Two weeks ago, with it being the first week of summer vacation and having not planned properly, my wife and I found ourselves without childcare for our 6 year old son, Alex. Fortunately, we have family nearby (but not too nearby) and I made arrangements with two of my aunts who live two hours away to keep him.

He had lots of adventures, including going to the Glazier Museum in Tampa. They played chess on a giant chess set at the library in SPC (St. Petersburg College).   The pieces were nearly as tall as he is and he is a pretty good chess player, considering who is teacher is.

How does all of this relate to the ukulele, a Hawaiian guitar-like instrument?

On one of his adventures, my aunt took Alex to visit one of my cousins in Tampa and she had a ukulele.  Alex fell in love with her ukulele. She taught him the basic strumming method in the time they were there. Her roommate has a baritone ukulele. He didn’t like that one as much. He wants a tenor ukulele like my cousin’s. He wanted guitar lessons but he really wants ukulele lessons now.

Coincidentally, my friend Bill Kizer got a ukulele for Father’s Day. The book I just started reading on rapid learning protocols has a chapter on ukulele. And less coincidentally, my friend and colleague, Kevin Conlin, pointed me to this video of Jake Shimabukuro playing Bohemian Rhapsody on ukulele in a TED Talk from 2010.

Jake Shimabukuro playing Bohemian Rhapsody on ukelele

The video is pretty awesome! I never thought anyone could play Bohemian Rhapsody on the ukulele…or would.

Now I have to figure out how to get ukulele lessons in Ocala, FL. It’s a good thing there are hundreds of videos on how to play the ukulele on YouTube.

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