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View Full Version : MAUI MUSIC UKULELE are you worthy for a free one?



MGM
04-21-2010, 11:31 AM
Peter Lieberman has donated a ukulele he has been playing for awhile and I have also It is considered a second as there are a few minor cosmetic issues but is a great sounding and playing solid koa top with african mahognay back and sides superconcert with open heastock and radius fretboard. I am asking for a 500 or less word essay on your love of the ukulele and why this would benefit you or who you want to give it to and help promote love of the ukulele. Submissions are being taken for 2 weeks on this forum and also another forum winner to be annouced may 5th.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/042-1.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/043-4.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/044-6.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/045-3.jpg

DeG
04-21-2010, 11:41 AM
Do you want entries posted in this thread or sent privately to you?


BTW, Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?? (he-he)

MGM
04-21-2010, 01:06 PM
I would rather these be posted as my email load is already nuts....

kenikas
04-22-2010, 07:30 AM
OH YES!! I'm definately worthy! But unfortunately I'm on vacation for the next two weeks, and I'm afraid if I tried to pick out 500 words on this bloody iPhone my fingers would never recover enough to play it!

DeG
04-22-2010, 12:35 PM
Ok, I’ll go first.

First of all, Maui Music ‘ukuleles are sweet and considering all the hardships that they have gone through, with fires and health issues, we should all be thankful that they are still around for us to enjoy. I would love to buy one of these. I almost had myself talked into the Lili’u with the cracked soundboard you were selling a few months back, but alas my wife has clamped down on feeding my UAS. So, I remain without one.

I would really like a super concert as the smaller body yields more of the traditional Hawaiian sound that I’m going for, but the larger neck allows for more left hand intricacies. I also have no ukuleles with a radius on the fret board, which I’ve wanted to try. I can’t really give any justification on why I deserve it anymore than any else, but I will make the following promises. If I’m given this ukulele, I will:

1. Love her and treat her kindly. I will never let her fall into disrepair or neglect. I will never set her on a couch where she could be sat on. I will never leave her in a hot car or allow a car to run over her. I will endeavor to keep her within 45% and 55% relative humidity at all times and keep the fret board oiled.

2. I will never sell her. She was gifted to you, and you are in turn gifting her. If the day ever comes when I can no longer keep her in the manner in which she deserves, I will gift her to another deserving soul who will treat her kindly. In this way the initial gift will live on.

3. I will make YouTube videos with her so that others may enjoy her sweet sounds. However, I will only make videos of songs that will not disgrace her beautiful island heritage. No heavy metal covers. No dirty lyrics. Just good vibes and copious amounts of Aloha.

Mahalo nui loa.

ritzer012
04-22-2010, 06:19 PM
Dear Mike,

The past 28 months have been a whirlwind of ukulele in my life. The reason I am so passionate about the uke is because it snuck up on me and made me fall in love with it. I regard myself as an unsuspecting but thankful victim of its charm.

I played college basketball for a Division I program and between Christmas 2007 and New Years 2008 we played at a tournament at University of Hawaii. It was my first time to the state and I instantly felt at home and wanted to immerse myself in all of its culture. We were only there for five days but I experienced as much as I possibly could.

On my walk from my hotel to the hotel where my family was staying I passed a souvenir stand on Waikiki beach that was selling ten-dollar ukuleles and I thought this would be the perfect thing to bring home with me. Upon returning home, I began noodling around with my new little uke to deal with my Hawaiian withdrawals. I stumbled upon helpful youtube videos here and there before finding my home at UU. After breaking my toy uke, which was inevitable, my mom bought me a Lanikai soprano which I continued to learned on and sealed my interest in the instrument.

Over two years after the my introduction to the uke, I still can't get enough of it, which proves to me that this is no passing fad in my eyes. My short trip to Hawaii was a life changing one to say the least. I strive everyday to live with the aloha spirit in my heart and playing my uke helps me feel closer to my aspirations of living in that way and cultivates the aloha within me.

I would be honored to be gifted this beautiful instrument and would be sure it found a good home in me. Thanks for listening to my story.

Teek
04-22-2010, 10:32 PM
OMG it's effing gorgeous!

Way back when I was in college I had almost 4 years as an English major and yet switched over to art, because I'd been studying it and selling my work and winning awards since I was 16. The only reason I stayed in English that long is because of pressure from my dad, who (this is the late '70s) gave me $50 for my birthday and $50 for Xmas every year with which I bought textbooks, yet somehow he felt he could dictate my choice of career. I guess I thought he could too. I was living with my grandma, so I wasn't even under his roof. After a mild nervous breakdown following a super heavy schedule of senior level classes in my junior year, I decided I had a right to make my own decisions and switched majors and never looked back. I was a damned fine artist for 25 years. No, I couldn't sustain a living at it but I was nevertheless a success and my work will outlive me.

I was horse crazy from probably age 5 and rode horses in my youth and was a champion jumper rider for 4 consecutive years. I was poor financially but competed with and often won against wealthier people who ended up riding Gran Prix and World Cup level horses and in the Olympics. I rode for 30 years and trained horses and kids and adults in jumping and dressage.

I was good at those things because I loved them deeply, lived and breathed and dreamed them.

I think ukuleles of all kind are a gift plain and simple, they make me smile, make my heart sing (which is great cuz I can't) and as a sculptor I really appreciate all the precision and refinement of skill necessary to make a great uke. They are functional art, which to me is the best kind. I love how the really well made ones feel in my hands, the tactile differences of silky neck against my palm while my fingertips feel for the sweet spots on the strings between frets, sliding over silver bars like tiny speed bumps on the smooth fingerboard, and how good I feel when I get a clean note and bend it into another, and when I get a fingerpicking pattern just right for several measures, and quick precise chord changes. That all doesn't happen much but I love the process anyway and cherish the time I get to sit down and study or plain relax, just me and one or two of my babies. That doesn't happen enough either, but it brings me peace and knits up the bruises in my heart and soul.

I've heard stories about Maui Music ukes and owners who treasure them, but know too little about them, only that they are highly regarded and that I don't deserve one for free because I play like crap and could never do one justice, no matter how much I loved and appreciated it, or how well I took care of it.

