Ukuleles and other quirky pastimes

Ukes

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a member of the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective, and play in the Ukulele Big Band.

I first fell in love with the ukulele two years ago, when I saw MUK perform as part of the Darebin Music Feast.  I’d never played one before – or even entertained the thought that I would – but by the end of that gig, three audience members including myself were converted.  I went out the next day and bought my first uke.

We now have three ukuleles as a family – well, I’m the only one who plays them, but the baritone is officially Michael’s.  Meg had one, too – in baby pink – but I was really kidding myself when I bought it for her.  It had been untouched for almost a year when my ten-year-old niece, Jacqui, over from Adelaide for a visit, picked it up and started playing. 

Unbeknown to us, Jacqui had been learning classical guitar for a year. It only took her about three seconds to work out where the notes were and she started picking a blues number.  Needless to say, I sent it home with her.  If Meg ever wants one again, I’ll happily buy her another.

The other musical activity I’m involved in is singing in a country & western choir called Lipstick and Spurs.  I’d no more been a fan of country music than I had of ukuleles when I was asked to add my voice for a recording session that the choir was doing, but again I fell completely in love and have been part of it for a year now.  It is the best fun, and the choir members are a fantastic bunch.

I’m a latecomer to music performance, having only realised that I had a ‘voice’ when I was in my twenties. Singing only became really important to me after I lost my voice for eight months, about four years ago. More than anything, I missed singing with Meg and singing along with the radio, though if you’d asked me before I lost my voice, I would have said that I didn’t sing much at all. A persistent weakness has meant that the first thing affected by any stress or illness is my voice, so I have to be really careful with it.

Fortunately for me, singing has also been the best exercise I can give my vocal chords.  I bet there aren’t many people who can say that they sing on doctor’s orders (or, at least, on speech pathologist’s orders)!

I may have been a late bloomer in this area, but it has become a really important part of who I am, and it is all so much fun!  And life is serious enough – ukuleles, twangy country songs and lots of laughter are a good remedy for it.

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3 responses to “Ukuleles and other quirky pastimes

  1. Pingback: Singing Blog Feeds » Blog Archive » Ukuleles and other quirky pastimes

  2. Pingback: Lost & Sound

  3. Pingback: The Audreys at the Dream Festival « Blogday

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