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Ukulele Reports
Updates on ukulele classes and events around the world.

Thursday Island, Torres Straight
Haines, Alaska, U. S. A.
Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Thursday Island, Torres Straight

Thursday Island (TI) was all ukuleles last week, with the visit of Cairns Ukulele Festival organiser, Gaby Thomasz. Gaby, who also manages Music City in Cairns had met Tagai College Primary School teacher Mr. Jeff Waia at the shop where he admired the large range of ukuleles after he returned from a visit to Hawaii.

Mr. Waia returned to TI with a new found love for the ukulele, which he wanted to share with the kids of the school. Not long after he established a ukulele group at the school, he contacted Gaby and enquired about the possibilities of conducting a workshop at the school. Two weeks later Netherlands-born Gaby found herself in TI, surrounded by island culture and a group of kids keen to learn the instrument that was once an integral part of island music.

The kids took to the ukulele like fish to water, absorbing a huge amount of chords, technique and songs on the first day of the workshop. Gaby was amazed with the student's natural talent and rhythm. "The kids definitely have what I call the 'Island gene.' There is a sense of rhythm and music, something you don't always find down south."

Monday morning, many of the kids literally turned up with blisters on their fingers, as they had been practicing the ukulele all weekend.

Another workshop at the College for both students and interested parents and teachers was offered the following morning. Mr. Waia's students turned up for another dose of ukulele and some parents joining their kids this time.

Monday morning, many of the kids literally turned up with blisters on their fingers, as they had been practicing the ukulele all weekend. After a warm-up Mr. Waia suggested the group perform in front of their peers in various class rooms, and not long after the school was singing along with the ukulele group to popular tunes such as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

With Mr. Waias ukulele group well and truly up and running, we are expecting big things from this group and look forward to the first live performance, which no doubt will be very soon!

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Haines, Alaska, U. S. A.
By Linda Moyer

A number of kids tell their parents that ukulele is their favorite part of school.

We've been working with our ukulele students since October 2009; they've learned about twelve chords and a number of songs. We're currently working on "Hawaiian Superman."

About 15 kids received ukuleles for Christmas presents and a number of kids tell their parents that ukulele is their favorite part of school.

In April, we're planning an ukulele week. We've invited a few musicians from Hawaii to work with the kids during the school day and others in the evening. The week culminates with a Friday-night kanikapila, followed by a Saturday-night luau and concert.

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Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada
By Angela Dwyer-James

I've had some really great uke moments with my groups lately. My elementary group performed at the music festival and did really well. They were asked to play at the Stars of the Festival concert. Recently my adult group of 12 ladies played at a local seniors home. It went very well and the group was asked to come back! A good sign!

My little group of children who practise on Friday nights were asked to play as guests at a concert sponsored by a local Barbershop Choir. They played really well and the audience loved them. They even got paid 50 dollars so they were thrilled to be considered "professionals"!

So, things are progressing here in Truro, NS.

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Do you teach a ukulele group? Are you a student in a ukulele class? If so, send us an update on your activities: what you've learned recently and what you're learning now. Make sure to include your name and location.

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