Uke Your Way to Happiness



When I bought my first ukulele on a whim a number of years ago I never imagined I would end up buying two more and playing uke performances every few months in Los Angeles California of all places! But since then, the uke has transformed into so much more than just a cute yet mostly decorative instrument that I “should learn to play some day”. That “some day” is now and I’ve been taking group lessons for nearly two years in Manhattan Beach at Dietz Brothers Music School. Let me tell you something, music lessons are not just for kids, silly rabbit. They are for everyone of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. It’s not just an instrument for people who spend most of their time on the beaches of Hawaii either. The only thing it requires is a love of music… well practice and a little patience too. 

Such a sense of fun and nonjudgmental acceptance by a group of people brought together for one reason: to learn and play the ukulele! I love that our teacher is less about theory and all about about playing. She teaches us theory along the way, but we get the instant gratification of learning new songs every week at class. The school is very close to my place, class starts later in the evening so I’m not being rushed through rush hour AND I get to bring Elliott, who has become the class mascot. What’s there not to love about this set up? 

Music has been an integral part of my being since the womb, I’m sure. And a life without music would be a terribly sad existence. I played the recorder for the Recorder Society in elementary school, and then went on to be the first chair floutist in the State of Colorado through Colorado Honor Band and now, many moons later, here I am strumming and singing a wide assortment of hits, both past and present, on the ukulele. I can certainly say, your brain will never dull while learning something new like an instrument. Man, it sure takes some hand/eye/brain coordination to pull this all together and I’m hardly a pro, but I do okay! Of course I practiced my other instruments a lot more and didn’t have an office job to drain my brain like I do now, but such is life, right? Hell, if a woman 20+ years older than me can learn to play the banjo then I can surely learn the ukulele.

The point I’m trying to make is, these little 4 (and 6) stringed pieces of carved wood have brought me such joy, accomplishment, belonging and happiness while feeding music to my spirit on a regular basis and then, every so often, I get to perform a few songs within the safe confines of a group for others to enjoy. And if and when I’m lucky, I can wrangle up someone I know to come watch!  

After last night’s performance, I just felt the need to share my love of music from a different perspective than my usual concert replay. Playing an instrument as an adult is highly underrated and is a somewhat untapped source of happiness that every single human could benefit from. Don’t just listen to other people’s music. Make your own music! It’s good for the soul! 


6 thoughts on “Uke Your Way to Happiness

  1. Anna M Overley

    I think it’s fantastic! We all need something to call or own and to bring us together. You get the satisfaction of making beautiful music and touching the souls of those that hear you play. I love that you play the ukulele!


  2. Sally reynolds

    Aloha, Sally ! Your essays came to me via my sister, Sue Reynolds, when I asked whether she knew of anyone who blogs and how to get the whole thing started. Magically, with a name I can certainly remember , I am introduced to your words and your site. This is Virgin territory for me , but thought I might expand my audience beyond the lengthy emails my friends receive.

    Do you have any suggestions as to how to begin. Is there a learning curve ? Any wisdom you can empart would be most appreciated !

    Mahalo !

    Sally Reynolds

    Ps. Johnny rivers should have acted blessed that he had an eager audience of warm bodies. It’s always a shame when the music and man don’t match. As for me , I will always love my rod Stewart though I don’t think he will be signing cd’s anytime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well hi Sally Reynolds! So nice to meet you! Your sister is too cool for school! Thank you so much for checking out my blog and I will give you a few pieces of advice, although I am hardly a famous blog writer! Ha! I would say, tag the crap out of it so you can grab people who are searching by key words, places, people or things. Write from the heart and photos are always fun!
      As for Johnny Rivers, yeah that was a bit of a disappointment but what can you do? I generally always try to stay as upbeat as possible but I think a splash of candid honesty is always good and keeps things real. As for Rod, I trust you’ve seen him before? In Vegas? He’s so adorable! Although his Vegas show is pretty short but you gotta love Rod!
      Please email me at if you want to chat more offline. Thanks again for reading and good luck!


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