The State of Hawai’i was just about to pass a bill to name the ukulele as the state instrument. But, fans of other instruments spoke up to request that their musical instrument such as the ‘ipu gourd and steel guitar also be considered. I wish I was gifted in playing the ukulele, but unfortunately, even after several attempts, my fingers hurt from strumming the nylon string and gripping the neck of the instrument.
This week here in Hilo nei we are in the midst of the Merrie Monarch hula festivities. On stage while the hula dancers are performing a hula ‘auana (modern hula), the back up singers will be accompanied by musicians or they themselves will readily be playing a ukulele. It is one of those instruments that is small enough to be easily transported and available during an impromptu back yard jam.
Several intermediate schools here in Hawai’i offer ukulele classes in school. They even have marching ukulele bands that perform at various events in the community. I wish they offered this option when I was young. Perhaps I would be playing the ukulele, too.
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