A couple of months ago I whinged (I really did) about when my daughter quit piano lessons and how she has avoided contact with musical instruments ever since. But then lo and behold my mother in-law bought her a ukulele for Christmas and would you believe it she won’t put the bloody thing down. As she unwrapped the box there were cries of “I’ve ALWAYS wanted one of these!” to which my husband and I both looked at one another in complete bewilderment. Um, did you? You. Never. Said.
Within an hour she’d stretched the strings, tuned it, learned the chords and played us a little ditty. She now has callouses on her fingers from playing so much and can play several songs from memory and has allegedly composed some of her own. I say “allegedly” because of course I have not been invited to be the audience. Yet. But from what I hear drifting down the staircase it all sounds very nice. It’s such a relaxing sound, it carries me away to warm summer breezes and sand between my toes. Which is just what one needs in January. It all feels very Hawaii.
My daughter’s ukulele is from Malani and is gloss aubergine in colour, which she absolutely loves. Most of the ones I’ve seen are bright citrus or pastel shades so I think she’s pleased to have something a bit different. It came with a chord sheet and a free downloadable music book which I thought was a nice touch. My daughter has exhausted the book my mother in-law purchased for her for Christmas but it’s a great book for beginners/children and helps with finger placements etc. Yes it’s Old Macdonald but you have to start somewhere! Now she has the basics down she’s moved onto YouTube tutorials.
This isn’t a discipline that she will need to work at, it’s something easy that she can just pick up and play when the mood takes her. Perhaps that’s the key. It’s not homework it’s pure enjoyment.
I think if you have a child or teen at home who quite fancies playing about with something musical but you don’t really want to make a big investment initially then I can heartily recommend a ukulele. I for one am loving having spontaneous music in the house again.