Spring comes as an intrepid explorer to our little corner of Montana this year; cautiously and slowly springtime advances. It peeks around the edges of the garden, tentatively greening the honeysuckle and gooseberry bushes. Soon the Trillium will be blooming in the forests. I’d forgotten what a hard winter felt like, but this last one certainly did remind me.
How many Monday nights did we walk home from our Ukulele classes in the boot-top snow? Nearly every week until just the last month we would leave our gatherings, go outside to wind and huge flakes, or frigid temperatures. I truly appreciate and admire the members of our Jam group who faithfully would brave the cold nights to come and play music at the school with us. Every Monday night. This is our second year of teaching Ukulele to community members, ranging in ages from 25 to 85, through the adult education program. Our Uke Jam has grown from the classes and so has the music and the laughter.
So, if anyone asks how we spent the long winter, I’d have to say we spent it playing the Ukulele. After six weeks of classes the beginner students have joined our regular community Uke Jam. We play a mix of easy and difficult songs ranging from You are my Sunshine, Five Foot Two, to more difficult songs like the Beatles: All My Lovin’ or When Irish Eyes are Smiling. We play a lot of current hits along with spirituals and folk songs. With only two exceptions, all of these people came to the classes saying: ” I am not musical. ” Well wow, they were certainly wrong about that! Below our friends playing in our living room.
The practice of playing music in one’s living room, the art of making music in community is finding its place in peoples’ lives again because of this wonderful, little instrument. And our small town is just one tiny snippet of the world-wide rediscovery of the Uke. They call it the Ukulele Revolution. Matthew and I marvel at the stories we’ve been honored to witness in the last two years we’ve been teaching these classes and leading the Uke Jam. Talk about enriching our lives and feeding the soul – music will open the doors to your heart.