The Selly Oak Live at Home Scheme asked for our help to buy some ukuleles to set up a group for people over the age of 50 to be able to learn to play the ukulele.
Here’s what happened next in their words:
“The grant has enabled a group of 16 people over the age of 50 years to learn to play the ukulele. The group age range is 52 to 85 years. They met each week for 14 weeks with a music tutor who taught them how to master the art of ukulele playing. After week 3, most of the group were able to play two songs. Some of our members avidly practiced with their ukulele and worked out a schedule of practicing whenever a TV commercial came on at night!
Our group were very excited about being part of Make Music Day but were understandably nervous. You will see from the video our “Happy Strummers” (their chosen name) gave a good performance!
The impact on people’s lives who have attended this group has been wonderful to witness. Friendships have been formed across the age span. The group have provided emotional support to people who have had to leave the group due to unexpected life changes e.g. spouse living with Dementia whose needs changed, unexpectedly becoming a carer for a parent, depression and anxiety. Our oldest member (85 years of age) has just started giving ukulele lessons to her next door neighbour. Seven members have decided they wish to carry on learning and are meeting with the tutor each week. They will be known as our intermediate group and we hope to recruit new members from the local community who can already play.
We are about to launch our next ukulele group for people over the age of 50 years and we have invited residents from the nearest Extra-Care Village to join us. We are also in discussion with a local school to develop an intergenerational ukulele group.
None of this would have been possible without the grant from Music for All.”
And here they are in action on Make Music Day!