count rhythms galore! It will be a fun time. 

CALIFORNIA DREAMING This arrangement includes lyrics, chords, melody, echoed harmony, strum pattern, beginning lick, and instrumental break, all based on the original recording by the Mamas and the Papas. So much to do, and so little time! 

GET TOGETHER This arrangement includes lyrics, chords, melody, harmony, strum pattern, beginning lick, and instrumental break, all based on the original recording by the Youngbloods. Come on, people now! Smile and get together in this fast-paced workshop.

Level 2-3 


Stress Free Soloing 

Have you attended your local ukulele jam and wanted to play a solo but just weren’t sure where to start? Well, Dominator has you covered. In this beginning level workshop, Dominator explains how to construct basic solos, without the knowledge of music theory, scales or modes, by simply using the notes within the chord shapes you already know. Those who know and are comfortable playing the different chord inversions moving up and down the neck will get the most out of the workshop the quickest. However, the handout is structured as a stand-alone document that will allow you to learn at your own pace outside of the workshop.

Level 1

Perry Stauffer 

Bass 101 - The Basics 

So you just got a bass and you don't know what to do. In this class, you will learn everything you need to know for your first jam session. You'll learn the major scale and the Roots and Fifths that go with it. Roots and fifths are the most common and most crucial bass-line building blocks. Once you learn these, you'll be able to follow a chord chart and play along with your ukulele friends. 

Levels 0 and up

Bass 102 - Intermediate half-notes and easy walking bass  

So you've completed bass 101, or have been playing bass a while and you know your roots and fifths in a few keys. Enhance your bass lines by adding thirds, scale tones and chromatic approach notes along with some walking bass strategies. 

Levels 1+ and up

Bass 103 - Rhythmic Vocabulary  

In bass 103, you will move beyond half and quarter note lines to learn the rhythmic vocabulary of rock, pop, funk and Latin rhythms. 

Levels 1 and up

Finger-style Blues 101 

Low-G preferred 

If you’re like me, you’ve always loved the sound of old-time finger-style blues, but maybe had a hard time figuring out how to play it. In this class we’ll unlock some of the secrets of this contagiously fun style that sounds so great on the ukulele. We will look at chord structuring and finger picking patterns. And time permitting, we’ll add some melodic vocabulary with some vintage riffs that fit perfectly with our new blues repertoire. 

Areas of Focus: 

Enhanced blues chord structure 

Re-usable progressions 

Finger-picking patterns 

Swing Rhythm

Levels 1 or 2* and up -

Dani Joy

Jam Cards; Paperless Jam

A common complaint for new players is the inability to hear and anticipate chord changes. WIthout this foundational skill, the climb up the musical mountain can leave one feeling uninspired and disconnected. In this class you will learn to connect to the music without the distraction of the paper. Dani Joy will guide students through exercises which help strengthen intuition and bring deeper understanding of the musical patterns used in music. Rejuvenate your climb and find your footing in this fun group class.

All Levels