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rreffner
12-31-2010, 08:13 AM
For the past year or so, I have been trying to learn ukulele on my own. I practice at the kitchen table for a couple of hours a day in the early morning. Additionally, I pick up my uke whenever I have some free time. Finger picking (Ken Middleton style) is my primary course of study and gradual progress is being made.


Admittedly, I donít sing particularly well but understand voice will improve with practice. Being Christmastime, I decided to include some simple strumming/singing tunes so my grandson and granddaughter would be able to sing along. We sang together at my home and had a good time. They were songs familiar to them; Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells, etc.


Anyway, the wife and 2 grandkids and I went to visit family 3 states away. While there, I broke out the uke, made sure it was in tune, and began strumming and singing Christmas songs with the grandkids. We were having a good time, however; some of the adults (relatives) walked about behind us howling while making rude comments and gestures. We finished singing and I put the uke away for the remainder of the visit. I decided not to respond to their actions.


Well, Iím back home, at the kitchen table with 12 Hymn Tunes for The Ukulele in front of me while my Bassett Hound is on the floor next to me listening to me practice. No howling from her (maybe sheís sleeping?).

Iím not sure why I am writing this. Maybe in case something similar has happened to others and by reading this they will see their experience was not unique. I will continue to practice because of the enjoyment I get and play tunes and sing along with the kids while letting the adults work on their own issues.


Aloha,
Rich

roxhum
12-31-2010, 08:20 AM
Families! No your experience is not unique. However ask my nieces which is the "fun" or favorite aunt and I guess the last laugh is on them.

Roxhum

fitncrafty
12-31-2010, 08:24 AM
Rich,
I am SO sorry this happened to you! You are not alone. My own family has laughed at my singing.. yes really. So now I play in my house alone, and when they are home, I wont sing. It does take some of the enjoyment out of it..

I hope that you will just keep going. It's so hard to just keep singing. I even feel insecure to sing in the shower now... usually when I shower there is no one home..

I have come to the conclusion that people can be cruel.. but I am going to keep working at it and hope my singing will get better.

As for your grandkids. Keep playing and singing with them.. My daughter will sing with me... it's so much fun!

harpdog
12-31-2010, 08:24 AM
A cheap attempt at humor like that just points out how inadequate the one laughing is

kevkwak
12-31-2010, 08:25 AM
Sorry to hear about that, Rich, especially at this time of year and that you were just trying to entertain the kids. Maybe they're just not used to seeing ukulele's? A lot of folk can still have the impression that they're 'comical' or 'toys' so maybe found it amusing.

I wouldn't let it dishearten you though, not that it seems to have done so. :cool:

<eM>Burr
12-31-2010, 08:27 AM
Good on you for just doing it. Don't stop. You where having fun the kids I'm sure enjoyed it, the adults where just jealous.

NatalieS
12-31-2010, 08:30 AM
While there, I broke out the uke, made sure it was in tune, and began strumming and singing Christmas songs with the grandkids. We were having a good time, however; some of the adults (relatives) walked about behind us howling while making rude comments and gestures. We finished singing and I put the uke away for the remainder of the visit. I decided not to respond to their actions.




I'm going to go out on a limb here. Your adult relatives may have been joking and making fun of you to cover up some jealousy. I think it's awesome that you and your grandkids have such a good time singing and playing together. Music has always been in my house and my relatives know better than to make fun of me. Not all families are like that. Some families treat the musical family members like they're weirdos. I think it secretly has to be because they're jealous they don't have the guts to sing, play, or dance in front of each other! At any rate, it was really stupid of them to make fun especially when the kids were having a good time. That's a sure way to make kids self-conscious about what they're doing. I'm glad you chose not to acknowledge it.

Now that you're back home, enjoy a much kinder audience (your Basset hound). :)

Teek
12-31-2010, 08:45 AM
IMO it's jealousy and a toxic need to get their sense of self empowerment by sh*tting on other people. Very very common dysfunctional behavior from unelightened, unkind, uncompassionate and really really insecure people with no solid inner sense of self worth. I feel sorry for people like that. They are damaged goods. Have compassion for them but disregard their behavior, they are on some level still in kindergarten, and probably the class bullies. If it comes up again you can ask them point blank why they would laugh at little kids having good clean innocent fun (your inner kid included)? Who shamed them when they were little to such an extent that they would feel the need to act out instead of setting a good example for children?

