Susan Howell

Mountain dulcimer, ukulele
Available: By appointment
Ages Taught: 8+
Levels Taught: All
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Susan spent her childhood and adolescence in musical theater. In college, she majored in music before moving on to primary education where she taught grade-school for twenty years, and served as the music resource person for grades K-5. Susan moved on from folk music and the mountain dulcimer to swing guitar and vocals and then fell in love with the ‘ukulele. Susan has been a member of the Seattle Ukulele Players Association (SUPA) since its formation and has taught private music lessons in Seattle for more than a dozen years. She plays in two ukulele groups, Ukestra Seattle and the Greenwood Trio, and has published a popular book of arrangements using chord melody technique for the ‘ukulele.

Susan loves getting people hooked on the ‘ukulele. Mastering the ‘ukulele involves learning strums, chords and where the notes are, as well as transposing and arranging tunes and song accompaniments. She can teach you all of these. Even if you’ve never played a stringed instrument, Susan quickly gets you playing the ‘ukulele; you’ll be playing with others and singing along on the hundreds of songs that she has available. These cover many genres but display a particular fondness for the music of the 30’s-60’s. For more about Susan's ukulele teaching, check out suekulele.com.

Susan has also been the primary Appalachian (mountain) dulcimer teacher in Seattle for fifteen years. She enjoys teaching all styles: traditional folk music, song accompaniment, swing tunes, and more. Susan has taught at dulcimer festivals around the country and has published two books of dulcimer arrangements. Take a look at seattledulcimer.com.


Erie Jones

Banjo, bass guitar, guitar, percussion, singing, ukulele
Available: Wednesday - Saturday
Specializes in early learners ages 4+
Levels Taught: All

Erie specializes in working with young people. Each child brings something wonderful and different to the table and Erie seeks to engage with that while challenging students musically. Musical rigor, emphasizing creativity, humor and playfulness, are a significant part of the process. From the get go, he teaches and supports creating music as well as performing it. When a student creates and (formally or informally) notates music, she gains a deeper understanding of her developing concepts and skills. One of Erie’s main goals is to foster autonomy, whereby the student becomes his or her own teacher.

Erie uses tablature, staff notation, playing by ear, observation, audio recording, singing, and more—in whatever mixture best benefits the student. Erie plans for immediate success so his students can start making a joyful noise right off the bat. There is no one “right path” but there is a great feeling of “rightness” when students learn and produce music which grows naturally from their creativity and aspirations. In addition to playing music, Erie encourages and helps his students to create and write their own musical pieces.

Erie grew up in a musical household and has been playing music since junior high school. A former Seattle school teacher, he taught music the last several years of his career there. He’s excited to now be in the middle of a second career teaching young people (and adults too) the mysteries and joys of the various fret boards.


Dan Kahane

Clawhammer banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, violin and viola
Available: Sunday - Wednesday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: All
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As an instructor, Daniel transmits the teachings of his teachers—the seminal folk and blues musicians of the 1950s and 60s—while adding his own unique flavors. He strives to connect and collaborate with each student, meeting and guiding them in their musical journey. He is well versed in traditional folk music styles, from Ireland to the hollers of Kentucky, and teaches this music on fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar. Daniel strives to create and maintain a learning environment that supports growth and achievement and enjoys witnessing the accomplishments that students achieve when they work hard and practice diligently.

Daniel grew up in Southern California and cut his teeth learning to play musical instruments from respected folk musicians like Frank Hamilton of The Weavers and fingerpicking guru Bob Baxter at McCabe’s in Santa Monica. He competed at the venerable Topanga Canyon Banjo and Fiddle Contest in the 1970s and ’80s and won First Place in Advanced, Professional, and Band Divisions. He’s been a music teacher for over thirty years and most recently worked as a master teacher with Santa Rosa Symphony’s “Simply Strings” where he provided musical instruction to an underserved community. He’s also taught environmental sciences in Spanish and English for all ages. A founding member of the eclectic forty-year-old six-piece ensemble, “Hot Lips & Fingertips” in California, Daniel also records and performs with the trio, Youkali. A student and assistant instructor of Aikido, Daniel holds the rank of Nidan (2nd degree black belt).


John Leder

Ukulele, Music Theory
Available: Monday
Ages taught: 10+ Levels Taught: Beginning and intermediate

John’s goal is to provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to enjoy playing ukulele at the beginning level and to facilitate student growth into intermediate and higher levels. By evaluating individual learning styles, he seeks to develop each student’s proficiency with chording, finger placement, strumming, and finger picking techniques by teaching music that is at once a lesson in the basic elements of ukulele skills and an essential exercise needed to develop those skills.

