2018 WORKSHOP PROGRAMME STILL UNDER DEVELOPMENT - please keep watching for details.

WORKSHOPS : $20 per session  


SESSION A: Saturday 3 February    9:30am - 11:00am






SESSION B:  Saturday 3 February   1:00pm - 2:30pm






SESSION C:  Sunday 4 February  9:30am - 11:00am






Bruce Macdonald Sessions A & C : Simple Picking Patterns"

Bruce has been playing the uke for 11 years now and enjoys performing alone or jamming with others.

In 2009 he was approached to teach the uke to beginners. From those humble beginnings, Bruce gathered keen ukulele players around him and founded LX Ukes. The group has gathered other players to it and is a popular source of entertainment in the local community.

A move to Lauder and Bruce playing and singing at the local hotel led to some of the Lauder locals asking to learn how to play and so the Lauder Uke Group was born. They get togther often to jam at the Lauder Hotel.

A1 (Repeated SUNDAY as C1) 

Finger picking patterns can add a lot of colour to your playing.

We start with some really basic techniques for songs in 4/4 time. Then I will show you a pattern for ¾ time.

Participants need to be comfortable with the basic chords and willing to learn something new


C1  -  A1 repeated


Barry Bemrose " Session B "Silly Songs"


Session B: Silly Songs     Baz will teach you a few silly songs to add a little humour to your life. Music will be provided and it is hoped that we will have a rollicking good time! PREREQUISITE: a slightly strange sense of humour! (We performed a couple of songs in the open mic session last year starring our brand-new group!) The serious picture is not typical!

Baz  leads "Ukes in Thyme" - an enthusiastic group of ukulele nuts!

( check www.ukesinthyme.simplesite.com  ) 

He also likes to work with kids (has done so all his life!) He runs ukulele programs in two local schools and has a group called "Cool Az Kids" (also performing at the festival) representing all of the schools in the Alexandra Area.

Bill Somerville Session A : Introduction to Bass Playing" and Session B : Advanced bass playing.

Bill is a multi-talented musician with a wealth of experience. He comes from a rock and roll background playing in many bands in the Southland area.

Bill is a founding member of LX Ukes and has taken on the role of musical director and greatly enhanced their performances both through his skill as a musician and with his talent for arranging their songs and harmonies. He generally plays lead ukulele but is also an excellent bass player. Bill feels that every Ukulele group would benefit from having a bass player and has agreed to teach basic bass to get people started. It would be best if each workshop member could bring a bass guitar. No amplifier needed.

This is a great opportunity to take your group to the next level so volunteer someone from your group and sign them up for this workshop!

Hyram Ballard Session A Session C

Hyram needs no introduction to Lauder having been an important part of the last two festivals. 

He participates in the open Mics, Main Stage Concert, leads workshops and will even sell you the ukulele of your dreams!  He is very experienced, knowledgeable as well as being extremely entertaining and his workshops fill up fast.

Workshop titles:

Session A:How To Own The Stage Without Taking Out a Mortgage
- Learn and discuss methods for a confident performance on stage, managing stage fright, how to prepare, keeping cool under pressure, talking to sound people, etc.

Session C : Original Songs For Kids (And Adults!)
- Come and hear and learn to play Adrienne and Hyram's songs for kids - have fun while learning! Ideal for kids, parents and adults teaching kids.

Steve Barkman Session A: How to get the most out of your ukulele and Session B: The process of of creating a quality instrument from Scratch

Music featured in Steve's life from the outset and guitar from age 8.
In the mid 1970s the repair and maintenance of guitars, ukes, mandolins and banjos began, with work from local music retailers in Dunedin, Invercargill and Timaru. 
This led to the first guitar being built in 1989.
Since then Steve has completed around 185 instruments, mostly guitars, ukuleles and mandolins.
The majority are custom-ordered and have woods, inlays, and features specific to the customer's requirements.
As much as the instruments are important, Steve also enjoys the personal interaction and relationship that develops when making that special instrument for someone.

Session A: How to get the most out of your Ukulele. If you are not happy with the sound of your ukulele but you can't afford to buy a new one - Steve will be pleased to show you how to make the most of your own ukulele. 
Session B: Steve will take you through the process of making a custom ukulele. He will discuss such topics as the design, woods, engineering and other features that contribute to a fine instrument.

Paul Lee Session C "Secrets of the Secret Lives" or "Putting Your Songs Together"

Lauder Workshop: “On-stage With The Secret Lives of Ukulele Big Band”


This year The Secret Lives of Ukulele will lead an all-inclusive workshop

that takes you from learning a simple song together, into devising and arranging creative ideas and then culminates in performing as part of a super group collective - all in one short day! 


Join us in the creative process of bringing music to life.

Contribute at whatever level suits you – simple strumming or crafty picking.

Learn in small groups – combine in one big mass extravaganza!


Experience the thrill of performing alongside The Secret Lives of Ukulele

on the main stage at Lauder. Pick up handy performance skills from

seasoned practioners. Get invaluable wardrobe and style advice from those that know.


The Whole Package in only 90 minutes! 


Ewen Mason Session A and B -"What a good Sound System can Do for you

By the time I’d left school I had already developed a keen interest in sound reproduction & reinforcement. This has remained with me over the past several decades during which time I have been involved in both thestaging, and technical production, of a variety of functions.

There are many questions which keep surfacing, among them myths, fears and misconceptions experienced by performers when relating to PA systems, sound engineers, venues, choice of equipment, set-up & use thereof.

