Ukraine ukes • Music teach fail • More songs • Car ad
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Odessa no lesser
Ben from Ukulele Road Trips is currently in the Ukraine and not only did I receive an entertaining, illustrated and multilingual postcard from there, but he has been busy sharing his ukulele knowledge and vocal talents at Ukrainian orphanages as part of the Ukuleles for Ukraine initiative. Being children (and having a different language than Ben, for the most part), they inevitably managed to find their own entertainment somewhere in between listening, ukeing, clapping and playing air ukulele. Ben, meanwhile, was performing/teaching the obviously now worldwide standards of The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and La Mer with a smorgasbord of languagues, kazoo accompaniment and general mayhem.
Enjoy the chaos in the video and check out the links!

To teach music...or to have a cigarette?
This tragicomic quote from Paul McCartney in educator Ken Robinson's 2009 book The Element shows there is still hope in the absence of music teaching...
"I didn't like music at school because we weren't really taught it. Our class was just thirty teenage Liverpool lads. The music teacher would come in and put an old LP of classical music on this old turntable and then walk out. He'd spend the rest of the lesson in the common room having a cigarette. So as soon as he'd gone, we turned the gramophone off and posted a guy at the door. We got the playing cards and cigarettes out and spent the whole lesson playing cards. It was great. We just thought of music as card-playing lessons. Then when he was coming back, we put the record back on, right near the end. He asked us what we thought, and we'd say 'It was great that, sir!' I really can't remember anything else about music at school. Honestly. That's all we ever did. The music teacher completely failed to teach us anything about music. I mean, he had George Harrison and Paul McCartney in his classes as kids and he couldn't interest us in music. George and I both went through school and no one ever thought we had any kind of musical talent at all."
More songs to play
In 2013, Vance Joy (James Keogh) delighted Australia and elsewhere with his huge indie hit featuring baritone uke, Riptide. Not long after though, every ukulele player started to dread the thought of hearing it yet again or having to play it for the ten-thousandth time. Even though one of his most recent songs Fire and the Flood does not to my knowledge include a ukulele part, it soooo lends itself to playing by jumping flea-infested groups that I couldn't let it pass!
Furthermore, as an antidote to all those over-simplified, key of C excuses for playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, here is the chance to make your peace with barre chords while accompanying Judy as she lets loose with a barrage of hope, sentimentality and rip-roaring talent in the Wizard of Oz...
Hyundai Accent - "Ukulele"
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Confirming the ukulele's status amongst the twenty-something cashed up demographic - here is the latest ad for the Hyundai Accent.
effects pedals are fun
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