Welcome to my wonderful ukulele music world! I'm happy you found my website. Use my Mel Bay Easy Ukulele Method Books, to play the ukulele in just three minutes, without reading music. Music is the window to the soul. Musically yours, MaryLou ”

Who is MaryLou Stout Dempler?

MaryLou a professional musician, studied music and guitar at Bellarmine University and obtained her Teaching Certification in Music and Dance from the Kahelelani School, recognized by the University of Hawaii. After a 22 year teaching career, she decided to explore the ukulele world. In 1998 her husband had a ukulele custom designed and handmade for her birthday and Mary Lou fell in love with its gentle harp-like sound. In the fall of 1998, she accepted an invitation to a ukulele workshop at Harvard University. 

She is a member of the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum. Mary Lou, in an effort to promote ukulele music, recorded two albums to showcase the instruments versatility by performing rock, swing, jazz, folk, country, Christian and contemporary music. The two albums are "Songs from the Heart" and "Unique Ukulele Christmas". Both albums are in the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum as well as the "Lou Lou" Ukulele made for and named after Mary Lou. Terry Meiners, of WHAS Radio in Louisville Kentucky, asked Mary Lou to be a guest on his show to discuss the ukulele, the albums and receive a quick lesson on the air. Meiners branded Mary Lou the "Ukulele Goddess" and she has lived up to the name. 

Mary Lou teaches ukulele at Bellarmine University, at her private studios and presents workshops across the country. She is the founder and president of the Louisville Ukulele Association Unlimited (L.U.A.U.), a ukulele orchestra. Her musical efforts have been featured in the Courier Journal Newspapers, Louisville Magazine, Today's Woman, LEO Magazine, Louisville Music News and more. She has been included in a documentary film for HBO as a musician, teacher and ukulele enthusiast. In August 2003 Capital Records featured Mary Lou in an article with Keith Urban. It noted her unique use of his country music in her ukulele classes. Mary Lou truly believes "If our eyes are the windows to our souls, the ukulele is the door to our hearts". 

Capital Records

Keith Urban - Capital Records

September 4, 2003

Keith Urban is hot among Louisville ukulele players. Over at Bellarmine University, teacher Mary Lou Dempler has added Keith to her curriculum. All ukulele students own GOLDEN ROAD and have the sheet music to “Somebody Like You.” When the bell rings and class begins, it’s time to pick along with Keith. “His music is really hot, and you need that to get 19 and 20 year old kids interested,” says Dempler, who also teaches guitar. She notes that members of the Louisville Ukulele Association Unlimited are big fans, too. “People think ukuleles are only for Hawaiian music, and they’re so much more,” she says. Keith would be sure to agree. He started out playing a kid-sized ukulele when he was just a wee thing in Australia.

Mary Lou Stout Dempler began her musical career at age seven in Louisville, Kentucky where she studied guitar at the Ursuline School of Music and Drama until graduating Assumption High School. She continued studying guitar, music and voice at Bellarmine University. She obtained a teaching certification in music and dance from the Kahelelani School which is recognized by the University of Hawaii. 

In addition to a 23 year teaching career, in 1997 she was the recipient of the Duesquene University Scholarship. Only fifty guitar teachers from across the nation were chosen to participate. 

In 1998 her husband Shane, had a ukulele custom designed and hand made for her birthday. Mary Lou fell in love with its gentle harp like sound. 

In the fall of 1998, she accepted an invitation to attend a Ukulele Seminar at Harvard University in Boston. 

She is a member of the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). Several books written by Mary Lou, published by Mel Bay Publications Incorporated are: Easy Ukulele Method Book 1, Easy Ukulele Method Book 2, Sacred Music for the Ukulele with play along CD and the Easy Baritone Ukulele Method Book One. The books are designed to enable anyone, regardless of their musical background, to play music in minutes without reading music by using the tablature method. 

Her love of the ukulele and desire to share the joy of playing music led her to found the Louisville Ukulele Association Unlimited (LUAU). In an effort to promote a new ukulele sound she recorded three albums to showcase the instruments versatility; Songs from the Heart, Unique Ukulele Christmas and Praise the Lord. All three of the CDs are in the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum along with the Lou Lou ukulele made for and named after Mary Lou. 

