Luongo Ukulele Experience Ensemble Project:

Performing Real Music with the Ukulele!

There’s nothing like the LUE Ensemble Project anywhere else in the ukulele world, and there is no better word for it than experience. As he did for over 30 years with the Langley Ukulele Ensemble, Peter Luongo extracts musical and performance skills beyond what the participants ever thought they could accomplish. The result: A group of adults, most well over fifty years of age, performing for audiences of over 300 on major stages at the largest ukulele festivals in the country!

If you want to take your musical life “beyond hum & strum,” this is the program. If you want a reason to practice, a reason to improve…a reason to own all those ukuleles, this is the group to join–they will become your second family!

Providing the next step:

Ukulele Clubs provide a social opportunity for players of all ability levels to get together to sing and strum along freely. Individual players have sought out opportunities beyond the club by attending workshops, festivals, and taking private lessons. The intent of the Luongo Ukulele Experience Ensemble is to provide the next step: the opportunity to combine the passion for playing ukulele with acquired musical skills as a member of a quality, performing ukulele ensemble.

The curriculum for this program is based upon that which was used by Peter Luongo during his time as director of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble. This is the same general path of instruction that launched LUE alumni James Hill’s love of the uke.

How Do You Join?

The process for joining the Ensemble is through enrolling in a MAXIMUM UKULELE™. There you will experience all aspects of the same training the Ensemble undertakes. Afterwards, during the time until the next Ensemble weekend, you practice the material in preparation.

Once a member, you are given access to the Member Login portion of this website, where all materials are posted: Sheet music, video instruction, and portal to online sessions.

What level of skills are required?

To be clear, this is not a course for beginners. To get the most out of this intensive program, you should have a good grasp of intermediate skills, including a strong sense of rhythm, a decent concept of scales, and where to find notes on the neck. That said, MAXIMUM UKULELE™ is open to all motivated, intermediate players who are eager to move beyond their current level. New candidates for the Ensemble must demonstrate proficiency by attending at least one MAXIMUM UKULELE™.

The following skills are demonstrated in MAXIMUM UKULELE™. Ideal candidates for the Ensemble should learn and attain proficiency in these skills:

– Be able to play tight and rhythmic strumming patterns while maintaining tempo and singing vocal parts in tune.
– Know the I, IV, V7, & vi minor chords in the keys of C, F, & G.
– Be able to play basic bar chords (Bb, Bmin, D7, etc.)
– Be familiar with chord patterns and have some knowledge of alternate chord positions.
– Be able to play or be open to learning to play melody lines with a flat pick.
– Be able to play or quickly learn to play the C, F, and G major scales proficiently in first position and cross-string up the neck.
– Know the names of the notes of the lines and spaces on the treble staff and be able to find their location on the fretboard.
– Be able to learn to sight-read basic melody passages in notation, including the identification of whole, quarter, half, dotted half, dotted quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes.
– Be able to hear chord changes.
– Be able to echo sing passages with accurate pitch and rhythm.
– Have a basic understanding of musical terms and concepts, including sharps, flats, chromatic structure, key signatures, and the formation of scales and chords.
– Have a commitment to a polished performance and to “getting it right” through intense practice and rehearsal sessions, and independent practice between sessions.

Instrument Requirements:
– The playing of melody lines, including notes below traditional re-entrant tuning, is emphasized in LUE. Therefore, a tenor or concert sized ukulele strung with a low G (4th) string is highly recommended for MAXIMUM UKULELE™ and is mandatory for the Ensemble.
– Finally, unless physically unable, you should expect to occasionally perform while standing, therefore a strap may be helpful.

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