Two outta three ain't bad. This is a really nice thing you are doing Michael. Good luck everybody! :D

UkuleleGoat
04-23-2010, 01:25 AM
Here's the scene:
About a month ago (give or take). I was in the local music shop, just browsing all the different instruments, when a came across this peculiar little 4 string instrument thing. Not only was it tiny and in-expensive ($39.95), but its sound was so warm and bright and happy that i fell in love with it. Little did i realize it was a serious instrument. I took this little wonder home with me and was hooked from the first chord. I have quite a background in music, particularly stringed instruments, but the ukulele was unique and posed new challenges, making it easily as intriguing as classical guitar. Needless to say, as my new found love for the ukulele grew, so did my need for a higher quality more worthwhile instrument. I mean, don't get me wrong, that first little pineapple soprano was incredible for the money and boy, did it get me hooked, but i wanted to really focus on the ukulele and take my playing to the next level. So, scarcely a week later i returned to that same store to purchase a slightly more expensive tenor, as according to all my reading, that is what the pros play, and i hope to share my ukulele music with as many people as possible. While the tenor i have is not bad and certainly is capable of making beautiful music, i do miss that major extended reach provided by the the small size of the soprano, so i have been wanting to try a concert, but I am, as many of us are, tapped out from this economy. My girlfriend has been very understanding about my recent acquisition of ukuleles, but i can see the storm clouds gather at the mere mention of going back to the music store to even so much as try on a couple of concert sizes. Needless to say my budget constraints have also excluded me from ever being able to even think about purchasing an ukulele made REAL Koa. I have never even played on to know the difference. I dont know what it would take to win this ukulele, but i do know that if it was mine i would endeavor tirelessly to produce beautiful music with it and use it to aid in the advancement of my musical journey. I have aspirations to one day become a career ukulele player, and i am going to try my hardest to fulfill that dream. I believe that receiving the honor of this ukulele would go a long way toward helping me on the right track. I hope to make beautiful music for you, and everyone else to enjoy.

c.washy

Skitzic
04-23-2010, 03:02 AM
I stumbled upon the ukulele by accident. I saw one for sale on my local craigslist, and thought ‘huh, that could be interesting.’ So I began researching the instrument, I found UU shortly after. Then, I began seeing ukuleles everywhere. The music store had a few off-off brands, I saw a cheap plastic one at a flea market; they even started showing up in my dreams. Finally, I bought one on eBay. I haven’t put it down since.

But this ukulele would not be for me, I would gift it to my best friend. He has helped me through so much over the years and yet I find myself at a loss when it comes to helping him conquer the darkness that has permeated his life recently. A few weeks ago, my best friend watched his house burn to the ground. It was a total loss, including the old acoustic guitar his father gave him. I haven’t seen him touch an instrument since the fire. While I know nothing I give him will ever replace the guitar, I believe the ukulele to be a magical instrument. It can heal the soul and help you find a little light when life seems its darkest.

Maybe it seems like I’m giving a few pieces of wood and glue a little too much credit, but I know what it did for me. Since I have been playing I have not had a bout of depression. I left my band and went back to my musical roots and have started writing songs again. I have made new friends. I would like to share this magic with my best friend. I believe that a uke like this one, with a little history to it, would be the perfect gift for him. I can only hope it heals his soul as much as it has mine.

bbycrts
04-23-2010, 05:10 AM
Aloha Michael!

Wow – what a beautiful instrument! As much as I would love it for myself, I really am a soprano guy – I would be getting it just to collect another beautiful thing. What I really want it for is my wife – a guitar player who, after going to see Jake Shimabukuro with me last month, has really had her eyes opened to the beauty of the ukulele (you see, when I play it’s not necessarily beauty…).

Our favorite place on earth is Hawaii – we’ve been four times, both just the two of us and with our kids. We used to have access to a Hawaiian music channel through our satellite TV provider, and we would turn on the music and sit together, eyes closed, holding hands and dreaming of Hawaii.

Sheryl plays the guitar, but would love to play ukulele. I bought her a Makala Dolphin for Christmas, but it’s just not a comfortable size for her. We’ve sung together in choir for many years; we would love to sit an play the ukulele and sing together as well…

We have known each other for 26 years now; we have been married for 8. Throughout our relationship, music has always been there. Having such a sweet instrument for her so we can play together would be a wonderful way for us to combine our love of music, our love of the islands, and our love for each other.

Vindelanda
04-23-2010, 06:24 AM
Alright, I'll give this a try!

Ukulele has taught me what music truly is.
It all started when I saw some cheap Mahalos at a music store and was amazed by them! It was only 40 bucks, so I bought it, fascinated by it's tiny size and gorgeous sound.
So, that summer, I started to learn. I found tons of resources on the internet, the best of which being Ukulele Underground, and I loved it.
At this point I had rolled into a ditch with classical piano, and I thought that was what music was. Playing pieces I never liked originally for 6 months until I had them perfected but hated, and never wanted to play them again.
But then, there was this tiny 4 stringed purple thing. And I loved playing it. I would play a piece all day just because I loved it, there was no teacher telling me to repeat sections a million times, the internet didn't even give strict guidelines for how to play it. It was just however it sounded best and felt to the player. And I realized that that was what music was supposed to be, not sitting at the piano in tears, but playing because you're searching for that awesome sound and you enjoy the process.

If I win the Maui Music uke, I feel it would help me to keep learning about the joy that can come from ukulele and from music and I feel that it would help me to spread that joy with those that hear it and see it. Ukuleles can be considered toys by the uneducated, but I can't think of anyone who wouldn't take that gorgeous uke seriously.

Thanks so much, Mike!

JabbaScript
04-24-2010, 04:03 PM
I first time had the privilege of hearing the ukulele in an episode of the cartoon series Rocket Power. It was about kids growing up on the islands of Hawaii. One day the main character, Otto, made a joke about his uncle Tito's ukulele playing in front of his friends. Later, Tito told him of the ukulele's history while playing a beautiful song. Afterward, Otto had a new respect for the ukulele and its history, as did I. Tito is my avatar by the way

Ever since I have admired the ukulele, with its bright lustrous twang and alluring simplicity. However, I've never had the pleasure of playing one. As with many families in this economy, we are only able to afford the necessities, with a few luxuries every now and then. I'm afraid it would be many years before I could acquire a ukulele of my own. I would be very honored and overjoyed to receive this uke.

Every day, I listen to Israel's rendition of "Over the Rainbow". As his ukulele strums in perfect harmony with his soft, soothing voice, my troubles melt away like lemondrops. My worries vanish, replaced by a blissful serenity that nothing else has brought me. I have imagined myself playing on the beaches of Hawaii, surrounded by nothing but the beauty of nature. It would really be a dream come true.

I may be a beginner, but don't get me wrong. I know that this is a very fine quality instrument and I would treat it as such. I won't, however, keep it locked up in a case in my closet, never to see the light of day. I will play it every day, for myself and for others, so I may spread the love for ukulele. My friend owns a banjo, and we will play in front of the mall near my apartment every once in a while. I'll record and upload videos of myself playing to youtube, for others to enjoy. Where I live, the last day of school is "Aloha Day". Everyone goes outside for the last half of the day and does whatever they want. If I win the uke, I will play it for everyone to enjoy.




