Monday, August 29, 2016

Ukulele Lessons: Learning Better in a Group

Earlier this summer, I was part of a group from church who had 5 weeks of ukulele lessons.  We had such a great time that we decided to keep meeting once a month.  Yesterday was our first meeting.

We could bring music to share or a piece to sing by ourselves.  My spouse spent some time yesterday afternoon looking for a piece we could present, him on violin and me on ukulele.  In the end, we just didn't have enough time.  He can see a piece and play it fairly easily.  I am still having trouble shifting chords.

The only time I've picked up my ukulele was a few weeks ago when we met some members of the group met at Too&, a bar in the trendy Las Olas section of Ft. Lauderdale.  I should remember to pick up my ukulele when we're watching TV--just to work on fingering.

But last night was fun, despite my lack of practicing.  It's wonderful to get together, to play music to the best of our ability, and to sing--after a wonderful meal, of course.

I've been part of other groups that have a similar agenda--but what made last night different was that we all have varying levels of ability--and most of us are very new to the ukulele.  I've been part of folk music groups that seemed almost professional.  My spouse would point out that most members only had 10 songs that they could play--and they played them, again and again and again.

It's interesting being part of this group where only one of us has been playing more than a year.  I've watched some of my friends go from knowing nothing to being able to play proficiently in less than a year.  It gives me hope.  It's unlike some groups where I feel despair, thinking, I will never play like that, even if I practice 3 hours a day.

So many of my creative activities are essentially done alone.  It's wonderful to be in a group, working to improve, cheering each other on. 

Let me remember this, as I structure my creative life.  Perhaps I can apply those lessons in other parts of my creative life too.

I wonder where we'll all be, in terms of proficiency, next year or 5 years from now.  One thing is sure--we'll be further than we would have been if we had never picked up the ukulele.  I will be better than I would be if I picked it up on my own.

No comments: