The ukulele is a well liked musical instrument in today’s media. Performers like Grace Vanderwall have made the instrument incredibly popular, and now everyone is purchasing their own ukuleles. I jumped on the bandwagon of ukulele purchasing, but now I realize that purchasing my first ukulele has to be the best investment I have made so far. I have been learning how to play the ukulele for only about two months, but I have already seen the benefits of playing a musical instrument. The ukulele is incredibly easy to play, but it is also really fun. I can find myself sitting for hours on end, trying to play the right chords to learn the specific song from the musical Hamilton. Everyone should learn how to play the ukulele, because it is an incredibly fun instrument to play, and it is easy to take up.
First of all, playing the ukulele can be really calming. Whenever I feel frustrated or really upset, I pick up the ukulele and start attempting to play the chords that I learned the day before. Part of the reason that it is so calming is because it is incredibly easy to play. From my personal experience, playing the guitar can be difficult because it is so big and has 6 strings, which gets confusing. The ukulele has 4 strings, leaving one finger per string, and it is smaller, so it takes up less space and is easier to carry around. The varying sizes of ukulele, consisting of soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone ukuleles, make it easy for different people to play the same instrument. Another part of the reason that I find it so calming is the fact that I can learn whatever songs I want. Ukulele chords are more simple to learn than guitar chords, and I can play songs ranging from musical theater to pop with a handful of general chords and strumming patterns.
Also, ukulele has been really helpful in improving coordination. Juggling forming the chords with one hand, keeping a steady strumming pattern with the other, and singing along can be like trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time, but practice can not only improve playing ukulele, but it can help coordination in general. At first I could only do one thing at a time, either do the right chords, do the correct strumming pattern, or sing the right lyrics. After two months of practicing almost everyday, I can now do two of these at a time. After a few months of practice I might actually be able to complete all three at the same time, without any pauses. This can feel really rewarding. If music is something that you are mildly interested in playing, ukulele can help you broaden your horizons and learn a new skill that you can show off to others. The feeling that you achieved a goal is the best feeling in the world, and the ukulele allows for the creation of short term, and long term, goals that can be achieved at your own pace.
Learning ukulele has also let me spend less time on electronic devices, and more time doing something worthwhile. Usually, I would spend hours rotting away in front of a computer screen, watching a movie or tv show. Now, I have enjoyed playing ukulele so much, that instead of doing something useless, I’m improving my memory, my coordination, and my hearing. Playing ukulele has also encouraged me to work on my singing voice, because the original reason I bought one was to play along as I sing. My singing voice is not as developed as I want it to be, so by learning ukulele I am pushing myself to get better at singing. Playing ukulele can help you work towards something, and helps you waste less time.
I would definitely recommend buying and learning how to play the ukulele to everyone. If you enjoy music, or if you just want to take up a new hobby, ukulele is easy to learn, and is incredibly fun too. From my own experience, this can be really helpful to you, even if you play for a little while. It reduced the amount of time I spent on screens, I’ve improved my coordination, and I learned a new skill that I’ve wanted to learn for forever. The ukulele is a relatively cheap instrument, and easy to play. Everyone needs to try it out.
Iryna Panchuk – St. Ignatius – DMSF