People like you on the other hand are the flip side, and the points of light within the human species. Keep up the good work!

Bosconian91
12-31-2010, 08:46 AM
however; some of the adults (relatives) walked about behind us howling while making rude comments and gestures. We finished singing and I put the uke away for the remainder of the visit. I decided not to respond to their actions.


Rich

Adults making rude comments and gestures? Where's the Christmas spirit of these people? And to think that you've crossed three states just to visit them...

DAPuke
12-31-2010, 08:46 AM
They don't understand the magic of the uke, some adults are too old, jaded and wrapped up in their own insecurities and selfish petty jealousies. These things hurt the most when coming from the ones who are suppose to support and care about you. I know you are probably playing right now, so good for you. Give your girl a pet for me. Don't stop pick'n!
DAP

cornfedgroove
12-31-2010, 08:49 AM
I play several instruments with varying degrees of skill but I am primarily a guitar/ uke guy I'd say...
I didnt start till after I had gone away to college and my parents had never heard me play. After I was married and my first child was born, they came to visit and I was playing a guitar someone gave me. My mom made a skunky face and remarked that she was glad I didnt start playing while I was still a kid...ie, she's glad she never had to hear it.

bah, she's also the lady that said I shouldnt quit my day job when it came to singing...granted, it takes me a while to acclimate to some songs, but I made a living playing and singing in church lol. she's also the one that crapped on me about needing to go to graduate school...despite being the most "put together" of all her kids.

I think her criticism is her inept way of complimenting me...but knowing that doesnt make me like her any more lol

lozarkman
12-31-2010, 08:54 AM
WEll there are jerks then there are REAL jerks. They are the latter. Hard to not feel bad and let them get to you, but maybe you just should have ignored them and gone right on enjoying what obviously your little ones were enjoying. You also could maybe just smiled, and reached out and offered your uke to them, and said "want to try it, lots of fun and maybe your better than I am""? Anyway put it behind you and keep on strummin and hummin with those kids!!! Lozark

Tudorp
12-31-2010, 09:01 AM
That happens at my family gatherings all the time. Not only to me, but by me when my sisters, neices, nephews or whoever starts singing. It's our family dynamic, and it's always our ways of showing we love each other. My family has always been a bunch of nuts, coming from both sides. My grand mother on my mom's side was quite the charictor, as was my grand father on my dad's side, and all of us have been practical jokers coming down from generations of genetics. We have always heckled each other, but don't let a non family member start, or THEY tend to be the target, hahhah.. It just has always been gestures of endurment with all of us. That said, I am also from a very musical, singing family, and most my family has awesome singing voices, BUT that never stops the rest of us from heckling, or howling at the others when they are on their stages.. hahah.. If it didn't happen, we just don't feel loved.. ;)

that said, I hear all sorts of cracks because I play a soprano Uke, and it being such a small instrument, and I am such a HUGE guy. Since I been playing the Uke, that has been the root of many family "fat guy with a little instrument" jokes, lol.. So, feel loved.. that's what it's about..

TCK
12-31-2010, 09:05 AM
Wow- that is truly messed up, especially that it has happened to more than one of you.
Adult relatives even- sounds like you have some serious buzz-kills in your family.
You are cordially invited to come do your thing at our house next year. Between me and dad. there must be 100 instruments laying around, and we thrust them upon our guests without so much as a waiver in our voices..."you are in the band".

Everyone laughs, but for the right reasons and not the wrong.

cb56
12-31-2010, 09:17 AM
Wow! Sounds like the "adults" have some problems. I think you handled it well. Just keep uking and try to keep the kids interested in it when you see them. I wouldn't stop because of some insecure rude people.

diego
12-31-2010, 09:27 AM
Sorry to hear. I had a similar experience at a birthday party, trying to play guitar and uke while little kids were running around playing. It was hard for me to concentrate with screaming kids and some adults didn't really get what I was doing.

Sometimes when I pull out the soprano's I have people start laughing. Then I play I'm Yours by Jason Mraz and the laughing stops. I use that song as a joke stopper as it is a happy song that just suits the uke. People instantly recognize it and are amazed a little "toy like" instrument can pull that off.

