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Ukulele Hayley: 12/01/15
My daughter is very passionate about her arts and crafts. Although she often creates art for arts sake, sometimes she uses it as a way to get (meaning make) something she thinks we won't (or can't) get for her.
About a month before her eight birthday she started gathering together the pieces for a new big project. She brought to the living room: an old shoe box, a ruler, some fishing line, and packing tape. Out of talking to her about what she was doing (and to save the ruler which she and her brother need for homework from becoming part of an art project), I got her to ask for what she really wanted. She wanted a ukulele for her birthday.
I'm still not entirely sure where or how she decided she wanted to learn how to play a ukulele (pronounced oo-koo-lay-lee, as she loves to remind me). But she's not alone in the sentiment. Most of our family seems to have taken it up (or in the case of my father, re-taken it up).
For her birthday, rather than a bunch of small items, we made a trek out to a music store in Walnut Creek that specializes in ukuleles. There she picked a pink one and an electronic tuner. Later for Christmas she accessorized with a white case for her instrument.
Before she began lessons, my daughter decided to see what she could learn about the ukulele on her own. One of the books she found was a chapter book, Ukulele Hayley by Judy Cox.
Hayley is nervous about the upcoming talent show because she doesn't seem to have any talents that can be performed on stage. While looking for a way out of the show, she comes across an old ukulele at a garage sale. She convinces her parents to let her buy it and the school's music teacher helps her learn a short piece of music in time for the show.
It's a cute book and my daughter definitely connected with it. As someone who had to survive through the yearly talent show at school, I didn't find the book quite as endearing. I usually ended up as a stage hand, except for a couple times my jazz and gymnastics talented best friend wrangled us up for a group thing.
So far my daughter hasn't performed for anyone save for us and our cats. Salmon cat seems especially fond of her playing.