I won't lie, I really want to win this ukulele. But if you don't choose me, I would like to recommend Skitzic's friend. It sounds like he really deserves it. :)

MGM
04-25-2010, 02:06 PM
I would expect more of you to try and write to get a ukulele valued at about 900.00 come on you worthy ones

Faricelli
04-25-2010, 02:50 PM
I have recently found that I have ukulele sensory perception or commonly called U.S.P. I learned of this gift one late night holding a Koaloha concert uke. The uke talked to me. It told me how difficult life had been growing up with an odd shaped sound hole. It was teased by other ukes and was afraid to sing out. Using my gift, I was able to convince this uke that being different can be a good thing. The uke then sang out loud and proud. My gift can be a curse as well. I can't go into Guitar Center without hearing the cries from the ukes on the wall. They hate always being out of tune and strung with GHS strings. I am now getting a strong message from this Maui Music uke. It tells me that it yearns to be with someone who can truly appreciate its greatness. And that someone is me.

ashleychantel
04-25-2010, 06:20 PM
My love of the uke all started a little over a year ago. My boyfriend couldn't figure out what to get me for my birthday, so he decided to just let me pick something out while I was shopping at a local guitar store. I was looking in the guitar accessories and trying to find something when I noticed some pretty Lanikai ukuleles hanging on the wall. I had wanted to learn how to play the uke for years (Jack Johnson is my favorite and I noticed he played it in a few songs) but never really thought about it when I actually had the extra cash to buy one. I told him that's what I wanted for my birthday. He got it and I haven't gone a day without playing since. I've always loved the sound of hawaiian music, and now I can make my own!

I've been giving guitar lessons for about 5 years and one of my students recently showed interest in learning uke, so I told him I would teach him. He told a couple of his friends and they told a couple more, and now I'm giving lessons to about 6 people. I do a group of 2 once a week and the other 4 another time (they all have their own ukes). The word got out to the youth pastor's wife at my church, and now she and some of her friends would like to learn. The really awesome thing about this is that the youth pastor's wife is also the music teacher at a local middle school. She says if she and the few other ladies from church can learn fairly easily, then she would like to talk to the school about bringing ukes in the classroom for the kids to learn! It would be so great to have that program in our community! The only problem is I have 3 ukes and there will be 4 or 5 people (that don't want to buy their own until they see if they like it). It's next to impossible to find decent ukuleles around here. I suppose I could just go get a Hilo at guitar center, but It would be so much better for them to learn on and hear the rich sounds of nicer ukes. I want to make it as nice and easy as possible for them so they will catch the uke bug and be assured it's easy enough for 5th and 6th graders to learn, and hopefully she will move forward with this whole ukes in the music class idea. I would definitely put this to good use and it would greatly benefit our local school. Wow that was long..Thanks for doing this contest Mike!

cornfedgroove
04-25-2010, 06:32 PM
I changed my mind...I dont need this as much as others.

Dane
04-25-2010, 08:21 PM
Like many of you, when I first saw this uke and heard some soundclips of maui music ukes, I was just itchin to have it. I asked MGM if it would be ok to send my entry to him via email, instead of by forum post, because I thought it was a little too personal for comfort and I was afraid. But I have seen all of you post your essays and I feel its only fair you see mine! I think this will help me in my pursuit of betterness (is that a word?) and I was being a little silly, because I can't imagine a better place to share this kind of information with than my friends here at UU! You didn't know it, but all of you helped me a little bit =)

Here is my entry for the contest that I sent to MGM, and I stand by it proudly, you're all wonderful people and I have no reason to hide from you guys. :cool:

_________________________________________
The ukulele has quite literally changed my life. This instrument is what really got me involved in music, it’s where everything started. I have made many different friends from all parts of the world who enjoy this instrument and music in general as I do. From my one single ukulele I have also learned to play guitar, and harmonica, all of which I love very much, but I still find I play my uke the most out of all of them. (It’s an Ohana TK-35g that I bought from you, I named it Peanut Butter Chocolate, the neck looks like peanut butter next to the chocolatey rosewood fret board)

For the last 5-6 years I have suffered from severe depression, among other things related to it. The ukulele and music have helped me more than I can say in overcoming this problem, it is still something I struggle with every day, but it is minute comparatively now to what it used to be, and I am getting better every week. If I am ever feeling down, or self-destructive, I always have my ukulele. No matter how angry, or upset, or sad I am, it always seems to bring me back to a happy state of mind. This has helped me in many areas, such as my classes, my social life, and my physical health and well being.

This little instrument has something very special and magical about it, and I have tried to explain to people the way I feel about it and how it has helped me, but they really cannot understand until they hear it, or play one themselves. I have already got a few people turned on to the uke, and they have been very thankful to me for doing so.

I’m sure you will get many essays about how people will donate the uke to a charity or how they will teach children with it. And I would say that there are many more worthy people for this uke than me. But I will try my best in convincing you. If I were to receive this uke, it would mean a lot to me personally. I have been trying to save up my money for a new ukulele for quite a while now. But it seems like every time I get close, something brings me back down (The last was a street-sweeping parking ticket) I love the look of koa grain, and more importantly I love the sound, and that sound of super-concerts. I have never imagined a custom worked hawaiin-made solid koa uke in my near future, let’s face it, it’s expensive when you can’t even hold on to enough cash for a middle-of-the road uke. It sounds a little silly to some people, but I think there is something very special about instruments that are made by hand with love and care, it seems to stay with the instrument, you can feel it and hear it when you play, and surely I would play it with the same love as the man who crafted it.

It is raining here right now, it’s very peaceful and quiet, and I think I will curl up next to the heater by the window with my uke and play with the rain (You have to try it if you never have)

paraclete
04-26-2010, 06:56 AM
I've been mulling over an entry for this contest, but to be honest, Mike, I've felt kind of uncomfortable with the idea of posting my story in public. Let me see what I can do....

I knew very little about the ukulele until the fall of 2008. It was a time of profound grief and deep depression for me, as I had just gotten word of a dear friend's death, and at the same time, my marriage was crumbling. But one afternoon, in the midst of a panic attack, I sought refuge at the home of a friend. Words failed, and so he simply picked up his ukulele and started playing and singing. It was all that he had to offer at the moment, and all the comfort that I needed.

In the course of my unhappiness over the past years, I had stopped playing music. That loss was slowly killing me. We began to jam together... he convinced me to pick up my violin (which I'd not touched for 15 years), and our jam sessions evolved into an ukulele/fiddle combo. A year later, I picked up his uke, determined to learn how to play it. I have a soprano uke now, but I'd love something a little larger, something that he and I can both play. It would fill the gap between his tenor and my soprano uke. As we are performing musicians, this fine ukulele would be played frequently and for the pleasure of others. It would help us spread our love of ukulele everywhere we go.

The sound of the ukulele filled me with life at a time when life no longer seemed worth anything. I want to bring that joy of life and music to everyone around me.

CoLmes
04-26-2010, 09:05 AM
Lol I love Farcelli's response. I'm gonna try a knock at this..

