Recap: The 2018 Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival

UPDATE: Several people asked when I planned to host another workshop in the area, and I hope to have an answer for them soon! I will likely be back in Southern CA in November and am currently looking into whether I can plan another workshop while I’m in town. I will post about upcoming events on the blog, and you can email me if you’d like to join my mailing list.

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The 2018 Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival took place on Saturday, 9/22 at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center. I drove down from San Jose (leaving my hubby and kids at home) on the Thursday prior, spent some time with my parents in OC on Friday, spent all day at the festival on Saturday, and drove home on Sunday. This event was the first time I’d ever led workshops at a festival and the first time I’d ever operated a vendor booth! I did my best to prepare for both, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of this unique event.

 my only regret for the workshops was not getting more pictures and videos!

my only regret for the workshops was not getting more pictures and videos!

The Workshops

I have to say, teaching brand-new players how to play the ukulele is one of my all-time favorite things. It’s just so darn rewarding to show people that, regardless of their musical experience (or lack of it), they really can learn to play the ukulele. In the 45-minute sessions, I taught the groups three chords and five songs that are fun and easy to sing and play. Groups of friends, young couples, grandparents with their grandkids, parents with young children, tween boys… I think almost every age group was represented!

 Thank you Louis and Ohana Ukuleles for sharing the bongoleles and shakerleles!

Thank you Louis and Ohana Ukuleles for sharing the bongoleles and shakerleles!

For the kiddos who were too little to play ukes, I had some rhythm instruments and trinkets I brought out throughout the workshop. Louis from Ohana Ukuleles very generously provided Shakerleles and Bongoleles for the adults and big kids to try out. Aren’t they beautiful? I’m particularly fond of the shakerleles, which are a more sophisticated take on the egg shaker. They feel so good in the hand and make such a satisfying sound when shaken.

Making music is so much fun when it’s a shared experience, and group jams are hard to beat. Thank you to all who attended my workshops. Thank you for sharing your time, your energy, and your beautiful voices! If you attended the workshop and want a PDF of my handout, please fill out my contact form and I’ll email it to you.

 Jane and Katie. Aren’t they cute?

Jane and Katie. Aren’t they cute?

The Booth

My booth was in the marketplace area, which was open to the public. And conveniently enough for me, my booth was located right next to the room where my workshops were held, so most of my time was spent either in the workshop room or in the marketplace area. At my booth, we sold copies of my book and shared free chord charts and ukulele coloring pages. My friends Katie and Jane (both of whom are Musical Mamas!) helped me out all day, and they were AMAZING. I honestly couldn’t have done it without them, and I feel so grateful for their help.

I did get a few opportunities to wander around the festival and briefly check out the other workshops and performances, and everywhere I looked I saw people having a good time. This was true for the marketplace area as well. So many smiling faces and lovely conversations with folks of all ages and levels of experience.

Thank you to all who took the time to stop by my booth. It was great chatting with you! I hope to see you next year. :)