Terry Meiners, of WHAS Radio, branded Mary Lou the Ukulele Goddess and Mel Bay made her Kentucky’s Ukulele Goddess. She has been featured on Fox News with Berry Bernson, in the Courier Journal Newspaper, Louisville Magazine, Today’s Woman Magazine, Louisville Music News and Leo Magazine. In August 2003, Capitol Records published an article noting her use of country music in ukulele classes, particularly the use of music by Keith Urban. Mary Lou met with Keith Urban several times for photos and to discuss music. She appeared in an HBO documentary film as a musician, teacher, performer and ukulele enthusiast.

Upcoming Events

Previous events

Ohio Valley Gathering Ukulele Class "What Your Uke Can Do For You?"

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Radisson Hotel Clarksville Indiana, 505 Marriott Drive, Clarksville, IN 47129

The Ohio Valley Gathering is an acoustic music festival held each year in the early spring. It features the Mountain and Hammered Dulcimer, blending with other traditional instruments and musical styles.We have over 50 hours of classes each year for the hammered and mountain dulcimer, penny whistle, ukulele, banjo, banjammer, guitar, mandolin, folk percussion, bowed psaltery and wash tub bass.

Press Release

Group has big plans for a small instrument 

MARTHA ELSON The Courier-Journal 


For too long, MaryLou Dempler says, the ukulele has been the Rodney Dangerfield of muscial instruments. And the Louisville woman is crusading to win the instrument the respect she thinks it deserves. 

That's no easy task. The ukulele is lightweight. It's dinky. Some people even think it's a toy whose highest calling is to play ``Tiny Bubbles'' and ``Little Grass Shack.'' But Dempler, a ukulele enthusiast whose husband, Shane, calls her ``Kentucky's Ukulele Lady,'' is undeterred. She recently formed the Louisville Ukulele Association Unlimited - known as LUAU - to promote the instrument and recruit people to play it. At a recent rehearsal, about a dozen LUAU members sat strumming ``Row, Row, Row Your Boat,'' ``Will the Circle Be Unbroken?'' and ``Hound Dog'' in unison, as family members sang along. Dempler says the group has about 40 members. 

``Here we go, `Three Blind Mice'!'' called conductor Myra Jo Kean, who stood up front, in a bright blue LUAU T-shirt. Kean and Dempler both teach at the Ursuline School of Music and Drama. ``Play the lead if you can,'' Kean instructed. ``If you can't, sing along. Rhythm people, don't let the lead people push you around.'' Spectators were encouraged to dance during the ``Hokey Pokey.'' ``Now it's time to really rock the house,'' Kean said, announcing ``When the Saints Go Marching In.'' 

Dempler, who also helped lead the group, is a long-time guitar teacher who says her life changed two years ago when her husband gave her a custom-made $2,000 ukulele from Hawaii. He had lived there for five years while in the Navy and thought a ukulele might be a refreshing change of pace. She now lists membership in the Ukulele Hall of Fame in Duxbury, Mass., among her credentials and plays ukulele in two other smaller groups, formed mostly from musicians at Ursuline. 

One is the Bow Ties and Strings ensemble (including keyboard, cello, flute, violin and saxophone), which played for the recent Taste of Louisville event at the Galt House hotel. The other is Unique Ukuleles, a quartet. Dempler has attended a ukulele workshop at Harvard University, taught by a Hawaiian ukulele master, and she taught a class on learning to play the ukulele in October for Bellarmine College's Continuing Education Program. The class will be offered again in March. (The course description says that Elvis Presley played the ukulele and that Bette Midler and Bob Seger do, too.) 

The recent rehearsal was LUAU's second. Dempler hopes the group eventually will perform in the community, perhaps for the WHAS Crusade for Children and other events. ``I have high expectations,'' she said. ``But we want to sound good before we go public.'' In other words, she doesn't want to reinforce misconceptions about the ukulele. ``It's a real instrument that can be taken to any level,'' Dempler declares. ``I want to make this known: It is not a toy.'' 

She has devised her own system of musical notation to help beginners and hopes to publish an instruction book. ``Within minutes, you can sound like you're really playing - because you are,'' Dempler said. ``But it sounds like you've been working at it for months. For example, her husband, Shane, describes himself as ``musically challenged,'' but he was playing up a storm at the rehearsal - practically leading the group at times. He hadn't played an instrument during 11 years of marriage, but after four weeks could play more than 30 songs, he said. He took his wife's class at Bellarmine, registering under a fictitious name, H. (for Herman) Bodine, as a joke so she wouldn't know he had signed up. 

