Ukulele Lessons in San Diego
So you want to learn how to play the ukulele? Wonderful! In as little as 4 lessons I’ll help you begin strumming like champ! I’ll get you moving on a path to musical happiness, even if you’ve never sung or played a musical instrument before. I feel like my purpose in life is to teach. I’m thrilled when I see students grow and learn while improving their lives. It’s a glorious feeling! I create a positive and nurturing environment in my home music studio where comfort is emphasized while developing your music skills. I specialize in teaching beginners from ages 5 through 85.
I teach standard GCEA tuning for Soprano, Concert and Tenor ukuleles. I also teach DGBE tuning for Baritone ukuleles. I also teach how to sing and play your uke at the same time. Just let me know if that is something you’re interested in.
News and COVID: I’m currently accepting new students in my home studio in North Park on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Any person over the age of 12 needs to be vaccinated in order to come into my home. Masks will be worn if under the age of 12.
Be sure to check my Workshop Schedule for group classes.
Here’s what you’ll learn in my intro/absolute beginner ukulele lessons:
- Learn the 4 strings and how to tune them.
- Learn how to hold your ukulele.
- Learn which fingers to use when strumming
- Learn one finger chords.
- Learn two finger chords.
- Learn how to read a chord chart.
- Learn how to sing and play together.
- Learn several strumming patterns. Learn several songs of your choice!
Here’s what you’ll learn as an intermediate/advanced beginner:
- 3 finger chords.
- Barre chords.
- Rhythmic and more advanced strumming patterns.
- Learn individual notes on the ukulele.
- Intro to Finger picking.
- How to change your ukulele strings.
- Option to write your own songs.
Here’s what you’ll learn as an intermediate player:
- Moving chords up the neck.
- Music theory.
- Musical scales.
- Playing chords and melodies together.
- Learn how to read music.
- Finger pick melodies.
Monthly, private ukulele lesson rates:
Four – thirty minute lessons a month: $135.00/month
Four – sixty minute lessons a month: $245.00/month
I’m not offering single lessons at this time.
“We LOVEEEE Miss Marae!!! She is so sweet and so gentle in her teaching. My daughter absolutely loves her and loves learning. We have learned that knowing how to play an instrument doesn’t mean someone knows how to teach…especially children! Alison is amazing! She knows her stuff and knows how to teach it in a way that is understandable and fun! We can’t recommend her enough!!!” Tiffany S.
“Alison is fantastic. My 12 year-old daughter has taken ukulele lessons (and now voice) from her for 3 years and we have been thrilled. She’s written a multitude of original songs, including lyrics, and loves to play and sing. Alison has invited her to strumming events which has only further fed her enthusiasm. She is such a fun, kind teacher and very humble. My daughter is extremely shy but with Alison she has built the self-confidence to take on the stage with storm. She truly is a gifted teacher.” Julie
“I would highly recommend Alison as a music teacher. She makes lessons fun and is very encouraging…even if you’re just starting. With her gentle teaching skills you do get better quickly. She’s a talented performer too! Don’t miss a chance to hear her sing and play on her ukulele. Guaranteed to bring you smiles.” F. Bond
“Alison has been a great ukulele teacher for me and I’m so glad I found her. She has let me learn at my own pace and has been very flexible. She’s also found a way to teach me a lot while letting me play the type of music I really enjoy. I would highly recommend her to anybody looking to learn how to play the ukulele!” Doug
“I felt so comfortable learning from Alison. It seemed like she really loves to teach and is a natural.” Kelly
“Alison was amazing and felt like a long time friend right away. She is a patient teacher and managed to get a lot of info information in a really digestible way (the handouts were genius). I had zero music ability going in… and felt by the end of our time together that I could play a whole song on my own. Make sure you ask her to play for you at the end she is quite the talent. Such a great day!” Meggan
” I learned more in Alison’s one hour workshop than I did with an entire month of private lessons with another teacher!” Laurel
“I had an excellent experience taking voice lessons with Alison. I have no background in singing or music, except for being able to read basic piano sheet music. I always wanted to take voice lessons but have always been too intimidated. I’m glad I finally gave it a shot with Alison! We both had crazy busy schedules, but she worked with me to find a time that would work for both of us. During lessons, she was always patient and encouraging, and she made sure to focus on my goals. For me, that meant doing more exercises and scales rather than working on particular songs. I loved this approach and feel like I got so much out of the time, although half an hour FLIES by so fast! I only got to do about 8 lessons before I moved out of the area, but 8 was enough to clearly see the improvement in my voice, my vocal confidence, and especially in my fundamental understanding of singing and music. I highly recommend Alison! I also took one ukulele lesson with Alison right before I left town. I own a ukulele and wanted a few basic ideas about how to play it. In just half an hour Alison was able to give me a fantastic breakdown of the instrument, along with teaching me several chords and strumming patterns to practice on my own. I wish I could have done many more lessons with her!” Emily C
“Alison is kind, patient, and understanding. She’s taught me so much about the uke in such a short amount of time, and I’m very grateful that I decided to try her out!!!” Hannah
I just finished my first month with Alison! I picked up the ukulele once before and never got anywhere with it. The second time around, I bought a nice ukulele, contacted Alison and she had me strumming like a champ in no time! Alison embraces my new engagement with the little four stringle of joy (it’s actually a tenor) and has been a huge help in getting me started with making the transition from Guitar to ukulele. She has also been very flexible with my adaptations to sheet music. In addition, her love of vintage music is a perfect match for where I want to start. Alison has been a great teacher and support as I learn the basics of ukulele and I look forward to attacking the more difficult part of ukulele lessons with Alison as my instructor. Well worth my time and money. I know when we start going into the advanced picking, it will be even more satisfying!” Bob C.
