Kent Knorr
Founder & Kumu, North Carolina Ukulele Academy

When visitors first come in to the Ukulele Academy and meet Kent, surrounded by a colorful sea of ukuleles and an air of aloha, they often wonder how he came to be ‘the ukulele guy’.  Fascinated from an early age with all things musical, Kent has been playing and strumming his whole life.

Learning differently
But his first experience with learning to play music could’ve sent him down a very different path. “I was in elementary school and we were all supposed to learn a tune on the recorder. I watched as all other kids caught on. I wasn’t getting it. I took it home that night and when my frustration hit its high point, my mom (an amazing lady), taking it note by note, taught me the song. That was when I first realized that I learned differently than other kids.”

Sticking with it
Luckily he wasn’t deterred. Soon he picked up his grandfather’s ukulele and couldn’t put it down. Over the next decades, he learned to play the 4-string and 5-string banjo, bluegrass, classical and rock guitar, mandolin, resonator guitar and, of course, he continued to grow on the ukulele. He’s an instrument collector and builder and has been a founder and or member of 7 different bands, played in studio on several albums and has been all over the east coast playing his music.

Enabling learning
He has also taught all the instruments he plays. From school agers wanting to get into the music world to adults wanting a pass time that keeps them sharp to a wonderful blind lady in her nineties who wanted to keep her arthritic fingers in motion and play for her grandchildren, Kent has helped open the door to music for them all. “Different people, different abilities, different goals. But by making the learning fun, we always achieved their goal-learning to make their own music,” says Kent.

Getting personal
“Having a daughter made me realize even more the value of having a house filled with music. She loves it and knows all the different instruments, can sing in perfect pitch and even identifies different genres of music that we hear out and about, all of this since she was 3. It feels good to get the ukulele out and have a family jam instead of turn on the TV. And now with our one-year-old, we see her getting that spark in her eye for music, too.”

Why start the Ukulele Academy? “I have a passion for playing music and for teaching other people. I love to play, it’s really simple. I guess I just want to share the love”
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Where you might spot him
In his truck playing ukulele while stuck in traffic and at red lights in beach town traffic

Favorite ukulele
His grandfather’s 1920’s Martin Style O

Favorite words of wisdom for students
Have fun!

Kent Knorr
Founder & Kumu

When visitors first come in to the Ukulele Academy and meet Kent, surrounded by a colorful sea of ukuleles and an air of aloha, they often wonder how he came to be ‘the ukulele guy’.  Fascinated from an early age with all things musical, Kent has been playing and strumming his whole life.

Learning differently
But his first experience with learning to play music could’ve sent him down a very different path. “I was in elementary school and we were all supposed to learn a tune on the recorder. I watched as all other kids caught on. I wasn’t getting it. I took it home that night and when my frustration hit its high point, my mom (an amazing lady), taking it note by note, taught me the song. That was when I first realized that I learned differently than other kids.”

Sticking with it
Luckily he wasn’t deterred. Soon he picked up his grandfather’s ukulele and couldn’t put it down. Over the next decades, he learned to play the 4-string and 5-string banjo, bluegrass, classical and rock guitar, mandolin, resonator guitar and, of course, he continued to grow on the ukulele. He’s an instrument collector and builder and has been a founder and or member of 7 different bands, played in studio on several albums and has been all over the east coast playing his music.

Enabling learning
He has also taught all the instruments he plays. From school agers wanting to get into the music world to adults wanting a pass time that keeps them sharp to a wonderful blind lady in her nineties who wanted to keep her arthritic fingers in motion and play for her grandchildren, Kent has helped open the door to music for them all. “Different people, different abilities, different goals. But by making the learning fun, we always achieved their goal-learning to make their own music,” says Kent.

Getting personal
“Having a daughter made me realize even more the value of having a house filled with music. She loves it and knows all the different instruments, can sing in perfect pitch and even identifies different genres of music that we hear out and about, all of this since she was 3. It feels good to get the ukulele out and have a family jam instead of turn on the TV. And now with our one-year-old, we see her getting that spark in her eye for music, too.”

Why start the Ukulele Academy? “I have a passion for playing music and for teaching other people. I love to play, it’s really simple. I guess I just want to share the love”
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Where you might spot him
In his truck playing ukulele while stuck in traffic and at red lights in beach town traffic

Favorite ukulele
His grandfather’s 1920’s Martin Style O

Favorite words of wisdom for students
Have fun!

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One of Kent’s Favorite Gifts
Sweet & Juicy Tshirt

Sweet, juicy ukuleles sold and strummed every day. Need we say more? This is one of Kent’s favorite shirts. It’s also been spotted on a Hollywood celeb or two.

All Ukulele Academy t’s are heavy duty, soft cotton. Several colors to choose from, check it out! more>

Sweet & Juicy Ukuleles Tshirt
$16.00

Store hours:

Open 11am to 5pm every day except Sun & Wed.
910-538-3419 | Directions >