CCFTA Article

July 1st, 2020
I started playing around on the Ukulele about ten years ago after a visit to a music store with my oldest daughter Vanessa. She pointed to the ukuleles on the wall and said, "may I get one of those?" She became a Ukulele wiz in about a month. I'd pick it up and play around on it from time to time. I'm a professional guitarist and music teacher, so learning to play the uke came naturally to me. I've picked things up from books, YouTube and online forums as well. Michele Colley asked me to think about teaching a class's At Cotuit a couple of years ago and I thought , "the Ukulele is really popular again, let's start a uke class!" The Ukulele has enjoyed a comeback thanks to Israel Kamakawiwole's hugely popular rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the YouTube Ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro, and the recession. When times are tough, Ukulele sales historically go up! For about $75 you can get a very playable decent sounding ukulele. There are generally four sizes. The soprano is the traditionally sized instrument that most people think of when they think, Ukulele. The next largest size is the concert which is not that much bigger but has a bit more volume and playability for folks with larger fingers. Next up is the tenor which is larger still. The baritone is the largest in the family and is tuned like a guitar. Tuning a Ukulele is now a piece of cake with the availability of low cost electronic clip-on tuners or smart phone apps. Musicians and non musicians alike while marvel at the simplicity of the learning the Ukulele. In a little over an hour, folks learn 3 or 4 chords and a simple strum pattern and boom! they are hooked. The Ukulele isn't intimidating because of it's small stature, it's 4 strings, and the gentle, happy quality of the instrument's sound. It appeals to people young and old because everyone has a song in them. I've had kids as young as 4 and as old as "old enough to know better" learn to play the Uke. I hear people say from time to time, "I don't have a musical bone in my body" or "I'm tone deaf" ...I don't believe it. My ukulele and I will help jump start your musical journey. Some older folks regret never learning an instrument or play but want to try something different. The Ukulele is for them. The ukulele will show you that YES you can play a song, you CAN sing, you ARE musical. Classes are a blast because everyone is in the same boat. Everyone thinks they stink at first, but by the second lesson they are seeing progress. I encourage folks to sing, laugh, get the lyrics wrong, make mistakes, strum loudly, be goofy. Teaching Ukulele at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, the Conservatory and Score Music has helped me rediscover why I started playing music 37 years ago in the first place ...because it's fun and I like it. Simple. Just like the Ukulele.

Visit the Cotuit Center for the Arts website for adult class information.

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