----

I can't say why I started playing the uke. 2 years ago the idea just kind of splattered in my head like someone snuck it in there while I was sleeping. A picture of me playing a uke was stuck in my head for awhile. I had no musical experience besides a week stint with a trumpet when I was in 5th grade. Why did I want a uke so bad? Having no knowledge of the ukulele I looked through ebay and found a uke that was only a dollar (plus shipping) I decided it be fun to see what happened. A week later, a light blue ukulele painted with white flowers arrived at my college apartment. It's strings were plastic, it's fretboard could have been made out of cardboard for all I know. I didn't even know that it needed tuning. (again no musical.. or common sense.. knowledge) So there I sat in my college apartment on youtube trying to figure out how to play Hey There Delilah and how to form a damn G chord. Eventually I stumbled onto Aldrine's lessons at IamHawaii and sooner or later I found UU.

In the first 4 months, I got a little better but was literally stuck on Over The Rainbow and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. One day I walked into a subway and got the number of a cute girl and invited her to a party at my apartment later that night. She was fun but I figured she was just like every other girl... at least until I brought out my Ukulele. She had a voice that was so beautiful, and was funny and wasn't afraid to call me an ass. I fell in love with her during the first song we played together. And she was the catalyst that sparked my musical ability. For some reason when we started playing together and hanging out, music became easier for me.. Since then we've been everywhere together, all kinds of adventures from Brooklyn, NY to Boston, to American Idol and Nashville Tennessee. The uke has always been with us every trip.

Oh yeah, here's another thing that the ukulele has brought us.

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd32/AHill45424/Kenzie/Kenzie3.jpg

thejumpingflea
04-26-2010, 10:28 AM
The ukulele has helped me through some problems that I never thought I would have to deal with. I have gained such a passion for this instrument and literally have dedicated my life to it.

It all started with my Grandfather though. ;)

He actually won my Grandmother over with an ukulele. He would go to her house to borrow her ukulele. One day he surprised her with a song and the rest is history! That uke was an old harmony soprano. We recently found it in their basement. It is in multiple pieces and has definitely seen better days. It is one of those plywood, plastic fretboard, cheap ukes, but boy does it ever have sentimental value! My Grandpa Bill is where it all started for me. He bought a Hohner Uke about 8 years ago and he'd try to teach us his favorite song, "Five Foot Two". If it weren't for him and that uke, I would not be playing today. He's been my biggest motivator, inspiration and has done more for me than I could ever give back.

Well he has had some terrible health problems the last few years. Over a year ago he spent 6 weeks in the ICU of a hospital, dealt with heart problems that magnified and suffered many other problems while he was in the hospital. It is a miracle that he is alive, but he tends to over achieve. He is still going boating, teaching at University of Washington, skiing and spending loads of time with all of his grandchildren. (I frequently go to the Seattle Symphony with him) Recently, he has shown more of an interest in relearning the ukulele. We bought him an Amigo Baritone, but the friction tuners are very difficult for him to use. (He has some sort of arthritis in his hands) He has monster hands, not just long fingers, but fat fingers too. His Hohner soprano is simply too small for him to use. I have been letting him borrow my Kala KA-T, but someone like him deserves such a nicer instrument. I am asking that you give my grandfather the Maui Music Uke because he is most certainly worthy of one.

Here is a picture of him playing a mandolin that is tuned GCEA at my Eagle Scout Project at my church a couple years back. He was most certainly playing "Five Foot Two".
Thanks for reading. ;)

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee239/thejumpingflea/DSC_0373.jpg

the52blues
04-26-2010, 10:58 AM
I have only recently rediscovered the love of ukulele. I had one back in the 60's that we all played at summer camp around the campfire. I graduated to guitar when the Beatles hit in 64 and have been performing regularly since then. I'm a big guy who loves to eat, drink and party and that all culminated in my stroke back in January. I was bed ridden and unable to walk, work or earn a living. Since I am self employed as a piano tuner and musician I have no company insurance to help me pay my bills. Ok...enough wallowing....While I was bed ridden I was able to spend hours surfing the net and I came upon a story on the ukulele comeback. I got really excited as I scoured the net for more info on companies that sold ukes and all the types that were available. I wanted one in the worst way! I tried to decide which one I would want to buy first. Since I am a Canadian and mostly all the instrument companies were in the USA I had a problem. "Free shipping" the ads would say and then in small print it would say USA only all others are screwed. Stores in Canada haven't figured out that you need to stock stuff to sell it. There is nowhere in Canada (at least locally here in Toronto) where I can go and try a "good" uke. If there is any stock at all it is the cheaper lines that they stock. I am very frustrated! My wife and my mother got together and bought me a nice little Kala tenor archtop for my birthday in April and I bought a Kala pineapple a week later. So now that I've had a chance to play them every day for hours on end I find that I am capable of using them as a form of income for my jobless life. Now all I need is a top quality uke to perform with. The problem there again would be the price of a decent uke is way beyond my capability without steady employment. It's a vicious circle. No gigs. No money. Need a decent performing uke. No money. Around and around and around it goes. Gee....maybe I could win one and change my luck...yeah...I'm gonna try that! I've never won anything before but that shouldn't stop me from trying. I'm in Canada so that means a headache for the contest holder as far as shipping goes so I'll likely be ignored but I'm going to enter anyway. Thanks for the opportunity!

CoLmes
04-26-2010, 11:18 AM
What an awesome story from the jumpingflea. His Gpa deserves a good uke!

Ron
04-26-2010, 11:38 AM
It started years ago in Wellington.

Our theatre group, "Bricks", performed kids' theatre but we also developed a couple of adult shows. One of these featured "The Lunchtime Intellectuals", a three piece band. We only played two songs and I played ukulele. I never played much again and the instrument I had disappeared in one of my many moves.

Fast forward to Christchurch about four years ago. Ukulele fever had hit and I started mucking around on my flat-mate’s ukulele.

One could be forgiven for being a bit cynical if you google “ukulele” and read the endless blogs and comments about how much fun it is to playukulele. There's this daft, childlike enthusiasm about our funny, little, four stringed instrument but the ukulele really is like that. Pick it up, strum a couple of chords - the ukulele really does get under your skin. It's an instrument that makes you smile. Like any instrument, in the hands of a great player the uke can be magical but it's also relatively easy to master enough chords to have some fun and satisfaction. I think that’s why there are so many big groups of amateurs. Its accessible.

Back home in Nelson – the ukulele bug embedded in my epidermis - I got a cash bonus and bought my very own Makala pineapple ukulele. I brought it home and asked my wife what song she wanted to hear. “My Girl” was her choice so that was the first song I learned.

A couple of years ago I inveigled my friend Terry to try the instrument. Terry and I have known each other for a few years. - watching rugby at our local and talking rubbish about music and politics. So I invited him around, handed him a uke and suggested we knock out a couple of songs.

