Ukulele club flourishes

The ukulele club is new on campus, and has on average 15 people attending meetings. They meet every Friday at lunch in B7.

Lauren MacLean, sophomore, started the ukulele club this year. She began playing the ukulele two years ago, and decided to create the ukulele club “to get people together with the same interests, and to really make a safe zone for people to get out of their comfort zone and just enjoy playing the ukulele,” MacLean said.

The environment of the club is very mellow and undemanding. “There’s no pressure to be there every single friday. You can come and go, and you just bring your ukulele,” MacLean said. “Or you don’t even have to, you can just come and listen. People just play music together and talk, kind of like a fun zone.”

Kyndall Long, senior, joined the club this year after hearing about it from a friend, and has really enjoyed it thus far. There’s no real direction you are put into, but you can group up with some friends, and one person can play one thing, and you kind of build off of that,” Long said. “Or you can teach each other new stuff, so it’s a really cool environment.”

Long has played the guitar for over 11 years, and transferred his skills over to the ukulele club. Long does not play traditional ukulele, but has instead tuned his to sound more like a guitar. Eventually, he wants to learn ukulele the regular way, and the club is a way for him to do that.

There’s a lot of really skilled people in there that are really nurturing and can guide (new people) to learn some new chords,” MacLean said. “And everyone that comes is really welcoming, is really nice, and so it’s a really good place to start, even if you don’t have that much knowledge about it.”

Long agrees. “It would actually be a really good experience to help you learn, because there’s a lot of people in there who do know how to play it, and it’s a lot easier to pick up than people realize, so I think it would be a good idea if you want to learn to join the club.”

Through the ukulele club, MacLean hopes that people will get out of their comfort zones. She wants them to “realize that they can be happy doing what they want to do without being judged, and enjoy the ukulele and maybe make a new friend,” MacLean said.

As of now, she seems to be successful. Long’s favorite part of the club has been the environment of the club. “Everyone is just kind of feeling up each other with what they’re playing and how you’re teaching each other things, and just jamming. I think it’s really fun,” Long said.

MacLean has really enjoyed seeing the many different people in the club play ukulele in their own ways. It’s really cool to see the different styles of different club members that play, and the different ways people interpret a different piece of music through everyone just collaborating,” MacLean said.