When the “stay at home” mandate first started I remembered telling my students, “Don’t worry. This will all be over soon.” A year and 8 months later…here we are. Having to stay home made me so antsy. I’m that person that loves to be doing something literally all the time. Walking, golfing, on a gig, at a rehearsal, rushing to happy hour. But when that mandate hit, I knew I needed some kind of outlet. So, I grabbed my guitar, a mic and my portable speaker, sat it by the balcony window and pointed it out into the street. I basically started my own concert on the balcony. During the pandemic, I did this little ritual sporadically and had some kind words exchanged by neighbors and occasional claps and “whoo hoos” in between songs. It was my way of getting the antsy out while spreading some happiness into the world through music (because I deeply believe music vibration is medicine).
After playing a final strum to end my concert on the balcony session, a car stopped in front of my driveway. A cheerful lady came out of her car and applauded me for singing. I asked her name and the rest is history! This is Rebecca Sauer. My warm hearted music loving neighbor that turned into a sister. She’s a nurse, a loving mom and wife, and a singer! Most recently, however, she’s been inspired to play the ukulele and she’s been making significant strides in learning! Her inspiration came from the Coronado Ukulele Club.
I was introduced to this fun band of strummers in July of this year through Ray Karno. During a meeting at the Del, someone at the table I was sitting at recognized Ray and said hello. The conversation somehow turned into Ray asking the whole meeting table if anyone knew how to play the ukulele. Everyone pointed to me while I raised my hand. I had no idea there was an ukulele club on the island!!! We exchanged cards and I’ve been in the group ever since. Rebecca then became interested in learning and, just like that, with 3 chords she’s learned over 5 songs and has purchased her own amazing ukulele. I went with her to Hale Ukulele on Clairemont Drive, Mark’s Guitars by Sports Arena (Pechanga Arena now, I think?), Moze Guitars in La Mesa, and good ol’ Guitar Center next to Grossmont Center to help her pick one out.
When you’re picking a new instrument to be yours, though, it really is like picking a wand at Olivander’s in Harry Potter. You just have to pick one up and give it a twirl (or in the uke’s case, a strum or two) and see what happens. You’ll feel something. It’s like magic, ask any musician.
Anyway, Rebecca ended up finding her uke online but based her decision on the feels that a specific brand gave her when she gave it a ‘twirl’. Her first uke practice/jam session with the Coronado Ukulele Club will be this Thursday at 4pm. That is the club’s weekly jam session day and time. All are invited!! Old strummers, new strummers, young strummers, experienced strummers, singers, non singers. The only thing you need is the love of music.
“Because if everyone played the ukulele, this world would be a much happier place.”