Terry is a very good guitar player. No, I mean very good. He can sit down with almost any stringed instrument and just wow you. I've watched a pub full of drunken orchard workers stand transfixed as he essentially mucked around in the corner on the pub guitar. I was a bit nervous about inviting him out to play but of course like most musicians, he's incredibly generous and just happy making music. We shared songs, he showed me the ropes and we started to enjoy playing together.

Occasional sessions turned into regular sessions which turned into rehearsals which moved on to the endless activity of all groups of musicians - finding a name. Terry is a funny guy who likes puns and we’re now The Ukes of Hazard.

Now we play regularly at a local café and I’ve yet to see someone walk past us and not smile. We’ve had dozens of conversations with people about ukulele and encouraged them all to start playing. We’re planning Nelson’s first ukulele festival and a weekly jam at our local. We’re uke enthusiasts. Music enthusiasts. Fun enthusiasts. We’d like everyone to join in the fun.

Mim
04-26-2010, 11:48 AM
It is hard for me to write to say why I deserve a Ukulele over someone else. But I really love it and it would be an amazing thing to have that I would never have otherwise, so I figured I would try:

I am in love with this Ukulele. Like most people I would love to have a quality Koa top Ukulele, but this one is particularly unique for me due to the fact that not only does it have a Koa top, but it has the African Mahogany back and sides. Africa is a very special place for me because it is the birth continent of three of my children. They have been my children for two years, but I think my heart always knew they were out there. It would have a tie to my family and it’s history. It would not only be a Ukulele I would play and love, but it would be a family heirloom that I would pass to one of my African children. All my children love to play the Makalas along with me. They are young, but learning!

Also, my only hope of having a really nice Koa Ukulele is to win a contest. To be honest, I really could never rationalize purchasing one this nice for myself. I have 7 kids. I go without a lot of things that I might want/ need to make sure their wants/ needs are taken care of. Yes, I sell Ukuleles, but they are not for me to keep. I need the money for my family right now. We were living comfortably on my husband’s income as a teacher, but then they were making massive teacher cuts in Charlotte and we were forced into finding another way to support our family. We were blessed to open our own business. But this first year has been rough to say the least. The record-breaking cold winter for Charlotte in the middle of a recession did not help either. Not a good time for an ice cream shop. I pray every day that we make it.

This Ukulele would be babied, used, and shown off! I am the #1 spreader of Ukulele Love in Charlotte. Everyone that comes in is invited to take a Makala off the wall and play. I can not count how many speeches I have given on the joys of the Ukulele. I am always showing off my personal Ukulele, whether people care or not. Although self-conscious, I even play for people. The Ukulele has lifted my spirits during many a cold Charlotte day when I sat in my shop and watched the cars drive by and wanted to cry. I would think, “I sure wish I had more customers today, but at least I got some good Uke time in”. Glass half full, you know? I also host the only Ukulele Jam in Charlotte (that I know of) and this Ukulele would be exposed and played by many fellow Ukulele lovers.

(499 words)

Mim's "Chaos"
A Future Family All-Ukulele Act
http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r17/AudraFelix/IMG_7058.jpg

pulelehua
04-26-2010, 12:47 PM
I'm a teacher at a boys school in Kent, England. Great school. Great boys. Not many resources. I know it's an oft-told tale, but the ukulele bug is biting hard and fast, and something Hawaiian, something really Hawaiian, with the smell of sunshine and the grain of wood that has been seen by volcanos, and stared at beaches, would bring aloha that much closer to my boys.

Okay. Not exactly an essay, so much as a series of poems:


The Maui Limmerick

There was a brown uke made in Maui
That made all the UUers say “Wowie!”
We scribbled and scribed
We cajoled and we bribed
To get haole mitts on that Maui


Ode on a Hawaiian Urn

Island luthier, who canst thus express
A serenely tuned tale more sweet than our Maui?
What lei-fringed legend haunts thy figure-eight
Of what akua, kupuna, or both,
On white sandy beach, in Kent or Kauai?
What boy gods are these, made men by uku and lele?
What wild fan strum? What ten-finger roll?
What English hula? What wild ecstasy?


An Ukulele Haiku

Pacific music
the silent Maui soars up
waves crash on young minds


The Beatnik Ukulele Howl

I saw the best musicians of this generation detuned by
guitars, six-strung, hysterical, naked,
dragging themselves through the thrash-metal, retro fuzzbox streets at dawn
looking for a spare nine-guage flatwound nickel Ernie Ball,
'anela-headed ukesters, yearning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the black-tar stained Mauna Loa
in the fiery blast furnace machine of Maidstone,
who poverty and tatters and cider-eyed and high sat
up drinking in the unknowing darkness of
Medway riverside flats, floating across the tops of council flats,
boy racers with dubstep-dampened dreams in the grey town,
hungry for colour, thirsty for light,
contemplating Iz

ichadwick
04-27-2010, 01:11 AM
Sitting up here in this cold, northern land, a ukulele is for me a small bundle of Hawaiian sunshine, captured in the grain of its wood. In winter, when the sun sets early here, and the land is covered in deep snow that reflects the sullen, pale moon, I can sit inside, warm, safe, and happily strumming on the instrument that transports me instantly to a sunnier clime.

In the dull, grey days when dark clouds scud over the sky with their promise of sleet and ice, when the mood is more Sibelius and Shostakovitch, the ukulele cuts through the somber heaviness like a burst of airy, seaside summer. Like children's laughter, it rings the gloom away with its bright, cheery notes.

Today, as the land lurches fitfully towards spring, and the snow has finally retreated to the dark shadows under the trees, the ukulele brightens the morning like a spray of crocus livens the brown lawn. It gives me light, it gives me air, it shares with me the promise that soon the sun and the warmth will return.

It reminds me I'm never to old to laugh, never too old to learn, or to play. And that even in the shortest, coldest days of December, there's a sandy beach with swaying palms and murmuring waves I can visit with a few simple strums.

Winter is why I deserve this ukulele. It will be my permanent summer, impervious to the moody swings of the seasons, and it will brighten the day of everyone I share it with.

jer989
04-27-2010, 04:56 PM
Well, Mike - my story is this - I started playing ukulele a year ago in May 2009. Earlier that Spring I had been at one of my children's middle school band concerts, and while I was sitting there in the audience watching them play, I saw how much fun these kids were having - all playing music together, up there on stage- and mind you these were 6th grade kids - and maybe their skills aren't super polished yet since they're still pretty young. But they were up there playing away, and of course had practiced and practiced, and I guess I was not only proud of all of them (and especially of course of my son, who plays the trombone) - but I was actually also a bit envious of them! I really wanted to play an instrument - to be able to do that! But frankly I never felt that I was all that musical. I played guitar back in high school for a couple of years - but not much more than that. (I'm in my mid- 30's now so that was quite a few years ago) I needed to find an instrument that I could learn easily (not much spare time with a family with 3 busy kids) - and it had to be something that I could afford.

