Ramona, CA – The Ramona Library is set to host beginner-level ukulele classes for both youth and adults, with sessions commencing on September 12th. Organized and instructed by Karla Brustad, these classes aim to introduce participants to the joys of playing the ukulele and are open to anyone interested, regardless of age or prior experience.
The best part? These classes are entirely free, and for those who don’t already own a ukulele, instruments are available for loan, generously provided through donations collected by Brustad.
The schedule for the classes is as follows: Adult classes will be held every Tuesday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., followed by youth classes for ages 7 to 17 from 3 to 4 p.m.
Participants can even take a ukulele home to practice, ensuring they have ample opportunities to refine their skills. “They can take it home and keep practicing, they can have a ukulele every day,” Brustad explained.
Over the span of the six-week course, attendees will learn the basic four chords on the ukulele, three strumming patterns, and how to play 10 songs. According to Brustad, it’s best to join the class when it starts, but latecomers are also welcome. “It’s pretty simple, you don’t have to read sheet music or anything like that,” she emphasized. “You don’t have to have any prior experience.”
Following the initial course, a second six-week session will be offered, where Brustad will teach additional songs for those looking to showcase their newfound skills in an upcoming sing-along event.
Brustad excitedly mentioned, “We’re going to be leading up to our holiday sing-along in December, and they’ll be ready to perform with all the ukulele players. We’ll have the adult beginners, youth beginners, and the Jammers all participating in our holiday sing-along on Dec. 9.”
Graduates of both courses will have the opportunity to join the Ukulele Jammers group, which convenes on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. These sessions differ from the classes, as Brustad provides a list of songs and music for the first hour, often selecting a specific genre like Elvis or country for the group to enjoy. In the second hour, the Jammers have the freedom to choose songs they wish to share with the group.
For Brustad, the second hour is particularly enjoyable, as it allows her to explore new songs and learn from her fellow Jammers. Carmen Groe, a Poway resident who regularly attends the Saturday jamming sessions, attested to Brustad’s enthusiasm and welcoming nature. Groe emphasized how Brustad embraces everyone who shows an interest in playing the ukulele.
Groe further noted that over the past year of playing with the group, she has witnessed individuals who completed Brustad’s classes joining the Jammers. Together, they have honed their skills and broadened their musical horizons.
Brustad guides the group through a music book with written music and chords, enhancing their understanding of timing and measures. While the Jammers currently comprise around 20 ukulele players, Groe indicated that there is always room for more members. Although regular attendance is not obligatory, group members tend to be committed and consistently participate in weekly sessions.
Groe expressed her gratitude for the group, emphasizing the opportunity to expand their musical abilities, play more, and perform together. The Ramona Library’s ukulele classes and Jammers group continue to provide a welcoming space for both beginners and experienced players to share their love of music.