Great teaching • Tempo • Christmas Uke CD • New • Felice Navidad
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Music for all
The above picture shows happy kids with music at their fingertips and it goes with a story to match. I think anyone who teaches ukulele in schools or to youngsters in groups will nod in agreement as they follow the narrative of this teacher from Illinois in the USA, as she navigates funding imperatives and student engagement. Having recently combed through the music sections of the Australian National school curriculum and the curricula for each (Australian) State, I can also say that the methods this teacher uses would dovetail beautifully with any of them. 
Staying in time, all the time
At a recent community music event, I was interested to notice that even with a bass player and even amongst the most experienced ukers, if a group was spread across the stage, keeping time with each other could be very difficult. It was perhaps compounded by participants having to read their songsheets and not always being able to look up at the conductor, although that's what happens in most orchestras - players read music and still keep in time via glances at the conductor...not to mention their years of experience and countless hours of practice!
However, there's a bit more to it than that. Many bands have a drummer or other percussion which can unite the tempo, but a study has been done that looked at two internationally recognised string quartets, and how they keep in time without a conductor or percussion. Each quartet does it in a slightly different way and the results are fascinating!
Meanwhile in a place far, far away....
Looking for a quality collection of delightful Christmas songs played on uke and sung angelically, to calm frayed nerves and/or inspire the loved one who's receiving your gift of a ukulele this year? Of course you are!
Our European travelling minstrel, Ben, from Ukulele Road Trips recorded an album 'A Ukulele Christmas' in Ukraine and has just released it on Bandcamp. It has a great retro feel, fun arrangements and songs in English, French and German or all three in one of them. You can even send it as a gift (love last minute digital gift-giving). Price is a mere 7 euros (around AUD $10.60) which will go toward the next leg/s of his journey spreading the message and benefits of joyous ukulele playing across European nations in 2016 - read his heartwarming description of it here.
Go Ben!
Changes to Ukulele Central in 2016
This is the last Resonate for 2015. Thank you for the many positive comments from those of you who enjoy the newsletter. The other day I counted that with ukulele and Ubass teaching, leading and various music groups, I reach around 70 - 80 people per week, face to face, and it is my joy and honour to be able to do this. I also like figuring out ways to make things better, easier and more fulfilling for ukulele players and teachers and so Ukulele Central will be taking the first of its two major steps into an exciting new direction, on 3 January 2016. See you then!
Feliz Navidad - José Feliciano - (Live 1973 in Dänemark).wmv
Season's Greetings to all, and to the genius of José Feliciano for one of the simplest, most enjoyable Christmas songs ever written, Felice Navidad. Not only does it have a great Latin rhythm, it can be repeated as many times as it takes to encourage your Christmas guests to sing along...or to leave, when Auntie Beryl's started reorganising the kitchen cupboards and after half a bowl of punch Uncle Ted is trying to make a telephone call to his dog on the remote.
It's much easier to find peace and joy when you've got a ukulele to help you!
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