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Lessons

Private Lessons: Ukulele, Banjo, and Music Theory

UkulelesTouring and recording artist Lui Collins teaches private music lessons on ukulele and clawhammer banjo, as well as music theory lessons, for adults and self-directed children 10 and over. All lessons are currently held ONLINE via ZOOM throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, however once it’s safe to do so, lessons for local students may resume in the Upside-Up Music studio in Shelburne Falls, MA.

Lui’s innovative approach tailors lessons to meet individual skill levels and interests, from beginners to advanced students. Rather than learning merely to play the instrument, we are always engaging the ear, with a focus on creating music. What we are learning is music itself; the chosen instrument is simply the medium (very often beloved) upon which we create that music.

Having worked extensively with those just setting out on their musical journey, Lui offers special coaching, ear-training and music basics for adults who have never studied music and always felt they were missing out.  You will gain the tools you need for a lifetime of music-making enjoyment.

With questions or to schedule your first lesson, contact Lui.

OFFERINGS:

Music Theory and Composition

Music may seem a mystery when one begins to study it, which is reasonable, given the deep impact it can make on us. It speaks to us in a language all its own, moving us in ways that are impossible to explain. Though in fact, there is an entire vocabulary of musical terms to learn, when we start to talk about music, that help us to delve into its mystery. Indeed, the basic structure of music is logical and mathematical and scientific – and a really fun puzzle to unravel. Theory lessons are individually oriented, guided by a student’s interests and previous experience. We’ll talk about the relationships between notes (tonality/melody/harmony), groove, rhythm/tempo, dynamics, emotion, space, phrasing, listening, and more. Theoretical concepts may be tied into considerations for music composition, and also tend to come up regularly in instrumental lessons, where we can apply them practically. 1/2 – 1 hour ($40-$50) lessons via Zoom.

 

Banjo, UkuleleUkulele

Ukuleles, while being generally thought of as easy to play, and thus accessible as a first fretted instrument – which is true – are incredibly versatile. There is a world of music to explore on them, and many different approaches and styles of playing the ukulele. Lessons are guided by a student’s individual interests, as well as previous experience on ukulele, another fretted instrument, or with music in general. Instrumental lessons include practical music theory, as it applies to creating music on the instrument. Attention is paid to ergonomics to promote long-term playing while keeping the body comfortable and safe. Lessons are offered for tenor, concert, and soprano sized ukuleles (tuned like the top 4 strings of a guitar capoed on the 5th fret) and on baritone ukulele (strings are tuned the same as the top 4 strings of a guitar). 1 hour private lesson ($50) via Zoom.

Clawhammer Banjo

Banjo lessons focus is on old-timey clawhammer-style tunes, in a number of traditional tunings; as well as song accompaniment. Our approach is guided by individual interests and experience/skill on the instrument, or with music in general. Clawhammer banjo lessons include practical music theory, as it applies to the instrument. Attention is paid to ergonomics to promote long-term playing while keeping the body comfortable and safe. Open-back 5-string banjos are recommended for this style of playing. 1 hour private lesson ($50) via Zoom.

TESTIMONIALS:

“I have been a student with Lui Collins for three years now. I have come to music late in my life – I am 47 now and it’s been a wonder to learn with Lui. She has been a consistent source of joy, inspiration and learning for me during this time and especially since the pandemic started in March.

“I was the kid that the music teacher told to wiggle his fingers but make no noise during recorder recitals. Lui and I started slowly with clawhammer banjo – awakening me to pitch and harmony that I had never learned or tried after years of being “unmusical.” I discovered my ears in a new way being able to discern sounds and match them with my voice. This approach of holistic teaching is a marvel for me and has opened up so many worlds and experiences that I could never have imagined – like playing Amazing Grace with my daughter. If you’re looking for someone with soul, an integrated approach to teaching and a true passion for music then here she is. Lui is a marvel of patience, true dedication and love of her craft.” – Todd L., banjo student

With questions or to schedule your first lesson, contact Lui.