What is YOUR skill level?













Alas, spring is on it’s way – PLEEEEESE!!! – ( it’s April and we have snow storms in Ontario…sigh ) And with the promise of spring, I have been inspired to make some changes here. My observations of late have suggested that I need one more category added to the basic ‘Beginner’ and ‘Level 2’ – a ‘pre-Level 2’ you might say – to accommodate those ‘in-betweeners’.

So, as of May/2016, these will be the new Ukeology Level categories. Which one do you fit into?

1) The Ultra Newbie, who has never played a stringed instrument (or ANY instrument for that matter), and may have absolutely NO musical education or experience at all – Fresh Meat!

2) The Enlightened Beginner, who has taken the Newbie class with me, or has learned a few chords and simple tunes on their own, but is still feeling like they’ve only just begun.

3) The Advanced Beginner, the more confident player who is chomping at the bit to take on more challenging material, and has at least 8-12 chords firmly under their belts.

With these changes, I must add:

My workshops and classes will always be termed as ‘Beginner’ at some level… that’s what Ukeology is all about. We will never get into intricate finger picking or highly complicated strums. I do not profess to stand beside the James Hills or the Jake Shimabokuras as a player. I think I will always consider myself a ‘highly evolved Beginner’. However, as an experienced and well respected actress/musician/recording artist/singer-songwriter with 40 years of well-reviewed performance to my credit, I can confidently say that I know what works. I know how to handle this instrument to create satisfying and exciting sounds, instinctually, not theoretically. And that is what I teach – how to use all your senses…your instincts …to hear and feel the notes and the rhythm, the heartbeat….to feel it in your very core. There is a delicious kind of freedom that comes from playing ‘by ear’, when you are not a slave to the book or the paper. That freedom equals a unique kind of joy. That’s what we’re after.

So, there may be 3 ‘levels’ , but they are all ‘Beginners’. Just so’s ya know.

Home Again….

Sketch- Michael Del Mundo

Hello Everyone!
If you’ve been visiting this site at all, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted for a very long time. Alas it’s been a very busy year for Judy Marshak the actress and singer. I’ve been on stage, out-of-town,  in a variety of theatrical productions almost non-stop since last May/2015. Very gratifying as an artist, but very frustrating as a wife, mother, friend, gardener, dog-owner and ukulele teacher! Being away from my home for so many months is not easy, and although I will be leaving to do one more show this spring, I will be officially home by the end of this May and ready to start teaching again. I appreciate all those who have waited patiently after contacting me about lessons and workshops while I was away.

So for all of you ultra newbies, eager to finally figure out what to do with that ukulele you got for Christmas, I’ll be holding a 2-Hour Crash Course on Sunday, April 3, from 3:00 – 5:00 in Newmarket. Cost is $50. More details on the Classes page.

And for those who are ready to take the next steps to expand your skills with new material and techniques in a fun, weekly group setting, stay tuned for news of The Ukulele Sessions starting back again when I return. I plan to run them throughout the summer. If you’re unfamiliar with The Ukulele Sessions, check my past posts or the Classes page for more info.

*** I’d like to thank Michael del Mundo for this gorgeous sketch, which he clearly did for a workshop in 2010. I felt that it so expressed exactly the feeling when a group of players convene for learning or jamming, and it is so beautifully crafted.

(And you also may have noticed that this page has lost some of it’s background graphics. I am in the midst of doing some updating to this site, so things should start looking snazzy very soon! )


My own young ‘Anne’ and I play “The Rainbow Connection”

This was my last week of lessons in Toronto, until I return from PEI in late October. Bittersweet feelings of leaving mixed with joyous anticipation of Charlottetown and the ocean and my beloved island where I’ve spent many summers playing the role of ‘Marilla’. This time in the lovely sequel, “Anne and Gilbert”. Good friends and good times await, I know.

Had to post this delicious video of my favorite student. Sorry everyone ….. I love you all, and I know I shouldn’t confess to having a favorite, but Emmi is such a special girl….that smile, that red hair, and most of all, that passion and joy. No doubt when I return, she will be 6 inches taller (and 5 months smarter!)

Just click on this link for a peek:  Judy and Emmi “The Rainbow Connection”



THE UKULELE SESSIONS last weeks before Spring break!

SO…as I am booked to work in glorious PEI from mid May to mid October, (sorry folks, but a girl’s gotta work!), our LAST CLASS will be on APRIL 30, and we’ll RESUME again on NOV.5. That’s 5 months to practice! I am off to do a beautiful little musical called “Anne and Gilbert”, a sweet sequel to “Anne of Green Gables”, and I will be playing Marilla, the very same role as I did in that original show for 4 summers. Charlottetown is a fabulous place to be in the summer, but I will sorely miss my family and dogs and garden…..and our classes!

Apr. 2 – Walk Off the Earth – “Gangs of Rhythm”, “Somebody That I Used to Know”
Apr. 9 – Sun’s Out! – “Margaritaville”, “In the Summertime”
Apr.16 – Carole King – “You’ve Got a Friend”, “It’s Too Late”
Apr.23 – Cool Kids – “Rainbow Connection”, “We’re Gonna Be Friends
Apr.30 – Up for grabs???  Requests??

I’m posting this fabulous video of one of my favorite tunes that “Walk Off the Earth” does, (our Apr.2 song) and my only frustration is that these guys did this uke rendition before we could!! I still think there’s a good idea for us here … hmmm?

Spring, Newbie Wednesdays & Happy Grads!

Oh Boy! The sun was out yesterday, and for a small fleeting moment, it felt like spring might be on the way. Divine! At the very least it wasn’t 35 below. There. I just had to rejoice before sharing the latest Ukeology news. Some things just need to be celebrated! ( I think Sophie Dufresne’s beautiful image says Spring! )
AND NOW, news for Newbies …