Right now as many of us are sheltering in place, we have time on our hands. Several folks are learning something new. They are embracing the joy of music through learning the ukulele.
When you learn like a child, you can lose your inner critic. As adults we often berate ourselves when we don’t learn right away. We allow our expectations to get in the way of learning.
If you are willing to learn like a child, you will do something over and over again until you get it. Anyone who’s watched a baby learn to walk can see the determination of the baby in developing this skill. Well, that’s what learning ukulele can be like. You can become so absorbed in what you’re doing, that your mind becomes free of all the stresses around you.
Embrace Your Inner Child
I recently gave a lesson to someone who wanted to return to her ukulele. She described her day job as giving her inner PTSD. She wanted to get away from that. She felt that playing music would help her access her joy.
Laugh at Yourself
During the lesson many things that went wrong from breaking a string to messing up reading lyrics in a song. My student was laughing at herself before long and had returned to the joy that children have when they are engaged with learning something new.
The Ukulele is Soft, Gentle and Rewarding
At school, I teach children one of the hardest instruments around, the violin. However, the kids don’t get frustrated. When their sound is screeching and out of tune, they look at me and say, “Why is it doing that?” The child’s not causing the noise. Rather it’s the violin that is screechy. There is no inner criticism, simply an observation.
So, I answer the question. I explain how they can fix it. The child says, “Oh, I see” and tries again.
We’re lucky that the ukulele is much more forgiving than the violin with its beautiful gentle sounds and soft strings. The ukulele will reward with all of its joy and gentleness.
Children are used to learning new things. They’re used to being beginners and trying until they get it. Along the way, they experience joy in learning.
So now, in this time of sheltering in place, embrace your inner child, and try something new. Pick up the ukulele, embrace the joy of music, and learn how to play. You’ll be glad that you did.
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