Stuart Butterworth BA (Hons) PGCE is the founder and leader of Ukulele Workshops in Scotland.
Whether it be ukulele, piano, keyboard, brass, singing, theory of music or even mathematics, Stuart has always loved teaching. He started giving private lessons at the age of fifteen to earn some pocket money and, twenty seven years on, he still gets a buzz of excitement when a beginner strums their first chord or plays their first note, or when he helps a more advanced student reach their next musical goal.
He has taught in and managed music departments in secondary schools and currently is the co-proprietor of an award winning group of children's day nurseries and out of school clubs. In 2007 he founded 'Sing Together - Naturally!' an organisation which encourages and enables people to sing (whether they believe they can sing or not) using a variety of methods including specially written arrangements which help participants to sing in 'instant harmony'.
Stuart's relationship with the ukulele began, totally unexpectedly, whilst recovering from pneumonia. Feeling 'stir crazy' after being confined to his bed for several weeks, he found a cheap ukulele lying around the house and, in an attempt to preserve his sanity, taught himself to play using a combination of books and YouTube videos. The resurgence and worldwide rise in popularity of the bonsai guitar began to make sense and what had started as a way of passing the time turned into a mild obsession (ukuleles are highly addictive) and an exciting opportunity.
Here was a relatively inexpensive instrument, easy to play, ideal for 'sing-alongs' which could help people of all ages and backgrounds engage with music in a meaningful, enjoyable and affordable way. This led to Stuart running his first ukulele course in a village hall in rural Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, UK. Thinking that only two or three people would be interested, he was amazed when twenty six people aged from eight to eighty with little or no musical experience met for the first time, cradled their new purchases and grinned from ear to ear as they learned to strum their first chords and play their first songs. Ukulele Workshops in Scotland was born.
Stuart now teaches three community ukulele groups, two absolute beginner groups, a school group and a prison group - making, in all, around 120 students per week.
His current focus is to visit ukulele groups, clubs and societies to provide one-off tailor-made workshops.
Stuart is a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and has an enhanced disclosure with Disclosure Scotland.