June at the Susi Q: You, too, can play the ukulele or catch a co-ed core strengthening class

Tom Joliet, Laguna Beach’s favorite ukulele instructor, will be offering both beginning and intermediate classes in person at the Susi Q this June and July.

“People who come to our classes are attracted to the sheer joy of making music on this easy-to-play 4-string instrument, and they love singing familiar tunes with old friends and newly met strummers,” he said.

“Some of the original students have gone on to form their own Kanikapila, or ‘play along meetups,’ all around Orange County and beyond, some with 60 to 100 players or more,” he added.

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Courtesy of Gayle Joliet

Illustration of Tom Joliet drawn by Gayle Joliet

Joliet emphasized that the ukulele is quickly rewarding and fun to play, making it a great way to learn how to play an instrument and socialize with others. He noted that no prior music knowledge is a requisite for the beginning class.

“If you know how to read music you are probably too advanced,” he said.

Starting with ground zero basics, by the end of nine weeks participants will have been introduced to 13 chords, five strum patterns and over 35 songs.

As usual at the Susi Q, though programs are intended primarily to provide local seniors and boomers with information, education and fun, all ages are welcome to attend Joliet’s classes.

“Our goal at the Susi Q is to be a lively place where older adults mix with their younger cohorts – in other words, we’re not your grandmother’s senior center,” said Nadia Babayi, executive director of the Susi Q. “People attend our programs because they’re enjoyable, regardless of age, and that’s certainly true of Tom’s classes.”

The beginning class takes place between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. from Thursday, June 20 – Aug. 29, with a break from July 4. Fee is $70. Students should bring a three-ring binder to class to start collecting songs and worksheets.

Joliet’s Intermediate Uke Techniques class will take place on the same days from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Attendees in the intermediate class must be able to play all the “EZ Dozen plus 2” chords. The workshop focuses on advanced strumming techniques, finger picking and playing chord melodies. Everyone will be encouraged to share tunes and techniques.

Visit www.thesusiq.org, click on classes/events and registration, and scroll down to the link to register.

Tune up your core, too: newcomers can try out a class for free

Leslie Davis is back in person in Studio 1 teaching her kinesiology-based workout, Leslie’s Co-ed Stretch & Strengthen Workout, founded on the Harris Method.

“The workout that I teach was developed by Ian Harris to keep injured ballet dancers exercising who had been injured during performances at his Philadelphia ballet company,” Davis explained. “[This approach] strengthens the ligaments around every joint in your body, increasing circulation to speed healing from any injury.

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Courtesy of Susi Q

Leslie’s Co-ed Stretch & Strengthen Workout

“Most students in my class have been coming off and on for over 23 years and it is fifty percent an exercise class and fifty percent a social get together of friends twice a week for an hour. [That helps take] care of their ‘human contact’ needs as well as having a healthy body.”

Davis said she welcomes everybody to try the class one time for free to see if this class is a good fit for their physical ability.

“Come join us to meet up with old and new classmates,” urged Davis. “[This is a chance] to pursue a healthy lifestyle and friendships in a low impact heart healthy class.”

Participants should bring a towel, mat, a pair of two- or three-pound hand weights and water.

Call Christine Brewer at 949.715.8105 to sign up or register by visiting www.thesusiq.org and clicking on classes/events and registration. Scroll down to find the direct registration link.

Visit www.thesusiq.org to review the many ongoing programs that Susi Q offers, from ukulele lessons, to standing yoga, to bridge and mahjong classes, not to mention support groups and clubs for special interest groups ranging from genealogy to current affairs to books and so much more. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department (now the Dorene Cares Office) provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safe, informed and independent.-

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