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View Full Version : Taking solace in the uke at a tough time...



EricStetson
03-30-2011, 09:12 PM
It's been a while since I've visited the Underground or posted anything. I've moved across the country (from Statesboro, Georgia to Sacramento, California) and have been teaching lessons and playing gigs, planting my feet for a while. Lately I've been running into some pretty serious stress and had a family member die last week. I keep coming back to the ukulele and my students for comfort. I even got to see Jake Shimabukuro play on Sunday and it just about melted my face off. I'll attach a picture with me and a few of my students with Jake.

22211

Today just as I was sinking back into my little pity-funk I got a text from a student saying she would advance me lesson fees for a year to pay for a uke upgrade, a brand spankin' new Kanile'a that I have yet to pick out.

You hear it time and time again, that we're "spreading aloha" with our music and with this instrument, but I'm really experiencing it now in a powerful way. Right after the picture with Jake was taken, he turned to me, shook my hand and said "Thank you for helping spread the joy of the instrument." I want to extend that to all of you - thank you for spreading joy with music and this wonderful little instrument that has brought so many people out of the kinds of stress and grief I am going through. We really are making the world a better place.

Uke Republic
03-30-2011, 09:16 PM
Way to go Eric!
It's been a while since I've visited the Underground or posted anything. I've moved across the country (from Statesboro, Georgia to Sacramento, California) and have been teaching lessons and playing gigs, planting my feet for a while. Lately I've been running into some pretty serious stress and had a family member die last week. I keep coming back to the ukulele and my students for comfort. I even got to see Jake Shimabukuro play on Sunday and it just about melted my face off. I'll attach a picture with me and a few of my students with Jake.

22211

Today just as I was sinking back into my little pity-funk I got a text from a student saying she would advance me lesson fees for a year to pay for a uke upgrade, a brand spankin' new Kanile'a that I have yet to pick out.

You hear it time and time again, that we're "spreading aloha" with our music and with this instrument, but I'm really experiencing it now in a powerful way. Right after the picture with Jake was taken, he turned to me, shook my hand and said "Thank you for helping spread the joy of the instrument." I want to extend that to all of you - thank you for spreading joy with music and this wonderful little instrument that has brought so many people out of the kinds of stress and grief I am going through. We really are making the world a better place.

Lexxy
03-30-2011, 09:20 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss Eric.. We know it's never easy when a person we loves, leaves this world. Hope the uke cheers you up :)

I'm glad that what Jake said and did made you feel better :)

Pippin
03-30-2011, 09:31 PM
I begin many days with a ukulele or guitar in my hand, quietly finger-picking and sipping the morning brew. Music is a great way to stay mellow and help get you through those tough times in life. Some of the best songwriters of all time made it thought life turning their experiences into music, whether happy or sad.

Ukulele JJ
03-31-2011, 01:08 AM
Sorry to hear about your family member, Eric. But music sure is a good friend in times like this, isn't it?

To quote a Shawn Colvin song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67flP6YePgs):

If there were no music
Then I would not get through
I don't know why I know these things
But I do


JJ

mm stan
03-31-2011, 01:17 AM
Aloha Eric,
It is the reason for me pcking up the ukulele the second time around, My father died and my cousin played at his funeral...it was the nicest thing I ever heard and was stunned...it help me get through the
greiving period by filling the void with the distraction of the sweet sounds....It really worked for me...
sorry to hear of your loss...I hope it may help you as it has help me.....

dkcrown
03-31-2011, 01:50 AM
Sorry to hear about you loss Eric. But how great is it to have the best remedy in the world literally at your finger tips, when ever you need it, to lift your spirits. Playing the ukulele has never made me sad. May you continue to be filled with the Aloha Spirit.

joeybug
03-31-2011, 02:28 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss, Eric...I am glad you can find comfort in the Uke, I know it's something I turn to when feeling down, it's hard not to smile when you pluck the strings..

Thank you for sharing the Aloha spirit with us!

bbycrts
03-31-2011, 06:27 AM
This is the best thing I've read all day. I'm sorry to hear about your family member - but what a joy to hear your testament to the happiness this little instruments brings with it! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Kanaka916
03-31-2011, 06:32 AM
I'm sorry for your recent loss. Whereabouts in the Capitol City are you? There's a Friday night Kanikapila at L&L in the Lake Crest Shopping Center (http://www.transitunlimited.org/Lake_Crest_Village_Shopping_Center). It's off of I5 at the Florin Rd (West) exit. Bunch of folks from the Islands get together and just havin fun. Starts about 6:30/7:00 thru 10 P.M.

808boy
03-31-2011, 06:48 AM
Aloha Eric,
Sorry about your lost and tough times. I had a time like that not to long ago. The uke, the UU forum and especially the UU members really helped me through my tough times. Music does soothe the soul.
Mahalo for spreading the joy of music and the Aloha Spirit that comes with the ukulele.
May you find peace soon..............................BO.............. .............

Nickie
03-31-2011, 07:15 AM
Eric,
Way to go. Being a Hospice nurse, I see loss on a regular basis. The patient might not be a relative or friend, or even someone I knew,
but I can still feel the family's and friend's pain and grief.
My little uke is my drug of choice, to make me feel much better. Even though I have an injury that isn't healing well, I played for my patient and patient care giver last night. It was only a couple of songs, but they enjoyed it nonetheless. And they recognized the songs!
They had been totally unaware that anyone even played the uke anymore!

Tudorp
03-31-2011, 07:47 AM
Sorry for your recent loss and personal stress.. Just be thankful that we have such a peaceful instrument to turn to in times like this.. Spreading it is a joy and helps the heart and soul too.. Good JuJu....

God Bless

jonesjimbo
03-31-2011, 07:47 AM
Thank you for sharing your stories Eric and Nickie!

You are using the ukulele to take something sad and make it more pleasant. For me, the ukulele just seems to have that quality about it. It is uplifting and peaceful.

I am pretty new here and am especially glad to read this thread on UU after reading through the thread on the new Kamuke magazine, which contains quite a bit of unpleasant bantering.

uncle phil
03-31-2011, 07:54 AM
Peace to you and your family Eric.

casarole45
03-31-2011, 08:06 AM
Good to hear from you buddy. Sorry for your loss, glad to see your doing such positive stuff though.

mds725
03-31-2011, 09:12 AM
Sorry for the loss of a loved one and the stresses you've been having. I'm glad you've been able to find comfort in your ukulele. Teaching is a special gift, and teaching music is the work of angels.

Maiyah888
03-31-2011, 05:37 PM
*sending all good wishes to Eric and everyone else dealing with tough times*

It's good to hear that you're taking comfort in your music and your students. I know when I first introduced my ukulele to my "at risk" kids' songwriting project last week, they all squeeeeeeeed with delight and more than one said "You should teach us all how to play that, b/c it's so happy-making."

Thanks for being a role model of uke-advocacy.

EricStetson
04-01-2011, 11:13 AM
Wow I just came back to this thread to see all these kind responses. Gosh, I've been feeling like a pregnant woman getting all worked up over the slightest thing - this really lifts my spirits quite a bit. Rock on guys, thank you so much.