ItsMrPitchy
12-31-2010, 09:31 AM
Amazing how some people dont grow out their old bullying habbits. Its ok to crack a friendly joke as long as you both know its a friendly joke. But to purposley make another feel ashamed thats just cruel. I feel sorry for you but keep jammin.

hoosierhiver
12-31-2010, 09:37 AM
I'd guess that your relatives can't play any instrument, sing or have any other notable social abilities.
They sound like a boring bunch.

brucemoffatt
12-31-2010, 10:21 AM
So, the REAL audience is the young 'uns. Sorry, but you have to keep playing and singing for their sakes lest they turn out like the adults. You owe it to the kids to give them the opportunity to hear you play uke and sing so that they might catch the music thing from you. You're just gonna have to cowboy up and do it again next Christmas, and infect them with your good nature.

Hope I don't sound too negative, but it sounds like some parts of your family are in desperate need of music an laughter and you're the one who can bring it to them. Just think of yourself as the Santa Claus of Uke.

Papa Tom
12-31-2010, 10:40 AM
I find that when my uke comes out and all the grandchildren start having a great time, the rest of the adults - including my own kids - get very jealous that all the fun in the room centers around me for that moment. They are all mature, intelligent, successful grown-ups, so it's not one of those typical dysfunctional family scenarios; it's just one of those situations where anybody without an instrument in their hand and without any kind of musical ability doesn't know where to put themselves. Instinctively, to try and be part of the fun, they often begin to mock the ukulele and the guy playing it. Ignore it. They probably feel as badly afterwards as you do.

Tudorp
12-31-2010, 10:50 AM
I find that when my uke comes out and all the grandchildren start having a great time, the rest of the adults - including my own kids - get very jealous that all the fun in the room centers around me for that moment. They are all mature, intelligent, successful grown-ups, so it's not one of those typical dysfunctional family scenarios; it's just one of those situations where anybody without an instrument in their hand and without any kind of musical ability doesn't know where to put themselves. Instinctively, to try and be part of the fun, they often begin to mock the ukulele and the guy playing it. Ignore it. They probably feel as badly afterwards as you do.

I pretty much agree with your comments. In my family, it's all in fun, and just all being a part of the show. I stop sometimes and heckle the hecklers, and laugh at myself as well. It would all depend on the atmosphere really. Is it a offensive or in fun atmosphere? In my family, its all in the group having fun, kids acting like kids, and the adults also acting like kids.. In those situations, i tend to keep the songs fun and playful and even ham up the lyrics as well... The whole family does that. We also have our serios singing times too, but the fun bantering is also good times for us..

Bosconian91
12-31-2010, 10:57 AM
So, the REAL audience is the young 'uns. Sorry, but you have to keep playing and singing for their sakes lest they turn out like the adults. You owe it to the kids to give them the opportunity to hear you play uke and sing so that they might catch the music thing from you. You're just gonna have to cowboy up and do it again next Christmas, and infect them with your good nature.

Hope I don't sound too negative, but it sounds like some parts of your family are in desperate need of music an laughter and you're the one who can bring it to them. Just think of yourself as the Santa Claus of Uke.

I thought this was a very good advice.

d2d
12-31-2010, 11:23 AM
1. Many "adults" can only see the Uke thru the lens of "Tiny Tim". Thus the mocking. I believe that being largely unfamiliar with Tiny Tim, is why there is so much more acceptance by the young for this instrument.

2. The "dumbing down" of our culture has gotten to the point where you will be laughed at if you play any instrument other than a guitar (maybe drums).

3. The easy access to media has set a high level of what is considered "good" playing. Not much tolerance for anything less.

I get razzed constantly also. My grandchildren also enjoy it. I enjoy it.

Life is too short. I feel bad for people who have such narrow comfort zones.(I certainly don't want to join them!)

