Coffs Coast kids picking up the ukulele in Schools

Liam and Kai are amongst the many Coffs Coast residents learning the ukulele.


INTERNATIONAL music stars Jimmy Buffett and Jason Mraz have played them for a long time, Sir Paul McCartney played The Beatles’ hit “Something” using one during his Australian tour and ARIA winner Vance Joy has inspired millennials to take it up.

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Ukuleles can be played easily with small hands and old hands, so they have a growing popularity in primary schools, such as Naranga Public School, as well as with older Australians.

They are easily portable and, because they have only four strings, can be learned quickly.

Learning to play is almost “instant gratification” because anyone can play a simple song after one lesson.

Groups are increasing in the Coffs Coast area and many people, of all ages, have lessons and take part in group jam sessions.

For those who want more of a challenge, there are innumerable videos on YouTube.

The ABC reported, in March, that ukuleles topped musical instrument imports to Australia with about 200,000 each year, more than acoustic guitars.

Ukulele prices range from less than $50 up to $500, so they are affordable for most people.

The Coffs Guitar shop sells between 60 to 80 ukuleles each month and ukulele song books are very popular.

Local customers range from school age through to senior citizens and, for the majority, the ukulele is their first instrument.

As well as providing a creative outlet, there is a social dimension to playing the ukulele, especially in retirement homes where residents enjoy playing in groups.

The ABC report dubbed the ukulele “the happy instrument” because it allows non-professionals to make music and brings joy to players and listeners alike.


By Andrew VIVIAN

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