UKES ARE AOK - so why?

Can we all learn something from the recent popularity of ukuleles?
I’ve been chatting with our friend Mike, who runs a local ukulele group. He’s just returned from the Cardiff Ukelele Festival, held at one of the city’s most prestigious venues, St David’s Hall. This was the third annual festival, and the crowds have doubled in size each year – to the extent that the vast St David’s Hall had to close the doors at 1:30pm as there were simply too many people to fit in! Unusually, the surging crowd covered the generations as well.

So what was pulling in all these people? The publicity promised wide ranging ukulele talents from around the UK, soloists and bands, and chances for everyone to join in playing or singing. And let’s not forget the stalls selling ukes and uke paraphernalia.

In June, the 3-day Ukelele Festival of Wales will be...

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Just back from a pleasant afternoon playing for a local club where many members have (or know a family member who has) a visual impairment. I was telling them about the free on-line music lessons we now offer for those who want to learn to play keyboard, especially designed for those who are losing or have lost their sight. One of the audience suggested I produce some posters about it, and she would take them to the local blind clubs, doctors surgeries, libraries and so on. What a great idea!

These lessons grew out of a series of courses Tony and I ran with the RNIB, when we were teaching people who had just lost their sight to take up the wonderful new hobby of keyboard playing. When the RNIB were financially forced to close their hotels, the courses had to end. We decided to turn the idea into a series...

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