And worshiping at the altar of the "great god Normal" is highly over rated! ;-)

Lean into your freedom... Maybe say a prayer for those who are so trapped and keep pickin'!

lambchop
12-31-2010, 11:29 AM
You just keep going and playing. You know, some people, unenlightened sorts, find the uke to be a funny instrument, so that may have been a big part of it, but you just keep going, keep playing, keep strumming and you'll find infintely much more joy than ridicule, I assure you of that. Happy New Year! Mike

pepamahina
12-31-2010, 11:41 AM
Funny how people just don't get a ukulele. Growing up my parents have always been supportive of every crazy instrument I tried...recorder, violin, French horn, even the bagpipes. They loved it when I played the ocarina, which is basically a lump of clay with some holes in it. But my father had an automatic negative reaction to the ukulele. He called it the "lowest of all the instruments". I ignored him. Soon he started coming around a little bit, saying things like "wow, I'm surprised you can get such a good sound out of that thing." What is it? I don't understand. Is it really Tiny Tim?

Uncle Leroy
12-31-2010, 11:46 AM
It is my experience that those who can't do something make jest of it to make themselves feel better about their own shortcomings. Playing and singing for the little ones is the coolest thing that anyone can do this time of year. I have seen with my own two eyes what the uke can do to people and for people of all ages. Don't give it a second thought and keep picking, grinnin' and singing.

Tudorp
12-31-2010, 11:47 AM
I really do think Tiny Tim is a big part of it, because the baby boomers are the majority at the moment, and most of us baby boomers were around to remember that fiasco. But it is also because the size of the instrument. It just looks like a toy guitar, so people think of it as that. Allot of comedians played the ukulele singing fun zanny songs on it, and that is also a contributing factor IMHO. But, it's just a fun instrument that isn't taken as seriously as other "bigger" more serios instruments. I get irritated some times, but just enjoy it anyway, and like the looks on some peoples faces when they hear actual grown up melodies, and sounds coming out of it. They allot of times drop their predjudices. For me, like I said before, its the shock value, mainly because it is so small, especially in contrast to my size. I guess all big fat dudes are supposed to play the Tubba.. hahhah..

Lori
12-31-2010, 11:49 AM
I bet a lot of adults don't really have an idea of what to do to connect with the younger members of the family. Clearly, they are jealous of your ability to make a meaningful connection with these family members. They are also jealous that they can't play an instrument. Maybe next time have a few rhythm instruments for them to join in with, and see if you can get them to sing too. It might not work if they are jerks, but it is worth a try. I am tired of the stupid bully mentality, and wish people wouldn't keep teaching it to their children (who tend that way if they are not shown the alternative). After all, what kind of world do you want to live in?? Don't give others the power to kill your enthusiasm for music.
–Lori

Ukulele JJ
12-31-2010, 11:59 AM
I will continue to practice because of the enjoyment I get and play tunes and sing along with the kids while letting the adults work on their own issues.


That's exactly what I'd do too!

JJ

GreatGazukes
12-31-2010, 12:37 PM
There are some really great points made here, and my two cents worth.... I would guess the "hecklers" are actually people who have not challenged themselves in recent years and have little appreciation of the efforts that other folk go to. I have been surprised by the support that my friends have given me in my ukulele journey. Even the greatest nay sayer friend has been encouraging. And Idont play well or sing well but I keep hammering on. But one thing about my friends is that they are all people who take on new challenges and are aware of what dedication it takes to succeed. (I suppose that is what keeps us together...none of us really have interests that overlap, except gasbagging, lol). The point I am making is not that these people are jealous but are probably ignorant....and more is the pity on them....to quote Mame Dennis "life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death"

Good on you for posting your sentiments about your dreary family, its good to verbalise these things in a supportive community. Happy New-Uke Year

:)

Hippie Dribble
12-31-2010, 12:59 PM
hi Rich

The real sad part for me is that young minds are so impressionable, fragile, and open. We must all be really careful about how we behave in front of young people, as we are role models from whom they learn how to react in certain situations , and treat other people. In some ways I still bear the scars of being laughed out of a school choir audition in grade 6. I never attempted to sing or play an instrument seriously all through high school because of the fear of public humiliation, and an overwhelming sense of inferiority. It has taken me years to overcome this. Funny, cause now I do it as part of my living!

Kids have such an immediate,instinctive, almost visceral response to music. I believe that music is almost the greatest gift we can give to anyone, especially the young and old. I say bless you brother for caring enough to share your music with the children. And, as it seems you are not discouraged by this mockery, persist mate because memories of your songs and your ukulele will stick with them long after they've grown up.

I've shared this strip before, but seems worthwhile to do so again here. Charles Schulz also had some thoughts on this topic Rich...