“We absolutely adore Alison. She is incredibly kind and patient. I have 2 daughters, ages 9 and 6. They both take singing lessons from Alison & my 6 year is a bit of a handful sometimes but Alison is so cool with her. Both my girls have grown and progressed so much, musically. I often hear them practicing their scales completely on their own initiative. I couldn’t imagine doing lessons with anyone else.” Luci D.
“My 11 year old daughter has been taking voice lessons with Alison for about 4 months and I am amazed at her growth. Alison has helped her gain enough confidence to perform in front of a live audience! Alison is very flexible with our busy schedule, extremely easy to contact, and has a very gentle and encouraging manner that puts my daughter at ease. I highly recommend Lessons with Alison!” Lisa M.
“On my 58th birthday in October 2014 I had a “bucket list” moment where I decided it was time to give music one last real try. I mainly wanted to sing, but I also wanted to learn an instrument to accompany myself. I decided the ukulele would be the ideal instrument (portable, inexpensive, easy to play) and went looking for an instructor. Several web searches turned up only one local instructor who taught both voice and ukulele: Alison Marae. My prior encounters with music (piano, guitar) always ended in frustration, generally because the instructors insisted on using lessons from lesson books, and I didn’t seem to learn well that way. Alison customizes everything for me, encouraging me to select my own songs, then helping me learn how to adapt the song to my voice (transposition), my voice to the song (tone, volume), and even doing some rearrangement and improvisation to make the song “mine”. Alison has proven to be the perfect instructor for me: Every time I’ve encountered difficulty, she always has a way around it or through it. This makes me trust her implicitly, to not only push me to achieve ever better control and range, but to also teach me to take great care of my voice. In the past year and a half I’ve gone from being a car/shower singer to having a 3 octave range, with another half octave on good days, and a realistic hope to eventually reach 4 octaves. Alison’s voice lessons don’t focus just on singing: She also emphasizes breathing, posture, balance, and mental relaxation/focus. We haven’t actually done all that much with the ukulele beyond the very basics, since voice is my top priority and it’s still improving! If you’d like to sing and play, please stop thinking about it and just call Alison. You won’t regret it!” Bob
“I am taking both ukulele and singing lessons for the first time with Alison. I really enjoy my lessons and Alison as a teacher because she is very receptive to my needs, spontaneous, and my lessons have been truly fun so far. I am learning proper techniques for voice and uke so far, and we have been focusing on the songs I love as well as some great suggestions from her. She even invited me to participate in a local ukulele meet up. Looking forward to see how my progress goes!” Kathleen V.
“My daughter has been taking lessons with Alison (both singing and ukulele) for over a year and we couldn’t be happier. She’s positive, encouraging while still challenging her. We’ve noticed real growth both in our daughter’s singing and her instrument playing.” Alex C.
“I’ve been working with Alison for several months now. This is my first time taking singing lessons and she is always very patient and positive. My voice has become much stronger and Alison continues to help me improve the quality of my singing. Thank you for everything Alison!” Halsey R.
“I am currently one of Alison’s singing students and have been for years now. With Alison’s teaching I saw myself make quick progress immediately at the start of our lessons, and steady progress thereafter. Our lessons are wonderfully collaborative and include a healthy mix of warming up with technical exercises and singing songs of my choice. I find her to be a knowledgeable and talented teacher and I think her style is well suited for simultaneously advancing my skills and keeping our lessons fun. Overall, since Alison’s lessons worked out so well for me, I look forward to more years with her as my voice teacher.” Steve