Binary Music is a music store with a difference. Located in the bayside city of Cleveland near Brisbane, the relaxed vibe lends itself well to a business that is closely linked to the community it serves. And in this community, ukuleles are big.
Back in 2009 the owners, Karen and Len Henderson, decided to run a ukulele introductory workshop as part of Seniors Week. Everyone enjoyed it so much they started regular uke group meetings and the wave of ukulele popularity has kept growing ever since.
In addition to their e-commerce online store binarymusic.com.au, they have a dedicated ukulele club website, dukesofuke.com where anyone can subscribe to view or download the charts for their sessions. The library is now extensive and includes lots of learning resources, from beginners to advanced level. Their retail store has a large area at the front of the shop dedicated to ukuleles and accessories.
Len at Uke Central with a Cynthia Lin signature uke.
The last year has had its challenges with lockdowns and restrictions on public gatherings. By April 2020 they were running weekly Zoom sessions and Acapella online multiscreen collaborations so everyone could still enjoy their regular uke fix.
“We were grateful to be able to remain open through the pandemic by implementing a Covid-Safe plan, and be able to help the public by using music to make them feel better and lift their spirits. Many customers considered our store an essential service to get them through the crisis.”
Many people were spending more time at home and decided to start a new ukulele music hobby so numbers of new learners has continued to increase.
Thursday 10am uke class at Binary Music Studio
Thursday 10am uke class on Zoom
Since restrictions have eased, Binary Music continues to offer both in-studio and online classes, and have several participants who check in weekly from as far away as Rockhampton. Some of their regular attendees also zoom in when travelling out of town. Len said “We are now combining both live and online group music sessions as our new normal mode of delivery for tuition”. Classes are set at different levels offering pathways to suit your ability from beginner to intermediate and advanced.
What’s in Stock?
Binary Music stock a wide range of quality uke brands and models, and new brands are continually being added to the range.
Many of the Binary Music staff are keen uke players and can offer expert advice on choosing the best instrument for your needs and budget. They also stock a range of uke accessories ranging from straps, bags, cases, stands, strings, tuners, pickups, amplifiers and books.
Battery amp with 2 inputs
Mini multi-stand on wheels
New ukulele strap designs
With the rising popularity of new payment methods, particularly for the younger generation, Binary Music now offers Afterpay and Zip Pay instore and online so customers can get their instrument of choice and start playing sooner.
Their premium ukulele brand is Kanile’a, who produce hand-made Hawaiian instruments of exceptional quality using the finest grade Koa wood. A visit to the factory in Oahu convinced Karen and Len that this was a brand they would be happy to add to their offerings.
Binary Music can carry out most restrings, setups, repairs and upgrades to instruments onsite or via their expert on-call luthier.
The Redland City Ukuleles (RCUs) performance group which meet on 2nd and 4th Thursday night in the Binary Music Studio led by Len and Karen Henderson are happy that live performance opportunities are starting to increase, and are looking forward to an upcoming gig at the Celebration of Volunteers event at Raby Bay on 22nd May.
Binary Music love to support special music event days every year, such as World Make Music Day (21st June), and our Uke Jam Days, and are sure to have more performances again this year, lockdowns permitting.
As part of their connection to the community, Binary Music have donated ukes to local schools for their fundraising activities, and have supplied class sets for school ukulele classes which are becoming more the norm in many schools.
India Parker, one of hundreds of happy uke customers, says:
“The staff and owners are incredibly helpful and friendly when it comes to buying the instrument of your dreams. This has been my #1 go to music store for years now, and I have never been disappointed. This store is family friendly, and has great quality instruments and resources. HIGHLY recommend for ANY musician!!! You guys are awesome, and I cannot thank you enough for helping me purchase the perfect ukulele for myself. Loving my new Flight Victoria ukulele with Daniel Ho fitted strings. It plays like a dream.”