sharing the joy of uke since 2007.

Our Story

Kent Knorr has been playing and teaching music for more than 35 years. In 2007, he founded the North Carolina Ukulele Academy in Wilmington, NC. As owner of the Academy, he has taught more than 2,500 students—of all ages and skill levels.

From school agers wanting to get into the music world to adults wanting a pass time that keeps them sharp, to a wonderful lady in her nineties who, though blind, wanted to keep her arthritic fingers in motion and play for her great grandchildren, Kent has helped open the door to music for them all.

“We teach different people with different abilities and different goals. But by making the learning fun, we always achieved their goal-learning to make their own music,” says Kent.

Having extensively studied the origins of the ukulele and traditional ukulele music, Kent enjoys teaching his students how to play ukulele so they can get the most out of their instruments.

Ukulele Academy classes focus on technique, style, the joy of jamming, and aloha. We have a passion for playing music and for teaching other people. The Ukulele Academy opened its physical location in Wilmington, NC in fall of 2007. The Academy served as a fully stocked must-visit store for ukulele lovers a classroom, and concert venue for all kinds of noted ukulele players. Check them out here! »

In 2020, the pandemic put an end to gathering with friends and students at the store, concerts and, temporarily, in-person learning. Sadly, the humble but beloved ‘favorite spot’ for ukulele players from all over the country had to shut its doors as the pandemic took hold. Pivoting to online classes, the Academy kept the classes—and the fun—rolling.

Now, with enormous gratitude to the Wilmington community, former and current students and a whole heap of ukulele playing friends, Kent is happy to offer in-person classes and workshops once again. Now meeting at the Hannah Block Historic USO/ Community Arts Center in downtown Wilmington, ukulele learning and fun is going strong.

What makes the North Carolina Ukulele Academy so special? Kent says it best: “I love to play ukulele and share it with others. It’s really that simple.”

Meet new friends, learn to play, or expand your ukulele playing skills. Join us for a Ukulele Class session!