Monday, May 27, 2013

The Aloha spirit

Quite coincidentally, the Hawaiian theme was channeled in our household last Friday.  First was the appearance of Lesley-Anne's photo doing stand up paddling on Straits Times Life! section as part of the article on activities for the June holidays.

The photo was provided by my friend Isabelle, founder of the SUP School, something I blogged about a few months ago.  Great to see that it's generating quite a lot of interest!

In the same spirit of Hawaii, we were at Orchard Central for lunch with my sister when she mentioned that she was taking ukelele lessons. This caught Lesley-Anne's attention and as it so happened, there was a music shop right in the mall, showcasing a wide range of ukeleles.

There are four types of ukeleles (from smallest to biggest) - soprano, concert, tenor and baritone.  The great thing about the ukelele is that it's an instrument synonymous with fun, so it comes in many designs and colours. Even Hello Kitty and Spongebob! More importantly, the type of wood, the thickness and the shape all create a different sound, so you need to try each one to see which you like best.

My sister and Lesley-Anne tried out several but there was one soprano ukelele that caught my eye simply because of the aesthetic.  It had a couple of simple carvings that were not too traditional yet not too kitsch. I forgot what type of wood it was made of but the sound was mellow and full, simply lovely.

When my sister tried it, it looked too small for her but when we put it in Lesley-Anne's arms, it looked like it belonged to her, that's how petite she is!  And that's how she ended up with a new toy that day.  (Andre was more interested in the case - he's trying to project the Mafia look here).

The ukelele is a relatively easy instrument to pick up.  Like the guitar, you can download the chord chart from Internet and learn chords quite quickly on your own.  Popular ukelele pop songs include Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours", "Hey Soul Sister" by Train, "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah".  

The ukelele is easier to learn than the guitar as it has only four strings compared to the guitar's six. It's less unwieldy (especially if you're small in stature) and it's also much more portable.  Within the same day, Lesley-Anne could strum to simple songs that didn't require complex chord changes.  Over the weekend, I was treated to bright and chirpy tunes emitting from her room.  It's such a mood lifter.  

All that for just $70.  A small price to pay for happy.

With that, I'm signing off for a bit as we'll be on a vacation break first week of June.  Happy holidays, Mahalo and Aloha!


stay-at-home mum said...

Could you share the name of the shop selling the ukulele and the level it is on. Thanks.

monlim said...

I don't remember the name of the shop but I think it's on the 6th floor.

Anonymous said...

Char Siew Bao is so cool-looking!


monlim said...

Nutella: Lol, thanks!!

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