• Ukulele Therapy: How The Ukulele Can Help You Through Difficult Times

    I was recently contacted by a reader named David Markham, who sent me this lovely story about how the uke has helped him. If you have a similar tale to share, please feel free to email me at editor@kamuke.com

    Placing yourself in a positive frame of mind is a very important thing, and playing your ukulele can help you do this – I know!

    Playing my ukulele is helping me get through the chemotherapy I’ve been undergoing to get over a low grade of leukaemia (chronic lymphatic leukaemia).

    I started getting sick in 2016, but it was not apparent something was really wrong until the beginning of 2017. It was a really stressful and depressing time, to say the least. Having tests done and then waiting for the results… I thank God I had my ukulele to keep my spirits up!

    Sometimes I would wake in the middle of the night, full of apprehension and dread about what was going on, and I would say, over and over, “I am healthy, I am healthy, I am healthy!” This was to prevent me from succumbing to despair and becoming totally despondent.

    When I would finally get up in the morning, the first thing I would do (and still do) is play my ukulele. 

    It’s like a machine that can put you in a better mood fast! And in this better frame of mind, it’s easier and more effective to think positive thoughts that will help you to get better.

    I like to strum and sing for a while before I check phone messages, building myself up before having to deal with a dreadful message from the doctor or, even worse, the insurance people!

    Sometimes I take it to chemo and play it in the parking lot before I go in. It’s not about being a virtuoso, it’s about you creating joy within yourself, building up your spirit, and you know that’s good for you!

    Occasionally I would be so tired, I couldn’t do much strumming or singing – watching ukulele videos on YouTube helped me. The Jive Aces, Taimane Gardner and Howlin’ Hobbit are personal favourites.

    As of December 14, 2017, I am in remission. The doctor said the latest blood tests were completely normal, “as if nothing ever happened”! Yay! And I know the ukulele was instrumental (pun intended) in getting me through this ugly ordeal.

    So, my friends, grab your ukulele and play the heck out of it and you will make your life better – and it will spread throughout the world!

    David Markham

  • READER’S POEM: TO A UKULELE

    This submission comes from David Waxman, who says: “I’m a ukulele player, a KAMUKE subscriber and a poet – and I’ve written a poem that involves a ukulele.  I think your readers might like it…”

    To A Ukulele

    Which I lift from its case, strum,
    sitting on our living room couch.

    Sarah, on high back chair, concocts
    cello counterpoint – Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.

    A breeze moves lace curtains
    through windows open onto our patio.
    Sparrows skip among brown leaves.
    Beechwoods rise grey in our backyard.

    Beechwoods stood
    in my boyhood backyard,
    sentinels in Sherwood Forest.
    I blink twice. Sarah

    strikes a discord and I startle,
    look up from my uke –
    amber koa carries
    South Seas music.

    Sarah smiles, cocks her head in a question.