The Ukulele Festival in Lauder (Feb 2017 has offered an opportunity for those who wish to attend a “workshop on sound” to hear about some of the basics, and maybe dis-spell some of the misconceptions.

Discussions, demonstrations and exhibits would cover plenty of the “do’s and don’ts” surrounding setting up for a gig – what gear to use – how to best set it up (for the venue in question) – what is necessary (and what is not) – mixing – care of gear – working with others – knowing the limitations, and more.

The sessions will be very interactive and questions will be welcomed. See you there.


Keith Lightfoot "Session A: "Anyone can Sing in Tune" Session B: "Breaking out of your Musical Limitations"



Q: What should I bring to the workshop?
A: Yourself, your ukulele, something to write on, an open mind and a sense of humour.

Q: Can I video the workshop?
A: The workshop will be professionally videoed ... It is more important for you to "be 100% present" to gain maximum benefit from the session, rather than looking through a camera.

Q: Who is Keith Lightfoot?
A: Keith Lightfoot has played music and studied positive psychology for more than thirty years and has changed thousands of lives via his seminars, youtube videos and his motivational book/articles ... His extensive background in computer technology, combined with his passion for the ukulele, make him an ideal leader for the workshops ... Refer publicspeaking.co.nz for more information

Q: What do other people think of the workshops?
A: “I really enjoyed the session, it was informative, inspiring and full of fun, thank you” ... “Thank you for such and inspiring, relaxed and entertaining presentation” ... “I really enjoyed your workshop this afternoon, good laughs and great tips and secrets! Thanks again” ... "Always a pleasure to watch your videos Keith. You have a real comfortable way of teaching that makes people feel like 'even they' can do it :-)"

Keith's teaching methods are extremely effective and loaded with humour... Be prepared to hear new ideas, to laugh and to have some fun :-)
Note: These workshops have limited numbers, so book early to ensure your seat.


SESSION A: Anyone can sing in tune

1. Overview:
If you have ever been told "you can't sing in tune" or you believe you "can't sing in tune" ... if so, Keith has a pleasant surprise for you!

2. Who should attend?
If you have a spouse/partner who often tells you "you can't sing", then he/she should attend the session with you.
You will both come away with new thoughts and ideas.

3. What will be covered?
a) You will learn simple techniques to improve your singing (immediately effective) and you will discover why some songs seem difficult to sing (and how to fix it).
b) People who attend this workshop come away with a new sense of confidence re their singing and for many it is the beginning step and long-term realisation of a lifetime dream.


SESSION B: How to break out of your musical limitations

1. Overview:
Discover how to break free from your musical limitations.
Find out how to write songs, learn new chords and have more fun with your music.

2. Who should attend?
Only attend this workshop is you are searching for ways to break out of your comfort zone, wishing you could do more with your ukulele (and your life) ... Any level of musical ability can attend (beginners, intermediate and experts), this session is not about "what you can do at the moment" ... it is about "what you can do from now on!" ... If you have read this far, then you are clearly interested in this topic and therefore you are likely to benefit from the workshop.

3. What will be covered?
a) Find out what might be holding you back
b) Unlock your potential and your music
c) Improve your self-belief quickly and easily
d) Keep improving when you get home by applying the techniques discussed



Sam Girling Sessions A & B: "Percussion for Groups" INTRODUCTORY and C "Percussion for Groups " ADVANCED


Sam studied percussion and timpani at Trinity College of Music in London under the inspirational guidance of Kevin Nutty (BBC Symphony) and Matthew Perry (Royal Philharmonic), graduating in 2008.  Following three years of teaching music at a boarding school in Norfolk, Sam returned to London to complete his Masters studies at Royal Holloway, where he developed an interest in West African djembe drumming and the Irish bodhrán, which culminated in a performance at the Orkney Folk Festival 2012 in northern Scotland.  In early 2014 Sam moved to New Zealand, where he currently teaches music history and theory at the University of Auckland.  As a percussionist Sam has performed with several of Auckland’s leading music ensembles, including the Auckland Philharmonia and the Auckland Chamber orchestras, and has given recitals in both England and Italy.  


The percussion and rhythm workshops will incorporate songs, ideas and styles from two contrasting musical cultures that I am familiar with – West African djembe drumming and the folk music of the Orkney Islands in north-east Scotland.  You will learn about the different techniques used to produce different sounds on a wide range of percussion instruments in a fun and relaxed environment, involving the whole group.  I will include different methods of ear training, including fun rhythm games and exercises that are aimed to increase co-ordination and build unity and co-operation within the group.  It is hoped that the workshops will allow participants to learn how to play a variety of rhythms on several instruments together in order to create a piece of music.  

 Sessions A and B  : Introduction

Session C :  More advanced Concepts.   You may wish to take Session A or B on the Saturday and move on to the more advanced concepts on Sunday In Session C. 

Bronwyn Barnes Session B "Vocal Coaching"

Bronwyn has been working as a Secondary School Music Teacher for the past 20 years and currently holds the position of Head of Music at Dunstan High School in Alexandra. 

She is also an experienced performer in both contemporary and classical music, and is an award -winning Musical Director, mainly working in Musical Theatre and Choral Music. 


What will be covered in the Singing Workshop:


Improving the quality of your singing/vocal production


Choosing the right key for your voice (and how to change key)


Communicating a song to an audience


How to create harmonies


Practising a song to put the things you have learned into practice.