John began playing ukulele by learning simplified popular tunes from the ‘40s and ‘50s on a soprano with the aid of a strange device called the Chord Master. Acquiring a baritone ukulele at fifteen provided a segue into swing and folk music of the ‘50s and ‘60s. In addition, his music interests include jazz, doo-wop, traditional and contemporary Hawaiian, and chord melody and finger picking techniques. Study of ukulele masters such as James Hill, Kimo Hussey, Jim D’Ville, and others inform John’s teaching method. John is co-founder and current president of the Seattle Ukulele Players Association (SUPA), where he shares his love of ukulele by teaching the skills needed to participate in monthly song circles. He also works with students at a Seattle elementary school, teaching basic chords, strumming, and performance techniques, with a focus on a performance at the end of each school year.


Birch Pereira

Upright and electric bass; Birch also teaches piano, guitar, and ukulele
Available: Tuesday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: All
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Birch is a well known stand-up and electric bassist in the jazz, funk, hip hop, Americana, and rock scenes. His secondary instruments are piano (beginner to intermediate jazz/pop), guitar, and ukulele (beginner to intermediate folk/jazz), and he also teaches music theory.

Birch has built a strong reputation in the Northwest as an accomplished bass player, composer, and producer. His diverse musical background includes playing in symphony orchestras, a jazz performance degree from the University of Washington and years of gigging experience ranging from jazz to Americana, funk, hip hop, salsa, Brazilian, and Afro-pop bands. Birch starts with a focus on good technique and then explores the genres of music in which the student is interested, helping them grasp the rhythms, harmony, patterns, and feel that gives each style of music its distinct character.


Sunga Rose

Ukulele, voice
Available: Tuesday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: 7+
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Sunga Rose is an experienced teacher & performer. For 9 years, she has been the bandleader, vocalist and ukulele-strummer for the 1920s trio Miss Rose & Her Rhythm Percolators. She and her partner, Michael Alexander form the vocal & ukulele duo, the Honeyville Rascals, which features a variety of music, including vintage Hawaiian jazz and their own jazz/blues/folk originals. In June of 2015, Sunga formed Ukestra Seattle, a 14-member ukulele orchestra based in Seattle that plays everything from Beethoven to the Beatles.

Sunga picked up her first ukulele 9 years ago and hasn’t put it down since, which makes riding a bicycle somewhat awkward. She has been running her own studio and teaching group ukulele classes and workshops at Dusty Strings in Seattle for 7 years and is a certified instructor in the James Hill Ukulele in the Classroom teaching method. She has also run the beginners’ ukulele jam at Dusty Strings for over 6 years, providing fun & guidance for newer players. Sunga has taught ukulele, vocal performance and songwriting at the Northwest School’s summer camp for the past 2 years, working with kids, aged 10-16, from all over the world. She also taught ukulele classes at the prestigious Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in 2016.

Sunga has been singing for as long as she can remember and has studied musical theatre, opera and jazz. She offers vocal lessons for non-singers who think they can’t carry a tune as well as coaching for singers who are pursuing a career in music. Learn more about Sunga at sunrosemusic.com.


Jonathan Shue

Guitar, ukulele, voice and singing
Availability: Saturday mornings and afternoons
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: 12+
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Jonathan specializes in helping students realize their singing and instrument-playing potential whether they’re a total beginner or seasoned performer. He believes everyone can sing and play an instrument and that it’s never too late to learn. It’s all about breaking things down into small, manageable steps.

Voice. Jonathan helps students connect breath and voice, re-open the vocal channel, and re-discover their own voice. He emphasizes “the whole self,” drawing upon the Alexander Technique and Kristin Linklater’s groundbreaking voice work. A seasoned professional actor, musician, and singer, Jonathan also helps prepare actors and singers for auditions by offering constructive feedback, help with selecting audition material, monologue and scene work, and real-world advice on professional marketing for performers.

Guitar and Ukulele. Jonathan breaks down students’ goals and helps them find a pathway toward achieving them. He helps students discover how their instrument works mechanically and musically and to build a repertoire of songs they feel confident performing. He also teaches how to sing and play at the same time and can help students develop their own, original songs.

Jonathan has performed in award-winning regional theatre, toured internationally, produced three albums, and either composed or arranged music for many plays and new works. For ten years, he taught music and drama as an artist-in-residence at public schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also the Education Director for Dusty Strings. Learn more about Jonathan at jonathanshue.com.