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Teko's Ukulele Journey

Teko is an exceptionally active student in Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel’s Ukulele school. In his nearly two years studying Ukulele at ArtistWorks, Teko has submitted over 55 video exchanges – making him one of the most active students in any school! Read about Teko’s journey with the Ukulele below:

I’d spent years trying to find my musical outlet before discovering Ukulele in 2009. Since I was young, I had a passion for music. Initially, I tried to play the guitar and piano, but I was never successful. I felt like I was failing everything I tried.

Thankfully, my journey with music didn’t end at those roadblocks. I soon discovered the online Ukulele community on YouTube. Unlike other instruments I had tried, the Ukulele offered many easy strumming arrangements with songs like Surfin’ USA and Yellow Submarine. Suddenly, I realized that learning an instrument was possible- and I decided to give Ukulele a try.

Craig and Sarah had several YouTube tutorials on the Ukulele- their videos were always sweet, peaceful, and positive. The showed the power the Ukulele has to bring people together – the sharing of beautiful music, smiles, and food.

One day I was watching their video titled, “Center of My Mind”, and I thought to myself “This is where I want to be!”. I immediately signed up to take lessons from them on ArtistWorks.

Craig and Sarah are amazing instructors. They’re always kind an encouraging, so much so, that after a year of studying online with them – I felt like they were more than instructors, but truly my friends.

I decided to fly to USA and meet Craig and Sarah in San Diego, where they live. I flew all the way from my home in Japan! Once I arrived in the United States, Craig and Sarah showed me around and treated me to homemade ramen noodles.

Then I flew to Maryland for Strathmore Uke & Guitar Summit, where Craig and Sarah were teaching and performing. At the Summit, I met so many wonderful Ukulele people. I met Diane (username: Diane Nalini) and Chris (username: soccer1) who are fellow online students at ArtistWorks.

After the Maryland summit, I continued traveling! I went North, to New Jersey Uke Fest. And met many wonderful musicians like Danielle Ate the Sandwich and Kimo Hussey. I played Guava Jam, a song I learned from Craig and Sarah, and won the open mic contest there. There’s an article on Morristown Green about me.

Studying with Craig and Sarah at ArtistWorks has been an amazing journey. I’ve connected with friends, traveled the United States, and jammed out!

If I had advice for a new Ukulele student, I would reference Sarah’s words, “You can make it as easy and as HARD as you want it to be.”

I suggest other Ukulele students try to do little bit of everything. I still learn from Basic exercises like Spider and dexterity training. And even if you can’t fully understand or can’t do one thing, you don’t have to stick to that level, because sometimes after you skip to next level, it will start to make sense.



Read more about student spotlight and Ukulele:

Ukulele Songs You Can Learn in One Week or Less

Mandolin Student Spotlight: Rico Wallenda

Walking in a Ukulele Wonderland



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