View Full Version : Short uke joy story

09-13-2010, 12:26 PM
I don't know where else I could share this and people would really get it......

I work at a university counseling center and today I was training 25 new Resident Advisors (RA's) on how to deal with psychological crisis situations and challenging mental health issues that will come up in the new year. All of these RA's are between the ages of 19 and 22. At the end of our time I went around the room asking everyone to say one thing they do to take care of themselves, or something that brings them joy and helps them to recharge.

At the end, they asked me what I do, and I said "I play music" hoping to fly under the radar and not have to reveal to groans and snickers my ukulele passion. Of course, several asked at the same time what instrument I play. Nervously, I declared that I play ukulele....expecting to be snickered at.....and immediately there was a HUGE expression or joy and excitement from these young people. I actually heard "that's so cool" and "I want to play ukulele" from many of them.....then one said that he has a uke but doesn't know how to play it so another guy suggested he should make an appointment with me which would actually be ukulele lessons!

I walked out filled with joy....once again this little instrument lifts me up in ways I could never imagine! Thanks for letting me share.....

09-13-2010, 12:28 PM
What's to be ashamed of mentioning the mighty Uke? Be proud bruddah!

09-13-2010, 12:49 PM
No, not ashamed but a lot of people still think the uke is a toy and treat it like a joke.....but it is changing with young people!

09-13-2010, 12:52 PM
Ukulele is the real deal. Gonna treat my first ever instrument with all the love it deserves :)

09-13-2010, 01:20 PM
I feel like uke is especially catching on with younger adults, especially since so many music artists are starting to incorporate ukulele in their music these days. The uke is definitely cool. Share your enthusiasm often :)

09-13-2010, 01:27 PM
Couldn't you have lied and said you play Tuba?

09-13-2010, 01:27 PM
Thanks for the story - LOVE IT!!!!

09-13-2010, 01:44 PM
Great story! When I was in college, the "cool" instrument was an acoustic guitar. I'm glad to see the ukulele getting a share of the love.

09-13-2010, 02:10 PM
Couldn't you have lied and said you play Tuba?

Now that, would violate the Ukulele Honor Code section 51 A, line 8.

(I made that up AHHA)

Ronnie Aloha
09-13-2010, 02:30 PM
I know out here is So Cal the uke is the cool instrument at the local schools. You see kids carrying them around school!

09-13-2010, 02:46 PM
Cool story. Embrace it. Like I mentioned in another thread, the Uke IS finally gaining some well deserved respect today. Also like I mentioned in the other thread, I even get acceptance from other musicians I know, that know that I come from years of Jazz Bass, and Blues guitar, but due to a disability couldn't play anymore and picked up the Uke and didn't look back. All my musician friends love it, and they range from Blues to Death Metal foke. Music, and expresion is music and the Uke is finally finding it's way...

Again, cool story...

mm stan
09-13-2010, 05:12 PM
Aloha Ryan,
Thanks for sharing your wonderful story, the ukulele perception is changing and now it is accepted
as a "Cool Instrument" ...in all age levels..also it went from an accompanying instrument to lead solo.
It has no barriers in age group now.....as it is accepted by young and young in heart and mind.
It is very addictive, and is a joy to play with and brings happiness to players and listeners alike.
And talking about teaching Resident RA's to deal with psycological crisis and challenging mental
health issues, you now may have a new tool for them....
Must be nice to be known by the "cool" teacher with the ukulele now...eh
Enjoy and have Fun, and "Keep them strings vibrating" MM Stan

09-13-2010, 05:56 PM
My cigar box hit my classroom today and it was greeted by huge enthusiasm and passed around the room. I figure it cost me 20 bucks (and a week of my life) to make- why not let the kids take a crack at it? Certain I will have a few 7th graders asking how to play soon.
Course, I have always played the accordion and I play bones, so they are used to unconventional instruments laying around the room.
Anyway, the Uke sure seems a lot cooler than a new accordion in my parts too.

Hippie Dribble
09-13-2010, 07:52 PM
thanks so much for sharing Ryan.

a few weeks back I was in a local record store and got talking about ukes with the owner, who proceeded to tell me the ukulele is now the fastest selling string instrument in Tasmania!!! Selling more than guitars even, and the reason? School music teachers have finally started to abandon the recorder (thankfully) in favour of teaching their students the ukulele!!! Awesome, no?!

I've been saying it for years, jokingly, that the uke is taking over the world...well, it finally seems like it's starting to come true. When I started playing, only in 2005, I'd heard of almost no-one playing uke, and in that time, at least 5 uke groups have started up in Tassie that I know of, and a massive range for sale in instrument shops, where before, you were hard pressed to even find a couple of cheap, coloured mahalos!

09-13-2010, 08:30 PM
Thank you everyone for your kind comments! I was just blown away at the excitement that popped up....and these kids are from very diverse and often very rough backgrounds.

This instrument brings me constant joy and endless surprises! I for one am happy so many younger people are getting into it!

09-13-2010, 11:25 PM
Yep...I occasionally still get a side glance and a whisper when I bring out an uke....until I start playing Van Morrison or James Taylor. Anytime someone under the age of 30 sees me playing, they always tell me how cool it is.

I've played guitar for over 40 years but have only been playing the uke for around 8-9 months. I used to bring a guitar to our neighborhood get-togethers sometimes. If I didn't bring a guitar, nobody said anything. Now, I bring an uke and if I don't pretty much everyone asks me why I didn't bring one ;)

09-14-2010, 04:43 AM
Congrats to you for working in such a tough field as mental health. My wife is a psych nurse and so I know how rough and draining it can be sometimes. You must be a very giving and unselfish person.

Oh yeah, your uke story is great, too! :)

09-14-2010, 06:09 AM
Congrats to you for working in such a tough field as mental health. My wife is a psych nurse and so I know how rough and draining it can be sometimes. You must be a very giving and unselfish person.

Thank you very much for your kind words Fuzzy! I find that for me, giving to others and living in gratefullness helps cure ME of my ills!