The Greater Syracuse School of Music Ukulele Program
“Who would want to play a ukulele?” you ask. Apparently over 50 people, so far. Since this experiment to answer that very question, we have had about that many take ukulele lessons through The Greater Syracuse School of Music. After concluding 8-10 weeks of fun group classes, we have held sing-outs at over 20 ice cream stands during the summer months, under the tag of Ukulele and Ice Cream Therapy.
For additional fun, some of us went on a ukulele evening cruise in 2015 with 100 ukulele players on the Erie Canal. Also this year, some of us attended a concert starring the famous Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Some attended a concert with world-famous virtuoso ukulele performer, Jake Shimabukuro in 2012. A new activity for us was completed last week when 9 of us built our own ukuleles from a kit, creating unique, colorful instruments that sound as good as they look.
Each semester we host a beginners’ class and an intermediate players’ class. At the end of the ten week beginners’ class, the students are ready to join the experienced players. They will know about 20 chords and about the same number of songs. We use the book, The Daily Ukulele, the edition with the yellow cover, containing 365 songs. The book can be bought on-line.
Beginners means beginners: most have never played the ukulele and for many, this is their first time ever learning an instrument. The participants are delighted to find out how easy it is and how much fun it is. Both groups are intergenerational. Our youngest students are 6-7 years old. We have teens, adults, including retired people. We love the difference in ages and how the mixture of voices sounds so rich and vibrant. We welcome everyone.