A SALISBURY resident who is passionate about setting up projects to help people access music in the community has opened up his music education group to more members.

'Sip N Strum' is a ukulele class which has been operating for more than a year from two pubs in the city - The Winchester Gate and  the George and Dragon.

The sessions take place on Tuesday evenings and lessons cover a variety of styles and genres.

Gregory Cook, 33, from Harnham teaches at various schools including at afterschool clubs but uses his stage name 'Ukulele Vagabond'. 

Salisbury Journal: Greg Cooper 'Ukulele Vagabond'Greg Cooper 'Ukulele Vagabond' (Image: Greg Cook)

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He said: “I am a part of Wiltshire Music Connect and enjoy setting up local projects to help people all over the community access music. The group is committed to providing an affordable first access point for music for everyone in the community.

“For this reason, we provide a free first session and a range of instruments at different sizes so that people without an instrument can come along and have a go before committing any money. This way they can decide if they want to commit to learning before buying an instrument and, if they do want to learn, purchase an instrument that's the right size.”

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Salisbury Journal: Sip N StrumSip N Strum (Image: Gregory Cook)

Gregory teaches all ages to play the ukulele and provides a friendly, targeted learning environment and offers one-to-one sessions as well.

He said: “The ukulele is an instrument that everyone will be able to play. Some have a natural ability and age can make a difference, but it is all about practice.”

Gregory had longed to set up his own music teaching business but found that during the pandemic, it all started to take off. 

He said: “We now have about 20 members but on average, that's about eight players a week."

"It is a space for people to have a go and to have an opportunity to build confidence when learning a musical instrument but we hope to attract many more members.”

After the lesson, members can join in a social strum-along session or participate in a question-and-answer session. 

For more information about the group, visit ukulelevagabond.com