Long story short, after doing some research online I found out about the ukulele, and eventually found UU forums. After shopping around online - I found a uke that I could afford (a Makala concert from your shop, it.'s a great uke) - and promised myself that I'd stick with it and practice and learn to play.

So, now that it's a year later - I've taught myself to play and I play my uke at least a few times a week without fail, but usually once a day even if only for a few minutes. I feel like I've found that same thing that those kids were experiencing,- just playing my instrument and having fun just making music. I absolutely love playing the uke - it's about the first thing I do if I'm stressed out and just need to pick it up and strum for a few minutes at the end of a busy day to relax. I love playing and love picking up new skills over time. I definitely feel like I'm ready to, and really want to, upgrade from my Makala, but you know it is, household money always needs to go to other more important things.

If you choose me I'd not only be very grateful, but I can also tell you that this gorgeous uke you're giving away would be put to good use and would definitely have found a good home with me.

urcuzzn
05-02-2010, 10:33 AM
my baby is on page 4???
wassup wit dat????
gotta b some mor entries.

DoctorFinlay
05-02-2010, 12:40 PM
As I write this I realise that I'm not actually too bothered about winning a new ukulele, but really like the idea of summing up in less than 500 words what the ukulele means to me. I did have a very cheap ukulele when I was a teenager which I tuned to the top 4 strings of a guitar. Needless to say it sounded dreadful and I promptly forgot about it. 15 years later I was teaching myself the tenor banjo when my brother-in-law told me he had bought a ukulele and was hooked. I read up a bit more about the instrument and when my friends asked me what I would like for my 30th birthday it was a no-brainer! Roll on two months and I have rediscovered how much fun musical instruments can be. My two favourite ways of destressing now are walking my little Jack Russell and playing my uke. How can you possibly be in a bad mood or down with a ukulele in your hands! I am currently trying to convince some of my fellow guitar playing friends that a ukulele is the way forward as it would be great to play with other people. However, at the same time it is as if playing ukulele is a deep spiritual and personal thing and I'm not sure if it would be quite the same if I did start playing with other people!

Excellent idea for a competition, I have really enjoyed putting into words just how much the ukulele has enriched my life!

haolejohn
05-03-2010, 05:16 AM
Mike thanks for the generosity that you are showing to 'Deach" a uke that was "Deached" to you. I am not entering this contest. It isn't that I don't love the 'ukulele or that I do not want this Maui Music super concert, it is simply that I already own some nice 'ukuleles. Realistically, I own too many 'ukuleles as it is and I can never play more than one at a time. If I was to receive this 'ukulele I would have to :"Deach" to someone that I know. The only problem is that I can think of too many ukers here in Georgia that deserve this 'ukulele. I have issues with love. I know that love is a strong word and there are many times that humans mistake the word love for like. How can I truly love something that doesn't loveback? Love is powerful and I must refrain from loving the 'ukulele so that I do not create an idol out of it. How can I express my love? Love is sacrafice. What better sacrafice than to forfeit my desire for this fine instrument and provide the opportunity for others to experience this "love" that I feel for this little instrument. I mentioned this contest to my class and ukulele club. Some of the students came to me with their essay. I passed on the opportunity of greed to maybe witness a once in a lifetime event. I spread my love of the 'ukulele to the future of our culture. Mike, I hope you enjoy reading these entries. I had nothing to do with these and have not proof read them or edited them. These opinions and ideas expressed are the sole opinions and ideas of the writers. They truly love the 'ukulele. They might not be able to express it as well as us "older" ukers but their passion is just as strong.

Entry #1
My Love of the Ukulele
By: Brody L.
Me, I am a music person. I like the sounds of music. I am a lot like my teacher. I started on a dolphin now I play an Ohana. A ukulele calms me down. I have played a six string ukulele before. It was hard because I have small hands. A four string is just right. Some people go from a guitar to a ukulele. And some people ukulele to a guitar. I am going from a ukulele to a guitar. And I want to play the best ukulele I can before I go to a guitar. If I get this ukulele I would be happy. When I herd the sound of the ukulele it was beautiful. When it crossed my mind I loved it. When I saw and herd it I wanted to play. If you strum the string’s I love it. I love to chunk. It makes me feel good. When I go to sleep I play. When I wake up I play. During school I play. When I strum goes to my heart. It makes feel like I am in Hawaii. It is my life to play this ukulele. That is my love of the ukulele! I close my eyes and play by heart everyday.



Entry #2
My LOVE of the UKULELE
by: Jacob D.

Once I heard about the ukulele and absorbed the sounded I decided to learn more about the ukulele and how to play the ukulele. My teacher plays the tenor and super concert ukuleles. I play the soprano ukuleles. At first I played the guitar. So I went to a guitar to a ukulele. Some people say a ukulele is easier than a guitar. I do because you use four fingers and there are four strings and on a guitar there are six strings. I played a pineapple Sunday and to be honest I didn’t want to put it down. It sounded way better than mine because you play from your heart. If I had this ukulele it would replace the part of my heart that left when I had to let my teacher have his pineapple Sunday back. That’s why I LOVE of the ukulele!


Entry #3
Why I love the ukulele carissa c

In this story I am going to tell you why I would be so thankful if you were to give me the ukulele. My name is carissa cheek I am in fifth grade, and I go to Panter elementary school in Paulding county. At my school my fifth grade teacher Mr. John Eller made a after school club called the ukulele club. Its where every Wednesday after school third, fourth and fifth grade meets and my teacher teaches us cords and different songs, it’s a great club!
I absolutely love playing the Ukulele its such a fun and pretty easy instrument to play. When I am upset or sad I play the Ukulele and its helps me relax. I like expressing my feelings through music and instruments especially the Ukulele. I think I’m a pretty awesome Ukulele player. If you gave the Ukulele to me I would take great care of it! I would play it everyday. The Ukulele is such a beautiful instrument in looks and sound. You have no idea how thankful I would be if you gave me this instrument.
Thank you for listening and like I said I will take such great care of it! Please, please give me the opportunity to win this great Ukulele. Well thank you and have a great day!!


Entry #4
Ukulele
By: Brittney S

The reason why I enjoy ukulele is because it's fun. When I play, it feels like it's only my ukulele and I in the room. It takes me to my happy place. I want to keep playing ukulele for the rest of my life. I want to collect them and get as much as I can. I want to learn how to play a lot of songs. I want to win this ukulele so I can start my collection. I'll start with two and work my way up until I have like fifty. I want to learn how to play as many instruments as I possibly can. I love music, so that makes me want to play. Every time the radio comes on, I pick out the instruments and if I hear a ukulele, it gets me excited and I want to play along. I really want to win this contest because the ukulele is my favorite instrument. The ukulele is really fun to play. I want to be a professional ukulele player. I would like to learn how to play my favorite song, "hey soul sister". The ukulele in that song is wonderful! If I could play like that, I'd be so happy because I stuck to my dream and I got where I wanted to be. When people ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I tell them either a chef or a professional ukulele player. The one I want to be is the ukulele player. I love how the ukulele sounds. My favorite note on the ukulele is the C note. I love them so much. When I come home, I automatically start playing. I love them so much; I even want to learn how to make them. I want to go down in history as the best female ukulele player. My mom likes to watch me play at concerts and when I practice. She's very proud of me.

