For evidence of one of the latest music trends, look no further than Baptistcare Yallambee Residential Care in Mundaring where residents have been taking ukulele lessons.
The newly popular four-stringed folk instrument first made an appearance at Baptistcare Yallambee a month ago at the suggestion of a staff member who had recently made a ukulele and thought some lessons might be a fun activity that could also help support residents’ fine motor skills.
The search for a teacher led them to Roger McGrath of Go Instrumental in Mundaring, who kindly offered to volunteer his time once a week to teach some ukulele basics.
The result is a joyous weekly musical get-together that everyone can join in, whether they’re strumming along on the ukulele, keeping the beat with rhythm sticks and tambourines, or simply singing along.
“The ukulele is hugely popular everywhere at the moment,” Mr McGrath said.
“It’s approachable and can be a good introduction to learning an instrument because it’s quite user-friendly and very forgiving.”
The ukulele has been enjoying a global revival in recent years, with artists such as America’s Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal and the Great British Ukulele Orchestra bringing it into the spotlight.
Bands and buskers showcasing the ukulele’s versatility have been popping up in bars, and at farmers markets and community events across Perth.
To help get the sessions at Baptistcare Yallambee up and running, the local community donated a number of ukuleles, which Mr McGrath tuned and repaired for free.
“Some of the residents in the group played an instrument as a child so are enjoying the opportunity to pick up one up again, while others have never played before,” he said.
“The beauty of the ukulele is that it’s largely an accompanying instrument, so you can just strum along and feel part of the music.”
Mr McGrath has been teaching guitar and ukulele for 15 years and said volunteering at Baptistcare Yallambee was very rewarding.
“I haven’t volunteered before or taught in a residential care environment, so I too am getting a lot out of the sessions,” he said.
Music is a big part of life at Baptistcare Yallambee, although this is the first time that music lessons have been organised. Choir practice, musical bingo and music quizzes are all weekly highlights on the busy Baptistcare Yallambee activities calendar.
Leanne Ruggiero, Lifestyle Coordinator at Baptistcare Yallambee, said the ukulele sessions were something new and different.
“The lessons have evolved into joyful weekly music and sing-along gatherings that bring a range of benefits, and it’s good fun too,” Ms Ruggiero said.
“A number of residents are keen to focus on the ukulele, while others enjoy just being part of the music-making and singing.
“At Baptistcare, we are always listening to what the residents want, which means trying new things and seeing where they lead,” Ms Ruggiero said.
The group is currently learning Jingle Bells ready for Christmas.
For more information about Residential Care, please follow the link below or
contact us on 1300 660 640.