Thursday, November 18, 2010

Making Music with a Jumping Flea

Today’s Star Tribune contains an article about the comeback of the ukulele, which apparently means “jumping flea” in Hawaiian.  Now that the instrument has been featured on Glee and in YouTube videos by performing artists like Julia Nunes, it’s achieved a degree of hipness that it couldn’t have dreamed of back in the Tiny Tim days.

It’s fun to see people rediscover an instrument that has so much going for it, including portability (Louisa was just saying this morning, as she lugged her French horn out to the bus, that perhaps she should have chosen the oboe).  The ukulele also is easy to play and has a cheerful sound.

The My Musical Family household has been enjoying ukulele music for several years now, ahead of the trend.  Steve and I bought a ukulele for Elias for his birthday three years ago.  The instrument caught Steve’s eye as we were browsing at Eastman Music in Faribault.  This was around the time that Sebastian was starting on the viola, so it seemed like a good idea for Elias to have something of his own to play.
Elias with his ukulele.
This was also around the time that we fixed the old ukulele that had belonged to Steve’s maternal grandfather, Hubert Stewart.  Since then, we’ve been a two-ukulele family.
Grandpa Stewart’s ukulele.
I think Grandpa Stewart would be pleased.  I won’t attempt to speak for Tiny Tim.

1 comment:

  1. Steve just informed me that I misspelled ukulele throughout my post. Ack! Clearly I am not the ukulele aficionado in the family. At least I was consistent. I have now corrected the mistake.