Sunday 21 April 2013

Playing Ukulele

My ukulele band have played two gigs this week. It was the first time I'd performed with them; I've only been playing uke for about six months now.

I'd forgotten how difficult and how rewarding performing can be - the last time I was on stage was high school choir and I certainly didn't get to sing a solo then.
A group of people sitting behind music stands, holding ukuleles, discussing something animatedly.
Playing ukulele is heaps of fun. We practise at the pub weekly, and I toodle alone at home a couple of times a week. It's fun to play, but it's hard to perform in front of an audience.

Our first gig was at a special school in Mangere (imagine quote marks around the word "gig" maybe, but the school gave us each a box of chocolates, so we are technically professional musicians). The kids were a perfect audience - they danced and sang and generally really enjoyed having us there (and not being in class).

It was harder to sing in front of people I know, people I really care about. Especially since I'm not, you know, very good. (What if I miss that note and I see them cringe?)
Jeremy, singing, and me, looking worried.
Despite that, there's something primal about making music in a group. Something about lifting your voice in harmony with others that feels more than right, that feels satisfying on some deep level.

I led the singing on With a Little Help From my Friends and then after the show we sat and drunk beer and talked for hours and I thought about how lucky I am.
Four people, holding ukuleles. I am looking down and smiling - someone else is grinning and waving at the camera.


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