Instruments: Guitar, Ukulele, Bassoon
Age: Primary, Intermediate, Secondary, Adult
About Gretchen Howard
Gretchen’s overall aim is to have fun while learning and to create a sense of community and connection through music.
Growing up in Wisconsin, music has always been a part of Gretchen’s life. From the bassoon to the ukulele, she has explored a variety of instruments throughout her musical journey. But it wasn’t until she attended a ukulele class with Jane Fisher that she truly fell in love with this unique and versatile instrument.
As a founding member of the Plinkers, a social group dedicated to the ukulele, Gretchen quickly progressed beyond the basics and sought more advanced learning opportunities. Her passion for the ukulele also opened doors for her to join the Big Sing Band and the Nelson Ukulele Orchestra. She has had the privilege of studying with renowned tutors from both New Zealand and overseas, including Max Maxwell from Auckland and attending the Geraldine Ukulele Festival.
Teaching has always been a significant part of Gretchen’s musical journey, and she has taught in various settings, including retirement homes, schools, and community centers. Recently, she has been teaching ukulele at the Nelson Women’s Center and Waimea College’s Adult Community Education program. She has even formed a group of kite flyers who play ukulele at kite festivals.
Skills and expertise
As a ukulele teacher, Gretchen specialises in guiding beginners and intermediate players to develop their skills in a group setting. Her lessons are designed to enhance finger dexterity, musicality, chord knowledge, rhythm knowledge, and even vocal chords. With a keen interest in the social aspect of music-making, she believes that singing with the ukulele is an excellent way to create music together and bond with fellow players. Her classes are open to all ages, starting from 8 years upwards. Whether her students are just starting or looking to build on their existing skills, Gretchen is there to help them unlock their potential and enjoy the joy of playing the ukulele.
Beginner to Intermediate students.
Adults and children are welcome in combined group classes.