At 10.30am I was introduced to Mark here, who passionately de-mystified the ukelele to around 15 hopefuls who had arrived at the beginners workshop.
A 4-stringed instrument, the uke is not a complex instrument and within a few minutes, Mark had the whole group playing and singing along to songs such as:
My fingers were totally raw, people. But I could not stop, as I was enjoying myself way too much.
Mark, an extrovert and perfect fit for his role, describes himself as a 'community musician'. The aim of his work is to:
Bring people together socially
to enjoy music together
And the uke is a brilliant instrument to do just that.
Turns out there are lots of groups that meet through the week - both daytime groups and evening ones - from Nelson Bay to Maitland, who meet over the uke on a weekly basis.
I am already planning to attend one of these and am looking forward to meeting new people and learning songs and singing along. In fact, I can't wait for the next gig!
Incidentally, girls, the strings of a ukelele are G C E A which stands for "Girls Can Eat Anything". If only that were true.