Little did I know on that snowy January day when I wandered into the music shop that the ukulele would come to figure significantly for me. And I am so glad it has.
I have faithfully been attending my ukulele club every week. I’ve gotten to know several wonderful people as a result, and enjoyed many awesome evenings strumming and learning together.
As the months go by, folks experience the ups and downs that life delivers. At ukulele club, we are able to share some of that and then set it all aside while we get lost in the music. We are always all smiles at the end of an evening playing together.
We have a fantastic leader and teacher who is just as excited about our progress as we are. He always brings us some challenges and theory along with some music we can jump right in with and party. I have learned immensely.
As the weeks have passed, we’ve gone everywhere from The Beatles to Phil Ochs, the Grateful Dead to the blues (ridiculously awesome!).
Last night, we played songs ranging from Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne,” to Roger Miller’s “King of the Road,” to The Band’s “The Weight.” Our wonderful teacher also has us working on The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.”
The other delight from last night was a finger-picking version of Patsy Cline/Willie Nelson’s “Crazy.” Wow, is this fun! I’m still amazed I can even read the tablature and make sense of it, much less play it. This one’s going to take some practice though.
Other perks that resulted from landing in the world of ukuleles include my first-ever attendance at a drumming circle and a dulcimer-led jam session, and multiple invitations to camps and festivals — hopefully I’ll actually attend one before the summer’s over!
I’ve been inspired by the people in my group. I love their many interests and the way they fuel themselves on music. No one can walk through the music shop on club night without testing out a new instrument. Last night, one of our club members showed up a little late because his cello lesson ran long. Several members are also very active in harmonica groups.
I admit, lately, I find myself drawn to percussion, too. We’ll see where that leads.
I am so grateful for this group and the ukulele. During a few stressful months, it remained a beacon of joy for me. Fun, learning, friends. What could be better?