18937

Happy new year mate and keep on ukeing! :)

Ukuleleblues
12-31-2010, 01:05 PM
1. Many "adults" can only see the Uke thru the lens of "Tiny Tim". Thus the mocking. I believe that being largely unfamiliar with Tiny Tim, is why there is so much more acceptance by the young for this instrument.

2. The "dumbing down" of our culture has gotten to the point where you will be laughed at if you play any instrument other than a guitar (maybe drums).

3. The easy access to media has set a high level of what is considered "good" playing. Not much tolerance for anything less.

I get razzed constantly also. My grandchildren also enjoy it. I enjoy it.

Life is too short. I feel bad for people who have such narrow comfort zones.(I certainly don't want to join them!)

And worshiping at the altar of the "great god Normal" is highly over rated! ;-)

Lean into your freedom... Maybe say a prayer for those who are so trapped and keep pickin'!
You hit the nail on the head. Yes this behavior is more common than not. I go and visit my inlaws tomorrow for the yearly "Waltons" holiday get together....wheeee!!!! I'll bring my uke and go and play on the back porch while they watch TV....... The old man will bitch at everyone while mumbling something every once in awhile about bluegrass music while he throws out insults to the grandkids and family. They kids won't notice because they will be texting their friends. No one will want to play or sing christmas songs. Maybe my nephew will come out on the porch and yell at us "you guys suck" like he did a few years ago. Although it would be a lot cuter if he wasn't in his 20s and still living at home. I absolutely dread it. Pray for me that I don't finally tell them where all to go tomorrow.

Yes don't be bummed out that your relatives laughed and acted like jerks, just be glad you aren't like them "Trapped" like D2D says.

We play in public a lot and there are certain folks that are just not pleasant. I've gotten to the point I can see them coming down the sidewalk. On the other hand, some of the folks enjoy the music, are engaging to talk to and are pleasant. Focus on them.

Remember you can pick your friends, and pick you nose, but you can't pick your relatives.

GreatGazukes
12-31-2010, 01:18 PM
Yep I'll pray for you Ukuleleblues, but I did laugh out loud at your "Walton's Homecoming Episode", (sorry)

Ukuleleblues
12-31-2010, 01:28 PM
It is actually pretty funny if you disassociate yourself from it. It's going to be 70 degrees out so I can sit in the sun play and enjoy myself while they act out their parts in the Christmas pagent. Hey, one time we had Christmas in April, I still laugh about that one.

SuzukHammer
12-31-2010, 02:13 PM
Great post and great responses.

It is my opinion that a uke player must know multiple genres of songs. For instance, if I'm playing to kids and adults are there, I will throw in some acdc riffs, throw in those great established turnarounds.

Play a few wicked I, IV, V chord riffs (Tequila, Wild Thing).

When some people talk about the uke, I see it as an opportunity for them to try and play the uke. I'll hand it to them. Ask them to play simple chord progression. Its not easy and it puts any belittling back on them and off of me.

Lastly, I walk EVERYWHERE with my ukulele; so, I'm not a closet player. That gives me confidence and makes it normal to me.

oh and lastly lastly, I used to be very defensive about lots of things. Its a waste of time I have found out.

NatalieS
12-31-2010, 02:24 PM
I am tired of the stupid bully mentality, and wish people wouldn't keep teaching it to their children (who tend that way if they are not shown the alternative). After all, what kind of world do you want to live in?? Don't give others the power to kill your enthusiasm for music.
–Lori

Lori, I totally agree. I've found that there are a lot of people out there who are so quick to criticize. If you watch any video on YouTube, there are rude disgusting comments. I can't stand it! I think a lot of it has to do with being confident in who you are. When you feel good about yourself and know who you are, you want the best for others and stop looking for ways to put them down.

I wish everyone could be nice and generous and fun-loving, but unfortunately there are a lot of jerks out there. And even worse, a lot of people teach kids that it's ok to be that way too.

strumsilly
12-31-2010, 02:40 PM
people are jealous when they have no talent and they art not the center of attention, they need to get over it and get a uke!

Susie A
12-31-2010, 02:40 PM
I will continue to practice because of the enjoyment I get and play tunes and sing along with the kids while letting the adults work on their own issues.


