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Hi, I'm Gracie Terzian! I am the owner of Ukulala, and many years ago I fell in love with a beautiful instrument called the ukulele. Now I am a full-time ukulele performer, instructor, and composer based in New York City. I perform and give workshops at many ukulele festivals around the world such as the Ukulele Festival of Scotland, Allegheny Ukulele Festival, Albuquerque Ukulele Festival, New Jersey Ukulele Festival, Gaithersburg Ukulele Festival, and many others. You can visit my personal website: www.GracieTerzian.com.
It doesn't matter if you are an absolute beginner, or a professional musician. It doesn't matter if you are 90 years old, or 5 years old. Learning to play the ukulele brings joy to all people, and I look forward to making you fall in love with this amazing instrument, the same way I have!
I work year-round giving private lessons to students of all levels - both in their homes, and at my home in midtown Manhattan. Each student sets their own goals to work toward with me. Most students like to meet once a week at the same time slot every week, but some students prefer to keep their lesson schedule flexible, and they just contact me whenever they are ready to schedule their next lesson. Both are completely fine. I understand that people have busy lives and I try to keep my scheduling as flexible for students as possible.
That being said, I do strongly recommend taking lessons once a week if you can make the time for it. Because of the way our brains work, it is more beneficial to take 5 lessons in 5 weeks, than 10 lessons spread out over a year. If you let too much time pass between lessons, you don't retain the new information as easily and it makes it more difficult to continue building on what you are learning. Even if you haven't had enough time to practice during the week, it's still beneficial to check in with your teacher for your weekly lesson, before too much time has passed. This is how students see the most improvement. But of course, not everybody has the time to take a lesson every week, and that is perfectly okay. Any amount of lessons you do will be helpful -- even one!
My teaching philosophy:
When you are truly passionate about something, you have a much easier time learning, and your memory does a significantly better job retaining new information. Because of this, my goal as a teacher is to figure out how to make my students passionate about learning music and ukulele. How do we create this emotional connection to our work? Every student is unique. Part of that is making sure the material we work on is music that the student appreciates and can become excited about. But it's not just about what we work on -- it's also about how we work on it. I understand this firsthand.
When I was growing up, I studied piano from an early age, and I learned a lot, and had a great teacher. But I was never truly passionate about learning to play, and practicing was usually a chore. In the back of my head I always thought, "Why would I put so much effort into practicing this song? There are tons of people who have already played it much better than I ever will." I was young and naive. It wasn't until I discovered songwriting that I became truly passionate about music. I learned that I loved writing music, and suddenly I wanted to know all about music. I wanted to be able to play as best as I could, with the best technique possible, so I could perform my own songs, and I wanted to learn as much as I could about music theory. I suddenly wanted to practice every day for hours, and get together with other musicians to play with other people. As I got more excited about music, suddenly I was no longer just interested in learning how to play my own songs, but I was excited to learn how to play lots of different kinds of music as well!
I began to just love playing music.
Finding the thing that makes you truly excited to learn, and then using it as a vehicle to teach you all about music and ukulele is my main goal. Are you ready to discover your passion for ukulele?
<-- PDF of Ukulele Magazine article
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