Local Ukulele teacher video goes viral; Set to perform at Beatles Jam in Berkeley

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- "I love teaching the ukulele because I can see that it makes a difference in peoples' lives," said Cynthia Lin.
A San Francisco ukulele teacher and her students recently went viral for performing a popular song from 'A Star is Born.' Now she is set to perform at The Beatles Uke Jam in Berkeley.

"We are going to have over 400 people strumming all together and we will have an all-star band rocking on stage and I think that's what makes it really fun," said Lin. "Our Beatles jam has always been our most popular jam. I think it's because the music of the Beatles has touched so many people."

The Beatles Uke Jam started five years ago at a restaurant in Japantown in San Francisco.

Over the years the popularity grew to a bigger venue at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, which can accommodate hundreds of ukulele players.

"We as the ukulele Fab Four, we really love the Beatles and we can bring that love for the Beatles to the stage and share that with our jam audience," says Lin.

Lin is a singer, songwriter, and ukulele teacher who lives in San Francisco.

Last March, she posted a video of her class performing the Oscar-winning song 'Shallow' on YouTube. Little did she know, her video would go viral.

"Honestly I had no idea it would go viral as it has gone. In just a couple of days it shot up to 200,000 views," said Lin. "I noticed that when I was teaching and we were practicing the song everybody had a lot of emotion. They really gave it a lot. I think that's why it resulted in a great performance. I honestly think seeing the class perform it together is what made it go viral."

Her YouTube Channel, Cynthia Lin Music, has 267,000 subscribers and over thirty million views.

In 2013 Lin began teaching ukulele at a small studio in the Mission and as her classes grew she moved to a larger location.
She started posting her ukulele tutorials on YouTube so she could reach a wider audience.

"It's truly my life's reward to share my passion for music with the world and to spread the joy of ukulele, of music, of tapping to your own creative powers," said Lin. "One of the reasons why I love the ukulele so much because I think of it as the people's instrument. The ukulele world is pretty small but really passionate. People who get into ukulele are super into ukulele."

Lin has released seven albums and has been touring since 2005. She has 50-75 shows a year.

As her following grows, Lin and her fans have formed regional 'Uke squads' across the country and around the world, as far away as Australia.

"When I come into town for an event a lot of my followers who have been watching online, they have the opportunity to come together and play together and form a real life ukulele community and it has been really awesome to see that happen," said Lin.

Lin is an independent artist, and by the power of her fan base her album 'Ukulele Days' hit the Jazz and World Music Billboard charts.

The jam will be taking place at Freight and Salvage on Sunday April 14. Cynthia Lin and The Uke Fab Four are expecting 400 people to attend. The jam is open to anyone who wants to watch the show or play along with them.

"It's really heartwarming to see everyone coming together and see music bring everyone together," said Lin.
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