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I Found Solace Expression and Strength in Music

My ukulele story starts with my dad's best friend being a ukulele collector.  He always had more ukuleles than I could count in his house and he began to teach me how to play little by little when I was younger. 

One day he gave me the most beautiful Oscar Schmidt ukulele (gloss finish and seashells lining the body and soundhole).  I took it with me everywhere I went and would play it any chance I got. I went to ukulele conventions and festivals with my dad's friend and got to meet so many talented ukulele players including Derick Sebastian and Victoria Vox.

Life ended up getting in the way, and as time went on I didn't play the ukulele for a very long time. During the time I wasn't playing the ukulele (when I was around 16-19 years old) I was travelling a lot because I played tennis professionally, and I found myself being very lonely and upset during this period of my life. I found solace in music and always found music was able to help me express how I was feeling, and it helped me come to terms with how I was feeling and ultimately how to become stronger.

Then, when I eventually picked the ukulele back up in the summer of 2018 (I was 22 at the time), I began to play so I could surprise my girlfriend and play a song for her. I got it in tune and started off with some easy songs to get back into the groove. The amazing thing was it felt like I had never put it down. I was able to play so easily after re-learning a few chords, with thanks to Katie DeNure of One Music School and her videos.

I learned a few songs to play for my girlfriend but in doing so I found myself being so much more relaxed at the end of the night.  Now, I find the ukulele to be almost therapeutic and try to play at least one song a day or every other day to stay on top of it and to keep learning.  If I'm ever feeling a certain way I'll find a song to fit my mood. 

Ultimately, I believe music is very powerful in that it can speak for us in ways when we don't necessarily have the words. So to me, creating these words by yourself with an instrument like the ukulele is such a powerful and beautiful thing that I believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience it.

Thank you, Jamie, for what you do and for making a difference in the world one ukulele at a time! 


Elliott Mondry

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