1014
05-03-2010, 07:15 AM
Us, Local kids know, when your fadda say something, that’s bad news.

The trip home from Pearlridge, wasn’t exactly quiet, my mom was screaming at the top of her lungs trying to overcome the symphony outside known as traffic. One way in and out to `Ewa Beach town, so it was going be a long trip, so I just sulked in the leather backseat of the Buick Regal looking outside the window at the other cars, with their quiet passengers. You could tell my father was boiling – his lips were pursed, shut solid as he shook his head back and forth trying to tell himself no. But as we hit the turnoff, ready to dig deep into the Sugar cane fortress that is `Ewa town, he loudly whispered, “Boy, you going Mainland.”


In my heart, I figured I could always go back “home.”

The roads never end on the mainland. I was here 6 months already, but I still felt like I’ve been nowhere. My uncle, whom I was staying with, took on me on trips on the weekends, trying to sell me the world outside of Hawai`i. “No be trapped, Hawaiian.” So, as we drove on 101 North I stared out the window and saw miles of thoughts ahead of me. When, we turned into the never ending under-construction San Francisco Airport, I’ll admit, my heart jumped. I’ve been a good boy since I came, was he now telling me I was free to go home? But as we slowed down, I knew from far away – the skinny old Local guy, with the red leather Samsonite luggage standing in front of the Continental Airlines sign. The look on my fadda face said “WE staying.”



I be the catalyst of change.

My fadda had dreams when he come old. Him and my Uncle was going move Big Island, camp out South Point with Olympia in hand and go for ulua. Him and his buddies would sit around the fire, waiting for the jackpot chimes of the bells, kanikapila all through the night. Soft, though, so the fish no hear. Instead, his friends are replaced by two puppies and Naisy, a 1929 Ford Model T, he’s spent his first year of retirement rebuilding. Sometimes, on the really cold, wet days, he’ll blast his Mexican Radio station full of chalang-a-lang and strum one of my old `ukulele to his quiet attentive audience. The mainland is home now.


“Come we play”

When I visit my dad now, we don’t talk. We play. So, for my father, the skinny Kalihi-`Ewa Beach Boy, who made the sacrifice of leaving his friends and ka `Aina, so his son can survive, I’d like to hope that you find my mo`olelo worthy so I can gift him his own Hawaiian `ukulele so we continue our “conversations”. Mahalo.

deach
05-03-2010, 07:45 AM
I nominate Terry Hardy.

Who the heck is Terry Hardy? He's been on a quest to play his uke in all 50 states.

Why Terry Hardy? He usually plays in hospitals for patients. I am not sure if he's sponsored or if he's doing this on his own dime, but it's the first time I've seen TRUE aloha spirit in a long time.

Here's his website - http://terryhardymusic.com/
Follow his journeys on Twitter - http://twitter.com/50StateUke

Rzr
05-03-2010, 07:54 AM
I nominate Deach.

Who the heck is Deach? Deach is a nice boy who is on a quest to give away a uke in all 50 states.

Why Deach? He would probably give it to Terry Hardy. See above.

nscafe
05-03-2010, 08:26 AM
I don't deserve the uke, but I wanted to post just to say how much I enjoy everyone's stories in this thread.

CoLmes
05-03-2010, 10:40 AM
I nominate Santa Claus

Why Santa Claus? Because Santa Claus is Deach.

And Deach will probably give it to Terry Hardy

KevinV
05-03-2010, 02:25 PM
Music’s a language that knows not a border; it knows not color nor race nor order.
Music is timeless and is sparked by a seed; it’s the feelings of others, forever freed.

The story can pass in so many ways, depending on what the musician plays.
There are strings and there’s brass, percussion and key; but the sweetest of all is the ukulele.

So soft to the touch, and warm to the heart; the uke is a lover, a tool, an art.
One hears the notes then smiles soon come; a pleasure to all, inspiration to some.

I like to share the music in me, and visit with friends and close family.
To pass on a tune, an idea, a lick; music’s to share and bonds it makes thick.

Some friends I’ve met for the very first time; an elder who’s sheltered from the world outside.
A visit, a song, a hug and a smile; these are the things that make life worthwhile.

I see veterans each day at my job as I toil; brothers of mine, some have tread the same soil.
My lab is a place of work and of care; tending to patients who’ve fought over there.
But inside of this place that can seem cold and sterile, a uke sits aside to distract from the peril.

Conversations abound when they see my four strings; we talk about music, family, and things.
Without one single note, a bond starts to grow, and when time permits, I put on a show.

No fancy lights, no introduction, no stage; just me and four strings, and some notes on a page.
Once again music has soothed one’s soul, made a new friend, and filled the void in a hole.

If I were to be gifted by Peter and Mike, with a Maui Music uke that’s so angelic like,
I’d have a great tool to spread unbounded love; songs from the past, and sounds from above.

And someday when my usefulness to this creation subsides, I’ll pass it on gladly for its next loving ride.

bonesigh
05-04-2010, 08:48 AM
I'm glad for the opportunity to tell my story of how the love of the ukulele found me. Thank you.

While on vacation last year we stayed at my brother's house and his wife had a ukulele. Now ,I never gave much thought to the ukulele one way or the other. I played guitar for a very short time in my teens but that was mostly because my mother played and she wanted me to play. I wish I could have given her that but, sadly, I had no passion for it. Anyway, while on vacation my littlest girl (6) was fascinated with the uke. When we got home she asked and asked for a ukulele. Loving that she had an interest in playing music but, knowing kids, I bought her a cheap Mahalo.

When it arrived she was so excited and then, “duh!”, on my part. How can I teach her to play if I don't know the first thing about it! We live in a very small town so there are no lessons available. So, internet to the rescue! From the moment I started playing I fell in love with it. Unfortunately my little girl lost interest very quickly. I however, learned very quickly and found that not only do I love it but it helps me in so many ways. Concentration, memory, motivation and it has made me more social. My memory is weak because of years of low oxygen, due to Sleep Apnea, killing brain cells. Plus, my husband loves to hear me play while he makes dinner and say's that I make up great songs and parodies. Hawaii holds a special place in our hearts. We got married there 9 years ago and our wedding was so beautiful it was the catalyst for bringing my mom out of a deep almost catatonic depression.

