Group leader Millie Layman strums on her “cigar box” ukelele. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Woodstock group promotes joy – “uke joy”
By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE
Just because the ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawai’ian adaptation of a small guitar-like Portuguese instrument, doesn’t mean it isn’t popular today – right here in Inner Southeast Portland.
On April 25, a group of “uke” enthusiasts gathered to show off what they’d learned in just a few weeks, and to try to recruit new players.
“Even though we started on the first of April,” said organizer Millie Layman, “This group is really taking off. We have parents and children learning – with the help of an adult who really knows how to play ukulele.”
Layman, a physical education teacher at Lewis Elementary School in Woodstock, said that the ukulele is a relatively easy instrument to learn to play, even for young kids.
“And, I’m just crazy about the ukulele – that’s why decided to start a group,” Layman explained. “I think it’s so much fun; and I wanted to make sure little ukuleles could get in the hands of kids before they were too old and start thinking that they can’t play it, or that it wouldn’t be much fun.”
The group doesn’t yet have a name, Layman commented. “But it doesn’t matter! I’m really happy we’re getting together this group of kids and adults, learning to play the ukulele together, here in Inner Southeast Portland.”
Interested in getting in on the fun? Contact Layman via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org