After 26 years of playing the ukulele, writing songs and performing on it, I began teaching others in 1987. Today I have nearly 700 students on my Play Uke Now course at Udemy.com. I am the author of Cool Hand Uke's Way to Love Uke, an inter--active ukulele history and method book for the iPad. In 1998 I and fellow ukulele performers and teach Fred Fallin of Chicago and Alfredo Canopin of Honolulu, returned the ukulele to its ancestral home of Madeira Island, Portugal. We taught Madeiran folk musicians to play the ukulele and performed two shows with them in Madeira and were featured at World Expo in Lisbon, Portugal, the last world's fair of the 20th Century.
I have presented workshops in numerous US cities as well as Dublin, Ireland, Liverpool, Nova Scotia and Madeira Island. I have given my popular "First Lesson" to several thousand persons. Three of my students have gone on to start and maintain ukulele clubs in Modesto, CA, Albuquerque NM and Dublin, Ireland. Besides performing solo, today I often front small musical combos, and teach a group of 30 to 50 members of The Strum Bums Ukulele Extravaganza Rescue and Relief Band. We have performed twice at the Honolulu International Ukulele Festival, the New York Ukulele Festival, the Santa Cruz CA Ukulele Festival and headline the Auburn CA Gold Pan Ukulele Festival.
My teaching helps the student to learn to explore their own way of playing, to learn from others but not copy them, and to develop of "toolbox" that came be used at any time to add flavor, interest and poignancy to his or her playing. I do not teach how to be a juke box. Some theory creeps into my presentations, since some concepts often help students to reach the music in them more easily.