My first job (after learning to spell ukulele... it's tricky!) was to go buy one. I went down to Tom Lee music, peeked around sheepishly for a few minutes, and finally gathered up the courage to talk to the music dude (technical term) about my intentions. It's not like I've never played an instrument before - I used to be quite the virtuoso pianist and cellist (the best was when we learnt the Jurassic Park theme. Perhaps, Caitlin and Liana, we should pull that out again for the new movie this summer?). But, as soon as high school rolled around, and I was the new kid in a new town, I chose to put down the instruments for fear of looking uncool. The fact that I wore Winnie the Pooh shirts and carried around Teletubbies - no problem! But be seen with an instrument? Never. The teenage years are strange. Anyways, flash forward a few years to university, where learning the recorder was a part of my higher education - really! School for teachers is the best. But, I think ever since then, I have been itching to get back into music.
So, here I was at Tom Lee, talking to the dude, trying to sound like I knew exactly what he was talking about. After a few back and forths, I settled on a nice mid-range priced ukulele, an electric tuner (because I was blessed with the ears of a tone deaf squirrel), and a book with some simple, introductory songs, cords, and lessons.
At first it was my goal (and I stuck to it pretty well) to practice every Sunday night. I would hide myself away in the bedroom, so as not to damage anyone else's eardrums, and pluck away at Mary had a Little Lamb and the like. Eventually, I got a bit better, and learned some fun songs (my favourite so far is Amazing Grace). At Christmas, I even went home and tried out the songs on my dad's banjo - it was so much fun! If you know me at all, or if you read the December post, you know that I have a strange love affair with Christmas songs, so needless to say my ukulele/banjo playing days were pretty hot and heavy around this time.
Things were going so well that one day at school I decided to brag to the music teacher about my progress. He oh so politely told me that practicing one day a week won't do sh*t. I needed to be doing it every day, or at least every second day, for the chords and notes to become second nature. Now I really had my work cut out for me. For a while, I was totally on top of this. I even memorized a couple of songs to play for my dad on his birthday.
But, as with the ocean tides and the popularity of Justin Beiber, things tend to ebb and flow. My ukulele playing days were no exception. While I still dust it off every once in a while, I have a feeling that it will be a sometimes friend until that Christmas spirit rolls around again.
Either way, I am so happy that I was able to reteach myself the notes and simple structures of reading music, and to learn a few cords and how to strum a couple of tunes. One day, it is an ultimate goal of mine, to get back to the cello and really learn to play it well. It is my hope that this reunion with music, brought to me by my lovely little uke, will be the kickstart I needed to keep playing, exploring, and learning about music.
Thanks for reading : )