Music teacher Vanessa Nugent “very happily and enthusiastically” runs groups for people keen to foster their musical education by learning the ukulele.
The latest beginners group is known as THUGs, which stands for The Hungry Head Ukulele Group.
They are doing a six week ‘taster’ course that allows them to discover the joys of the ukulele and to learn about basic music literacy, strumming, picking, singing, how to play rhythm, melody and harmony and how to play within a group with some easy orchestrated (or “ukestrated”) song arrangements.
The group has been so happy with their new friendships and developing skills that they’ve nominated to continue past the six weeks into a Intermediate Beginners Group.
Asked what attracted them to the course, many of the students mentioned that the uke is relatively easy to master.
“I love music and I’ve been wanting to learn for years,” Janine Brown said. “It’s easier than the guitar.”
“That’s why I’m doing it,” Richard Foley agreed. “I’ve had a guitar for years and I’m no good. Well, I’m okay. But this is easier. Not easy, but easier.”
Sonya Anderson, who works at a preschool, said she wanted to use her new skills there and also to challenge her brain.
“Vanessa says it stimulates both sides of the brain and all parts of the body,” she said.
Hungry Head Uke Group was founded by Vanessa Nugent in 2013.
She’s a trained teacher who studied for three years under the tutelage of Canadian ukulele maestro James Hill and has performed at the Hawaiian Ukulele Festival for the last two years with Ukestralia.
Her website can be found at https://vjnugent.wixsite.com/hungryforukes