I have problems with depression, like so many do. Runs thick in my family. I just can't put all the sad details on here. The ukulele has helped me feel better and I go out and play for my little girls class once a month. I hope to be strong enough soon to be able to put into action all the things I fantasize about like, donating a uke to our library at school and in the town, teaching the uke at the community center and going down the street to the nursing home with my uke and my trained kitten. He can do all sorts of tricks. I'm working on teaching him to strum the uke! There was a nice old guy there at the home who wanted to hear the Tennessee Waltz but I didn't know it, so I learned it for him and also played many Christmas tunes for them at their party.

I will spread the love for the ukulele in and around our small town. Perhaps one day I will be able to sit down and play music with both my girls (the older one plays guitar). It would make me so happy and it would be good bonding experience for them. They are 10 years apart in age. Perhaps it will help them too if they ever start feeling blue. Thank you Peter Lieberman for donating this fine ukulele and thank you Mike for giving all of us a chance to tell our stories.

Sincerely,
Janet

Coconut Willie
05-04-2010, 08:52 AM
I have no sad story to tell. I simply would love to own a Maui Music Uke especially getting it in a contest as I could never afford to buy one on my own! As you see by my signature, I aspire to one day own a great uke...a KoAloha, but I am woefully short of the $$$.

Thank You......Mahalo!!

MGM
05-05-2010, 02:49 PM
Hurry with the last mintue submissions i think it ends soooooon mgm

KevinV
05-05-2010, 02:55 PM
Today's the big day! I look forward to the announcement to see who the lucky winner is. Many worthy entrants...I don't envy having to make the decision.

Dane
05-06-2010, 08:22 AM
Ditto to kevin, excited to find out who gets this beautiful uke lol

MGM
05-06-2010, 01:19 PM
Its going to take a little longer toi decide the winner as there were many wonderful post on both forums that the decision is harder than I thought

Dane
05-06-2010, 01:24 PM
Its going to take a little longer toi decide the winner as there were many wonderful post on both forums that the decision is harder than I thought

Haha didn't know what you were getting yourself into huh? =P No worries mike

molokinirum
05-07-2010, 10:54 AM
Cool contest Mike.....has a winner been selected yet (as of 5/7)???

Dane
05-08-2010, 11:48 AM
Mike just likes to keep people in suspense. hahahhaa

MGM
05-08-2010, 03:09 PM
The choice was tough and there were so many beautiful written entries but the winner is from the FFM forum here it is

Posted By: East Mountain Date: 4/27/2010 12:08:28 PM
There is an old 8mm film of me, at age 3 or so, wearing a red cowboy hat and playing a Maccaferri soprano ukulele. There was no sound on the home movie, but I imagine I was singing the theme song to my favorite TV show, The Rebel. (“The Ballad of Johnny Yuma” was sung by Johnny Cash). What I was playing on the uke is anyone’s guess, since I was holding it upside down half the time while developing an unorthodox fingerstyle technique.
In my teens, I put down the ukulele for a few years and taught myself to play the guitar, but I always knew I’d come back to the ukulele someday. That someday came in 1993, when I found a really nice Favilla soprano ukulele in an antique mall. I fell in love with the simplicity and beauty of that little mahogany uke, and soon found myself playing it more than my guitar. My children lit up when they heard and saw that ukulele. Here was an instrument that seemed to be just their size, unlike Daddy’s big guitar. I let them play with that ukulele often, and while they added some wear and tear to that instrument, I never regretted sharing it with them. Their smiles and laughter were easily worth the devaluation.
The ukulele has a magic to it that no other instrument possesses. When I was hospitalized recently, my wife brought my ukulele to the hospital for me. Every time I played, people would drift into my room from the hallway to listen and ask questions. My college students were just as captivated by it as their children were when I played at my school’s “Family Fun Day,” which raises money for the Nurses for Newborns organization. When my youngest son died suddenly from an undiagnosed brain tumor, the ukulele provided a place of solace within my grief. Recently, my wife and I became foster parents to our four grandchildren. Again, the ukulele works it magic on the children, lulling them to sleep or providing the accompaniment to which they dance. It also provides me with an outlet for creativity, as I compose songs to perform as worship leader at my church. Perhaps because so much of the guitar is ego driven, the music of the uke seems more humble and reverent, definitely a plus for church music.
My small uke collection is humble as well. I don’t have the Favilla anymore. My main instruments are a serviceable ‘50s Regal and a no-name California style banjo uke that I restored. If I were to win the contest uke, it would help me in my plan to play at the nursing home where my in-laws now live. Those folks are such appreciative audiences and many of them remember ukulele from back in the heyday. I would love to help them reminisce by sharing songs on the ukulele.

KevinV
05-08-2010, 03:27 PM
A great choice and a dedicated player. It sounds like the uke will get plenty of mileage and bring many smiles in the process. Congratulations to East Mountain!

Thanks again to both you and Peter for donating such a fine instrument.

jer989
05-08-2010, 03:32 PM
wow - what a story - definitely a good choice, Mike!

deach
05-09-2010, 02:07 AM
Excellent choice!

bonesigh
05-09-2010, 06:33 AM
Congratulations! You are definitely worthy! Great story.

Mim
05-09-2010, 02:35 PM
What a wonderful essay and a GREAT choice! I had misty eyes reading that essay!

East Mountain
05-10-2010, 03:44 AM
Thank you everyone for the kind words, and thank you especially to Peter and Mike for hosting such a great contest.

Wow, words cannot express my joy at winning this uke. I'm head over heels giddy. It is my hope and goal to use this uke to spread the spirit of ukulele everywhere I play with this instrument. I'm working up a set list for the seniors at my in-law's nursing home and planning for some special music at church.

Peace, and Mahalo to you all,
East Mountain

pulelehua
05-10-2010, 04:33 AM
Well done, East Mountain. Sounds like it's going to a good home.

rasputinsghost
05-10-2010, 05:19 AM
This uke is going exactly where it needs to go. Amazing.

Coconut Willie
05-10-2010, 05:42 AM
MGM....wow what an EXCELLENT choice!!!!

molokinirum
05-10-2010, 05:56 AM
Great essay and a GREAT choice!!! Congrats! :D

urcuzzn
05-10-2010, 02:44 PM
Thank everyone for sharing.
i will do this again next year.
Thank you Michael for making a selection from so many touching stories.
Alohaaaaaaaa
Peter
Congratulations East Mountain
Please keep us posted on your progress and how u like your new Maui Music ukulele

East Mountain
05-10-2010, 05:58 PM
Will do, Peter. I'm thrilled. UPS tells me the uke will be here Wednesday. Pretty fast, from Maui to the Heartland (near St. Louis) in three days. Wow, this just keeps getting better.

paraclete
05-11-2010, 05:35 AM
Congrats, East Mountain! What a wonderful essay!