Aloha!

Welcome to a new page for all you uke-lovers out there with a story to share. We want to know how the uke has inspired you, aided or guided you, how it brought joy to you or those around you, how you found new friends through playing, how you found your mate....and how you would like to share your story with the rest of the world. We want to know! 

Annie's story gave me an idea to start this page (read Annie's story below). I am looking forward to a picture of her and her family at the uke club on her farm which I've requested. Hopefully it will inspire others to start a club or something of their own as well. 

To any uke players out there – if you have an inspiring story to share, please email umonline@ukulelemovement.com. 


 

Aloha Simon, 

My boyfriend took up the uke as he was approaching 65 because he noticed his memory skills were not what they used to be. He was looking for ways to stave off the declining cognitive function that often accompanies the aging process and had read that  the "use it or lose it" theory is applicable to the brain of seniors as well as the body. Learning to play a musical instrument is a brain training activity that will help us old folk keep our brain cells perky.... so he bought himself a ukulele and started strumming. 

He had never in his life played an instrument before, loved it, practiced diligently and even let himself start singing. It's a wonderful instrument for all ages. Anything that made my bf so happy....well I had to have some too, so I took it up as well and started a Ukulele club on our farm. Now we have lots of other seniors playing, as well as young folk. My daughter and my boyfriend's daughter and two grandchildren are playing now too.  

It is so infectious, puts smiles on your face and if it can stave off flaking brain cells and alzheimers, who can resist it?

So there's a few more reasons to add to your list!
Mahalo,
Happy strumming:~)))
Annie Stiefel
Pahoa, Hawaii,
Newtown CT
 

 

Hi Simon,

Greetings from England, U.K.! I linked to Ukulele Movement from the Top 50 Ukulele Sites and thoroughly enjoyed browsing the web pages. I am not a uke player, but wondered if the unique ukulele my late father created fits with “Share Your Real Life Uke Stories?”

Jack Hall created this Soprano Ukulele in 1984 at the age of 79 years. It is entirely made with throw away wood matchsticks...10,000 matchsticks were individually joined together with hide glue.

Matchsticks for the curved portions were pre-soaked in water and bent, and the glued-together sections were weighted into shape with the aid of flat-irons, fire bricks and pans of water. The carving was fashioned with a knife, a file and a straight-edge razor; finishing touches accomplished with graded sandpaper, before the clear varnish seal was applied.

The main distinguishing features are the burnt matchstick ornamentation. The blackened, burnt match-heads were ingeniously interlocked to form herring bone and diamond designs on the front and back of the body, with soldier columns on the body sides and peg head front. The original white wood has aged nicely to a rich gold colour.

Construction was completed in four hundred hours...working five hours per day. Jack completed the project with a case entirely made with 200 Cardboard MatchBoxes.

The ukulele is part of a collection in the book of Guinness World Records, 2003 Edition.  Abbreviated text says, "Tony Hall (UK) owns 10 playable musical instruments made entirely from 106,000 used wooden matchsticks."

There are some new photos of the ukulele and its case on my flickr photostream at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/52858221@N04/

Tony Hall, UK


 

Hi Simon,

I just found out Ukelele Movement through a friend who is now crazy about ukelele! hehe...anyway, i just thought of sharing my real life story about my love of ukelele and hopefully could inspire other uke lovers.

I started out playing ukelele 20 years back. I carried my ukelele to primary school everyday for our flag raising and retreat ceremonies. In the Philippines, we usually sing our national anthem before we start our classes everyday. I used to lead the ukelele club and participate on talent showcase during Girl Scout campings playing songs with my ukelele during campfire sessions. I felt really bad when my cousin accidentally broke my old ukelele. I remember crying the whole day because of that. My dad bought a replacement, not a ukelele, but a guitar instead and so, I stopped playing the ukelele and found out love in guitar. However, years and years have passed but everytime I see a ukelele, my happy thoughts of childhood brings back. It cheers me up everytime I hear the sound of it. It's just amazing how a small size friend (ukelele) occupies a big space in your heart.

Now that I found out about UM Loft, I could somehow continue my love and passion to ukelele. Thanks for showing me the way back to my long lost love. I'm certainly getting a new ukelele soon!

Cheers,
Ross