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Ken Mattsson Music Newsletter (July 2020, Volume 1)

Dear Musical Friends,

Ken Mattsson Headshot with Ukulele
Ken Mattsson Headshot with Ukulele

Thank you for subscribing and I will use this opportunity to let you know about the events that I have scheduled now and other news of future happenings.  I’m planning on getting this out once a month. It will also be posted on my Blog, but by being subscribed, you will also have access to the passwords for any Zoom meetings mailed directly to you (If I post them on a webpage, there’s a good chance of being Zoombombed, so this seems to be the best alternative, and you’ll get the information far in advance! Subscribe at the end of this post.)

I’ve started to develop a number of programs on performance and music theory geared towards ukulele players that I’ve started to deliver, and I’ve been getting a great response. Given that, I’ve been planning out more of them for the near future.  I’ve also been gotten back to writing my own songs, and have started to perform those on various Zoom events, and will shortly be recording myself and putting them out there on YouTube, SoundCloud, and other venues.  Keep a watchful eye here for further developments!

Event Calendar

  • Tuesday, July 14, 8:00-9:30 p.m. – Basic Music Theory for Ukulele Players: Chord Families (BMTU 101): Ever wondered what the 7 on a G7 chord meant? Have you heard of the “Circle of 5ths” and not known what it means? Is there a song that is too high for you, but don’t know how to change the chords so that it’s easier for you to sing?
    In this 1.5 hour session, we’ll go over a simple C scale on your ukulele, talk about the difference between a chord and an interval, and identify the most important chords in a song, and how we can change the chords in a song to fit our voice.
    No previous musical knowledge is assumed for this workshop. This is a free workshop, but donations are accepted at or 
  • Friday, July 24, 1:00-2:30 p.m. – Basic Music Theory for Ukulele Players: Chord Families (BMTU 101): See description above
  • Wednesday, July 29, 7:00-8:30 p.m. – Song Selection for Ukulele Leading and Soloing: In these days of online ukulele events, more people than ever are stepping up and leading songs online for groups or performing solo. While these might be seen as the same thing, the purpose of either leading others and giving a performance have quite different goals. This workshop will cover both how you can best support other people when you are leading songs, as well as keys for improving the chances that your performance will be as close as possible to your practice sessions.
    We will be giving tips and sharing experiences as well as leading and performing for each other. If you’ve tried it and felt like you didn’t do as well as you hoped, this is the workshop for you.
  • Wednesday, August 5, 7:30-9:00 p.m. – Basic Music Theory for Ukulele Players: Minor Chords (BMTU 102): Building off of Basic Music Theory for Ukulele Players: Chord Families, this workshop will review scales, intervals, chords, the I, IV, and V chords, and the Circle of 5ths, before expanding into minor chords and chord substitutions. This will be a hands on workshop with breakout exercises, so bring your ukulele and play along as we work to demystify music theory.  It will be helpful to have taken BMTU 101 before this workshop, but prior knowledge is more than acceptable.

Additionally, I am teaching more professional development workshops also (i.e. not music!):

  • (Tonight!) Monday, July 13th, 7:30-9:00 p.m. – Intentional Action Matrix Workshop: Are you bothered by events and things that affect you, but really aren’t about you? Do you let other people’s opinions get into your brain? If so, consider coming to my free workshop tomorrow evening 7:30-9:00 p.m. EDT for a review of the Intentional Action Matrix and see how it can help you manage your job search strategy, life decisions, or just managing stress in the time of COVID-19 to help make decisions of what actions will be most effective.
    Information on the #IAM and details on registering at
  • Thursdays, July 16 to August 20, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 noon – Resonare Boot Camp: a six-week career boot camp to cover all these areas holistically, so participants can understand and fix those areas that might be holding them up, including Clarifying Your Needs, Identifying Target Companies, How to Develop a Story, Identifying Your Personal Brand, Telling Your Stories, and Putting It All Together. $80 for all session.  Info at

Going Further

With the worldwide pandemic keeping us from physically getting together, it’s a real challenge for us musical types, and we’re all getting inventive.  Here are some of my thoughts and plans that should be coming out in the future.

  • I’m looking to present a performance of some of my original songs this fall.
  • I’m still working on a program to develop the music found in the journal of my late great uncle Axel Lorentson, who lived in a house in the woods on the US-Canadian border in the early part of this century.  Lots of songs that don’t get heard anymore.  That is a program I hope to present later this year.
  • I’m planning on organizing a performance coaching workshop series for ukulele players who would like to become more confident in singing and playing for others (whether online or in person). Look for that to start next month.


To keep up with what I’m developing and working on you can check out the following resources:

Thank you all for your support!  I hope we all get to sing and play together soon, but until then, I’ll see you on a Zoom event!  

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