Hi there and welcome back to my blog. How are you? I hope that you are well. Today I’m going to be talking about how I started playing the ukulele again.
As I’ve mentioned in a couple of blog posts, I started playing the ukulele back in 2012 but stopped when I was diagnosed.
I started playing again after my first Brain Tumour Support meeting after I spoke to Sam, who said that I needed to sing and be happy. I only sing when I’m playing the ukulele.
Two years later and I’ve done two solo performances, joined a ukulele group and done two group performances. Last year, I joined a ukulele group called the Earls Of Uke. The Earls meet up every two weeks. The group are very considerate about my fatigue problems, although I’m slowly staying longer. I actually joined the group two weeks before their big performance at the Earlsdon Folk Festival back in May 2018. Here are a couple of videos of myself and the rest of the Earls of Uke.
So how was I able to do it? Here’s what I did.
- Relearn every song that I used to play
- Watch videos
- Listen to music
- Practice, practice, practice
- Join a group
Relearn every song that I used to play
I’m not sure because of the gap that I took or because of my “holiday” back in 2016, when I got a fluid blockage in my brain, and I had forgotten everything about the ukulele. That’s why I started with the basics.
When I first started playing the ukulele back in 2012, I watched a Youtube channel called “the Ukulele teacher” version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole because it was one of the songs that I started playing on my own, without watching the video. And here’s a video of me playing and singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and “Viva la Vida” at Feburary 2017 Brain Tumour Support meeting.
Practice, practice, practice
As I’ve said this in a couple of previous blog posts, back in February 2017, I had lunch with an old work colleague Joe. He had showed me an Android app called Habit Hub. Habit Hub allows the user to set daily goals and it tracks how often you hit these goals. After looking in the iOS store for something familiar called Productive, The number of days that I’ve been playing the ukulele for over 600 days now.
Join a group
As I’ve mentioned in this post, I’ve joined a ukulele group called the Earls of Uke. I had joined this group after a google search for ukulele groups based in Coventry. Here’s a couple of videos from the Festiveukes concert that I took part last December.
I do feel that playing the ukulele again has helped me get better with my recovery. It’s reminded me of what I was before my diagnosis. And playing, singing and listening to music, justs helps with recovery.
If you would like to see myself and the rest of the Earls of Uke play, we are having a gig at the Royal Oak, as part of the Earlsdon Fringe festival on 30th April in The Royal Oak at 22 Earlsdon Street, CV5 6EJ Coventry. It starts at 8pm.
So, that’s it. Once again, I just want to thank a few people. Firstly, I would like to thank my mum, dad, sister and my Naughty Mamaji, for being by my side, throughout everything. I would like to thank Louise from BTS for sharing this with the community. I would like to thank Kanika, Shirley and everyone at Carers Trust for giving me the confidence to sharing my story and I would like to thank Joe for motivating me to getting back on the horse. And I would like to thank everyone at the hospital, my family and friends and everyone who I’ve met on this journey. And I would like to thank Sam from the Coventry Brain Tumour Support group who told me that I should sing.And I would like to thank Scott, Andy, Nigel and the rest of the Earls of Uke for being there when I needed to be lifted up.
I also want to thank Sarah and Carol from the Brain Tumour charity, for nomitated me to be featured in the Mirror Online about my weight loss. In case you have not seen it, here’s the link.
One small note, I’ve entered the Coventry Cancer Research race for life 5K. It’s happening on the 30th June in: Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh Road. I might not be able to do the whole 5K, but I will try my hardest to do so. If you would like to donate the link is here.
The next time, I’m going to talk about is how I improved my handwriting. Please feel free to leave a comment, and as always, if you buy something from Amazon through my blog, or click on an advert, 100% of the money that I get goes to Brain Tumour Support.
Thanks and I will see you soon