Aloha,
Rich

Bravo! Forget them! I started playing just so I can someday play for my g'kids :) I am enjoying the uke, making friends and getting better at playing everyday. You have the right attitude. Play on :)

itsme
12-31-2010, 02:59 PM
Just ignore the naysayers. If they diss your playing, then they are the ones who are pathetic and lame and will never know the joy of actually making live music. Most of them will never be able to play anything except the stereo or the radio. It's their loss.

mendel
12-31-2010, 03:34 PM
I've been laughed at many times, and for many different things. Usually it's when I say I am going to do something that others believe to be out of reach for me. In1992, I saw MMA on TV for the first time, and I said in front of about 10 people that I would fight someday. They laughed for 10 years, then I did it. I got laughed at in 1997 when I told my wrestling teammates that I would get a PhD someday. I'm in my dissertation now. My high school coach told me I was the worst wrestler he'd ever seen, and I told him I would come back and take his job someday. 1 NCAA title later, I went back and took the Head Coach job.

The moral is, let them laugh. While they laugh, you are getting better. Teddy Roosevelt said it best:

"It is not the critic who counts..."

Play away.

Mendel

CoLmes
12-31-2010, 03:38 PM
You wanna know why those "adults" were doing that?

You probably had more attention of the grandkids than they ever could. One of the biggest things you get when you put yourself out there are people ridiculing you. They don't want you to succeed, having attention of a room, your grandkids, or even ONE person is hard to do. Don't pay attention to them, they threw away their childhood dreams a long time ago. They much would rather do "adult" things and be boring.

70sSanO
12-31-2010, 03:50 PM
I think you did good not to respond.

The kids will do that for you when they ask the other adults who were ridiculing why they don't play like you do.

John

Lexxy
12-31-2010, 03:55 PM
Good thing that you kept your cool. I agree with Colin. They were prolly jealous that they didn't get the attention you had :)

Alternatives :
1) throw a shoe at them :P
2) anything as long as you don't slap them in the face with a cheap uke...

olgoat52
12-31-2010, 05:07 PM
Well, I guess the worst thing that can happen to a uke player happened to you. So you got it over with. Most of us live in fear of that moment. I am continually astounded by people that get up and play in front of anyone with out regard for how well they play. They play because they like to play.

I should have guts to be as brave as that. Maybe some day I will.

All the best in your future endeavors and may you always enjoy the music you make.

OldePhart
12-31-2010, 06:25 PM
I don't think I'd waste my time visiting that particular branch of the family again - it's pretty obvious that branch has nothing but nuts!

To make fun of visiting family is just...bizarre!

John

mm stan
12-31-2010, 10:29 PM
Aloha Rich,
Sometimes the closest ones to us can be so rude, that doesn't excuse them adults...they don't deserve you sharing your passion with them..,.enuff said..

rreffner
01-01-2011, 01:57 AM
Mahalo for all the comments. What a great community Ukulele Underground is. Everyone have a safe and happy new year and thanks again for taking time to respond to the post.

Pippin
01-01-2011, 02:08 AM
IMO it's jealousy and a toxic need to get their sense of self empowerment by sh*tting on other people. Very very common dysfunctional behavior from unelightened, unkind, uncompassionate and really really insecure people with no solid inner sense of self worth. I feel sorry for people like that. They are damaged goods. Have compassion for them but disregard their behavior, they are on THE SAME LEVEL AS YELLOW MOLD, and probably the class bullies. If it comes up again you can ask them point blank why they would laugh at little kids having good clean innocent fun (your inner kid included)? Who shamed them when they were little to such an extent that they would feel the need to act out instead of setting a good example for children?

People like you on the other hand are the flip side, and the points of light within the human species. Keep up the good work!

I made a slight modification. :)

brickerenator
01-01-2011, 04:15 AM
1. The hecklers are the ones that can't play, or can play really well but seem to forget that they too were beginners at one point.

2. You had more fun than they did. Also, you kept several children preoccupied for a while, I'll bet they didn't.

3. Burn their house down.

OldePhart
01-01-2011, 01:03 PM
3. Burn their house down.
BWAAAA-HAAAAAA - and I was expecting to get grief for my comment about not bothering to visit that particular branch of the family anymore!
:biglaugh:
John

beardco
01-01-2011, 02:24 PM
Confucious say, "The ones laughing the hardest want to have Tiny Tim's love child."

