Ukulele in secondary music education

The Goals of Music Education

2F8EF987-DCD3-4C82-9A15-6F8CA7A9BB88One of the reasons that I fell in love with the ukulele is that I saw groups of people getting together to sing and play (ukulele jams).  Many of these players were not musicians earlier in their lives.  Admittedly, most of these groups (in the United States) are made up of retired people, as they have the time in their schedules to meet together.  People are playing in other age groups as well…but the social circles are different (as they are in all walks of life)

Isn’t this the goal of music education?  For people to make music on their own initiative, on their own or with others?

I just saw this video about Thomas Ruggles, age 92, who is entertaining people in hospitals with his ukulele.  You can watch the video below or read this from Good Morning America.

I don’t like making comparisons with other activities, but can you tell me what other activities—music or otherwise— you can do successfully at age 92?  Sure, you can sing—I’m not sure I’ll be able to play the tuba at 92.  I’m surely not going to be playing sports at 92.  (Good Morning America reported he was 89…the video below says 92.  It doesn’t really change what I am saying).

What is the potential reward for music—particularly the ukulele—considering the same initial 20 hour investment?  Obviously, it is priceless.  Can you see why this instrument is so appealing to me?

P.S.  Mr. Ruggles better not purchase a Kala Waterman ukulele.  He would only be able to use it 9 more years (see below):



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