How I Found a New Outlet For My Passion About Music

In 2011 I was able to go to a life changing place at a converted farm in Nashville, TN. Since 2008, the farm has been made into Wooten Woods Center for Music and Nature…

I graduated in 1996 from Örebro University, Sweden, with a Masters of Fine Arts in Music Education degree. Since then, I have worked as a music teacher and musician.

Expressing myself through music has always been a big part of my life, from the early days of “snare drum brushing” to Elvis records. I’ve been playing trumpet in symphonic bands, played bass in both cellar and garage bands, worship bands and later on many different projects covering lots of musical styles. Having parents who both sing and a mother that also plays the piano has, of course, helped me find this passion.

I finished high school/college and worked a couple of years building Saab cars (!) in Trollhättan, Sweden. Though it was a good job, I wanted to pursue my passion for music even more; so, from 1989–1996 I spend my time studying at music colleges and then at the university.

Sharing my knowledge, guiding young musicians (16–19 year old students at a school with an arts program), helping them find their musical path is very rewarding. After all these years as a music teacher I still enjoy teaching very much.

So what happened at the Music/Nature Camp in Wooten Woods? What sparked me, wanting to reach out further with my thoughts and knowledge about Music?

Since the early 90’s, I have known about Victor Wooten, world renown bass player/musician and founder of Wooten Woods. I have listened to his Music and found out about his philosophy behind the camps which is based on his thoughts that he has written about in his book, “The Music Lesson — a spiritual search for growth through music”. Being able to go to the camp in June 2011 was a dream come true.

After arriving and spending some time at the camp I was overwhelmed by the great atmosphere. A truly inspiring place! I met a lot of wonderful musicians, both young and old, beginners and pros. A great staff and many guests shared their thoughts about both Music and Nature.

One day, I was told about an interesting book. It covers social branding and reaching out to others with your passion. The book is called ”Crush it — Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion” by Gary Vaynerchuck. This book would become very important.

I brought two bass instruments to that camp, a fretless five string and a new instrument on the market, the Kala Ubass. It’s an acoustic/electric ukulele bass that is really small, but has a huge and warm sound when amplified. I have had it less than a year prior to camp, and got great reactions when playing it there.

After getting home to Sweden and listening to ”Crush it”, as an audio book where the author reads it, I decided to start a blog sharing my love for music with focus on the newly found passion for the ukulele bass.

Fast forward five years, a lot has happened. The blog has grown, and although I wouldn’t call it an ”internet sensation,” I’m happy with what I have achieved so far.

People from all around the world follow my blog. They send me questions and have also praised the different things and topics I have shared. This is, of course, very satisfying and a great motivator to keep doing what I do.

I’m also extremely happy with the response and support I have got from Kala, the company which manufactures and sells the original ukulele bass.

My advice, to everyone that has a passion for something, is to follow it and you will see that great things can happen!

Magnus Sjoquist

An Inside Look at the World’s Most Popular Ukulele Company

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