Now we’re rolling…..Monday, January 26, our third day in Ajijic will bring some (optional) heart-thumping hiking, a couple of challenging workshops, cooking with our pro, and an afternoon concert at the local school. Here’s how the day might unfold:
While the rest of the crew sleeps, those ready for a little adventure will gather at 6:30 am to hike up the mountainside….to the chapel that overlooks Ajijic and Lake Chapala and possibly beyond….for a view of the ring of extinct volcanos that surround the lake. And, we’ll still be back down the hill by 8 am, in time for a fabulous, and well-earned, breakfast at Casa del Sol with our pals.
Then, after our Palabara del Dia with Sheila, we’ll break into two groups for our morning ‘ukulele sessions with Heidi and Daniel: Modulation Can be Fun for the beginners and Stormy Monday for those ready to challenge their chops. (Descriptions below.) After that we meet Oscar Nafarrate, our resident chef, who will guide some of us through some of the intricacies of cooking local dishes (but with a French flair) while preparing our midday meal! And while the more advanced ukulele players are busy prepping with Oscar, the rest of the uke players will be working with Heidi learning Freight Train, followed by The Old Switcheroo with Daniel. Photographers can hover in the kitchen with their cameras and Jordan, getting a few tips on “action” and “food” photography.
After our midday meal, we’ll have a little siesta (or not!), followed by a short Play-Along with Elaine. (If you’ve got a song or two to share, please bring them along.) Then we’ll head over to the Instituto Internacional where Heidi and Daniel will be motivating the kids with a show and ukulele workshop. At the same time, we’ll be presenting the school’s music teacher with a number of Ohana ukuleles, a gift from our participants to the school, so their music teacher will have the tools needed to create an ongoing ukulele program that we hope to see grow and grow in the years to come.
Then it’s back to Casa del Sol for Magaritas (and what-not?) with Jordan.
Dinner tonight is on your own, again. Personally, I think I’m going to head over to Ajijic Tango, (the top-rated restaurant in Ajijic according to Trip Advisor) and turn in early.
But, if you’re ready to party, you can head over to Adelita’s Bar & Grill for their Monday Dine & Dance Event. Live music and great food at reduced prices! But don’t stay up too late, we have another busy day tomorrow!
Here are the descriptions of the ukulele workshops being offered on Monday:
MODULATION CAN BE FUN: Exploring the fretboard
Believe it or not, even beginning players are ready to “modulate,” with a closed chord shape they already know: Bb. In this workshop you will learn how to carry the Bb shape up the fretboard, opening up a whole new set of chords you didn’t know you already knew! It’s the step that will help you understand the entire fretboard and how to explore the wilderness above the third fret all on your own. And guess what? It can be fun! (Heidi Swedberg – Level 2)
STORMY MONDAY (and Tuesday’s Just as Bad)
Learning to play the blues provides such a solid foundation for any player’s repertoire, that everyone should include at least one blues workshop during their ‘ukulele education. In this one, Daniel Ward uses the blues classic “Stormy Monday” to help students transition from familiar to advanced chord shapes in time with the music, and teach the pentatonic and blues scales in major and minor keys for soloing. You can count on some good right hand attention too, exploring the strengths of finger-style, strumming, and using a pick. If there’s demand, this one can be expended to a second part with more advanced skills. That will be on Tuesday! (Daniel Ward – Level 3-4)
FREIGHT TRAIN, FREIGHT TRAIN: Easy pickin’ and modulatin’ in the same track
Pulling two previous workshops together, you, too, will be “going so fast,” once you put a few second-position chords and the simple, Travis picking pattern together in Elizabeth Cotton’s iconic song, “Freight Train, Freight Train,” a tune written more than 100 years ago and a great song to have in your quiver. Plus, once you get this technique down, you’ll realize there are more tunes in your repertoire you can use this classic picking pattern with. It’s one of those workshops that will take you a long, long way. All aboard! (Heidi Swedberg Level 2-3)
THE OLD SWITCHEROO: Working the left hand
One of the biggest challenges facing any beginning player (and a number of more advanced players, as well) is switching the fingers on your left hand from one chord to another in a seamless and timely fashion. It’s hard! But, it doesn’t have to be. In this workshop Daniel will show you how to make those changes with little, or no, effort at all through a series of easy exercises and some expert advice that will let you relax and enjoy the music, without any pain or frustration. (Daniel Ward – All Levels)