A few months ago, my friend Angie and I were playing our ukuleles by a lake when an older, disabled person approached us asking if we could teach her a few chords and maybe sing a few songs. We did and by the end of the night, she said it was an experience that she would never forget.
Having had similar experiences before (i.e. turning strangers into friends through music), we thought, "What if this can be a thing that we do to make our world a better place? to unite people of different walks of lives? To create a musical community that welcomes all regardless of everyone's background, skin color, learning style, occupation, and so on. What if we can invite others to have this kind of experience all the time?" We shortly decided that it will be our mission to make this a reality.
We, then co-founded U(ke) Matter, which is a community ukulele project in Wausau area.
Our project's mission and vision are as follows: • to create a musical community that knows no class and/or division • to unite people from different walks of life and turning strangers into friends through a musical experience • to give every musician the sense of ownership and voice through songs
In doing this, we will schedule sing-alongs and meetups in the Wausau area. Initially, we will focus on beginning learners - we will teach 2-5 chords and provide learners with songs that use only those chords so that everyone can experience success. We will provide extra instruments and songbooks for those events in the event that those who happened to be passing by can also participate if they wish. Our goal is to eventually "branch out" and have mixed-level sing-alongs throughout the Wausau area.