During a discussion of the chords for ``I Just Want To Dance With You'' at the ehearsal, Mary Lou Dempler issued a reprimand: ``No cheating, Mr. Bodine. Don't you be telling people they can use a G instead of a G7. ``Mr. Bodine'' was seated next to Richard S. Phenpimon, who is originally from Bangkok, Thailand. He took up the ukulele 50 years ago in Singapore - and then gave it up. Asked how his latest effort was going, he said: ``Not too well. I feel like I'm back to where I started. At the other end of the age spectrum was Mary Garrett, 10. Mary and her grandparents, Hal and Linda Mooney, were all at the rehearsal, and Mary felt she had already surpassed her grandmother. ``I can play lots of pieces,'' she said. ``I can go a lot faster than she does.

Brigid Smith, also at the rehearsal, said she took the Bellarmine class after seeing a flier and thinking it sounded like fun. She then signed up for private group classes with Dempler, and now ``I don't want to stop, she said. 

After the rehearsal, Kean, who teaches saxophone, piano, flute and violin, admitted to misgivings about the ukulele when Dempler started talking it up. But she's been impressed with its versatility, saying it can be adapted to any musical style: pop, swing, big band, Baroque.  Kean said of Dempler: ``She really proved to me that it's an instrument to be respected.

Copyright (c) The Courier-Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.

Classical Textbook

Fundamentals of Classical Ukulele : Volume 1: Beethoven's Ode to Uke

By (author)  Marylou Stout-Dempler , By (author)  Stephanie Yungdd a subheading

Fundamentals of Classical Ukulele (Ode to Uke) Course Goal: Each student will be able to play an arrangement of Beethoven's Ode to Joy for Solo Fingerstyle Ukulele incorporating many fundamental classical techniques. Fundamentals of Classical Ukulele offers a structured, active, and comprehensive entrance into the world of classical ukulele, and is a perfect fit for students with pick-style electric and acoustic guitar backgrounds or any other fretted instrument/stringed instrument. The course will explore many variations of Ode to Joy that will apply and highlight a certain technique. By the end of the course, you will be able to play an arrangement of Beethoven's Ode to Joy and demonstrate the following fundamental classical techniques: -fingerpick complex arpeggio patterns for the right-hand -play exercises, scales, and melodies using multiple right-hand finger combinations -develop an extensive repertoire of techniques, including tremolo, harmonics, slurs, harmonization, and making variations on the melody -continue to teach themselves more songs and techniques.

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Easy Ukulele Method Book I
  • Easy Ukulele Method Book I


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The Easy Ukulele Method books give you music at your fingertips! Using both notation and tablature, this method is so easy that in minutes you will be strumming your ukulele and singing along to familiar songs. Students of all ages will enjoy this book! The ukulele is an instrument for everyone and every type of music! So begin today using this tablature method and discover the wonders of this little instrument.

To purchase contact: https://www.melbay.com/Products/Default.aspx?bookid=99558

An eBook copy is available for $8.99

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Easy Ukulele Method Book II
  • Easy Ukulele Method Book II


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The Easy Ukulele Method books give you music at your fingertips! Book II reviews many of the fundamentals presented in Book I. It tests your music reading skills with worksheets, expands your knowledge with additional chords, and gives you many more songs to play. Both notation and tablature are used, allowing you to strum along using the chord symbols or play the melody with the tablature.

To purchase contact: https://www.melbay.com/Products/99559EB/easy-ukulele-method-book-2.aspx

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Easy Baritone Ukulele
  • Easy Baritone Ukulele


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Students will develop music reading skills because of this unique, one-of-a kind, tablature method. Students can play immediately, without reading music utilizing the handy tab, as well as learn to play chords quickly and effectively. This will in turn enable them to sing along with the lyrics provided with each song. A valuable guide to ukulele players of all kinds.

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Sacred Music for Ukulele
  • Sacred Music for Ukulele


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Play beautiful sacred music on the ukulele in just minutes reading tablature. The ukulele has a wonderful "harp like" sound and is perfect for gospel music. This book contains easy chord patterns so you can play and sing along quickly and easily. The tablature allows you to play the melody instantly without reading music. This book gives beginners and seasoned players the ability to sound like a professional. Everyone will enjoy playing the ukulele, singing along with these beautiful hymns, while praising the Lord! Includes access to online audio.

To purchase contact: https://www.melbay.com/Products/21094M/sacred-music-for-ukulele.aspx

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