Chap
01-02-2011, 02:44 AM
I've had family and close friends burst out laughing when I first told them I was learning the ukulele. :P I don't hold it against them, as was said earlier, for most people the image of the uke is still closely tied to Tiny Tim. I don't let that stop me, though, because others love it, and I'm having a great time.

Manalishi
01-02-2011, 05:00 AM
In the UK the most likely comment will be about George Formby
rather than Tiny Tim.But otherwise,everyone else here has given
sound advice.Ignore them.Those that can,do;and those that can't,
mock.Same applies to film and theatre critics really,not having the
ability to direct for themselves,it's way too easy to slate someone
else's efforts! Keep on pluckin' dude!

rasputinsghost
01-02-2011, 08:32 AM
I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea of supposed 'loved ones' who would cackle at the sight of a grandfather entertaining his grandchildren.
Keep up the good work.

Ukulele Jim
01-02-2011, 10:25 AM
Pardon my French, but your relatives are dicks.

Bill Mc
01-02-2011, 10:40 AM
Cast no more pearls in front of these swine.

Paul Cote
01-02-2011, 11:59 AM
well my wife doesn't seem to like my singing either lol.... You know I was into yoga way back and still am sorta... (chanting yoga) and I strummed my ukulele last night while singing my chants in my head and it was pretty awesome. My wife does not really like me playing and asks me to stop or take a break and now I wish I had a riptide so I could at least hear it louder... Shoot, I would duct tape the front hole...

knadles
01-02-2011, 03:51 PM
Your relatives may be fine people in other ways, but in this instance they sound like unthinking jerks. I would never be anything less than encouraging...especially in a home situation when someone's playing with the kids. I'll bet these schmoes don't play music. If they did, they'd have a different attitude. You go right on doing your thing with your head held high. Make a joyful noise!

-Pete

Plainsong
01-03-2011, 01:40 AM
It does sound like they broke Wheaton's First Rule.

If they laugh at the kids behind your back for liking it, it'll do lasting damage. When I was little, I was pretending to be a star with a broken microphone, singing badly into it and having the time of my life. My parents laughed at me. Now they weren't being dicks. I realize now that they were thinking "Oh, look how cute that is!" - but the result was I got it into my head that I couldn't sing and never even tried again until my senior year of high school. I progressed quickly, got into all-state choir, went on to major in it in college, even did a few operas (I'm the opposite of famous LOL).

And I NEVER EVER EVER let them hear me again. I just can't bring myself to do it. Even though they were totally supportive of me, did not mean it in the way I thought, it's just something I can never do. It probably had an affect on the paralyzing stage fright that made not continuing seem very attractive.

So you're an adult and you can dish it right back out, but don't let them sway the kids. It messed me up and wasn't even intentional. It was because they thought it adorable, but it still messed me up.

Speaking of insecurity, that's what it is of course. They've either note played a not in their lives or were last chair in the preschool band. You gotta compensate. They probably have compensation like cars too. ;)

I don't know if I could just ignore it. I might ask them privately if they have something to say, say it to my face, but then again I'm in a special mood today.

Mim
01-03-2011, 02:52 AM
I'm going to go out on a limb here. Your adult relatives may have been joking and making fun of you to cover up some jealousy. I think it's awesome that you and your grandkids have such a good time singing and playing together. Music has always been in my house and my relatives know better than to make fun of me. Not all families are like that. Some families treat the musical family members like they're weirdos. I think it secretly has to be because they're jealous they don't have the guts to sing, play, or dance in front of each other! At any rate, it was really stupid of them to make fun especially when the kids were having a good time. That's a sure way to make kids self-conscious about what they're doing. I'm glad you chose not to acknowledge it.

Now that you're back home, enjoy a much kinder audience (your Basset hound). :)

I have to second the jealousy thing. My sisters tease me mercilessly in front of me. Then I find out behind my back they are telling people I am really good. They are very musically inclined and have fantastic voices, and I think sometime it is hard for people to compliment other people on an ability they wish they had. Family can be so weird like that! But the uke is different... you are supposed to love that everyone plays, no matter what their ability! I love the Aloha Spirit surrounded the ukulele. They may not catch it now, but they will!