Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

I’m Switching from Guitar to Ukulele (Moon River, Edelweiss, Carole Jean and Ethel May)

Posted on: April 24, 2018

I’M SWITCHING FROM GUITAR TO UKULELE.

There, I said it. I’ve never been very good at the guitar, despite lots of practice and lots of use. I learned to accompany myself on simple songs with kids out of sheer desperation. That’s the wonderful value of having learned to play it to the extent to which I did, for, if I hadn’t accompanied myself with guitar on these simple songs with kids, those songs would not have gotten sung. My guitar (which I named Aunt Mary Pickle) also opened up creative pathways for me. I started writing lots of little songs myself. That’s been fun.

Enter the ukulele (I’ve named her Penny). I initially started to play her when Tim Hopgood, wonderful illustrator from York, England, told me that he was working on illustrating the song MOON RIVER (October 2018). My brain lit all up. The vision of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly playing her ukulele while singing MOON RIVER on her fire escape flashed through my head. I got out my uke, adapted some chords and learned to play that song. Somewhere in the middle of learning to play MOON RIVER, I decided to watch a video of that scene. It turns out, she plays the guitar! But it IS a small parlor guitar. In my mind it was a ukulele.

But the uke stuck. I realized that there is nothing the guitar can do that the uke CAN’T (at least not so far as my novice skill will take me). True, the guitar is more beautiful. But the sweet charm, novelty, and portability of the ukulele cannot be beat. So, I’ve started visiting all the song sheets I made for guitar and I am altering them as needed to better suit the uke. It’s a project and it’ll take some time. But it is an enjoyable exercise and the best way I can think of to hone my skills enough for playing with kids in their classrooms.

This whole essay is to say that yesterday and today I tackled EDELWEISS. What a wonderful song it is. I ended up writing an essay about that, too, as EDELWEISS brings strong memories of my mom and always also makes me think of my grandmother Gram (Ethel May Selka):

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/edelweiss-a-new-song-sheet-with-chords-for-ukulele-and-some-thoughts-about-my-grandmother-ethel-may-selka/

Sweet dreams, friends.

Sweet Dreams.

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Related Posts

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MOON RIVER, AN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/anticipating-moon-river-as-illustrated-by-tim-hopgood/

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TIM HOPGOOD, ILLUSTRATOR, ONLINE
http://www.timhopgood.com/

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EDELWEISS, AN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/edelweiss-a-beautiful-song/

*
IN MEMORIAM
This is a page of links to posts I’ve assembled in the memory of people who have meant the world to me.
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/in-memorium/

*
ETHEL MAY SELKA, MY GRANDMOTHER, IN MEMORIAM
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/my-grandmother-gram-in-memorium/

*
CAROLE JEAN EVERSON, MY MOM, IN MEMORIAM
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/a-limerick-in-memory-of-my-mom-carole-jean-geisler-everson/

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SING BOOKS WITH EMILY Saturday, January 19, 2019 11-11:30am Mary Riley Styles Library 120 N Virginia Ave Falls Church, VA 22046 (703) 248-5030 More information, here: http://www.fallschurchva.gov/424/Library
‪I don’t remember when my daughter made this picture. Maybe she was 5 or 6. It’s hard to believe I didn’t note the date on it. None the less, and needless to say, this is one of my possessions most dear to my heart.‬ ‪❤️‬ #SingBooksWithEmily #IllustratedSong #SingToKidsOfAllAges #Enrichment #SingToChildren #ChildrensMusic #PictureBookSong #Music #Sing #ShareCulturalHeritage #EducationalEnrichment #CulturalEnrichment #Children #Kids #CultureConnectsUs
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY 1/10/2019 BOTH SIDES NOW, an Illustrated Song https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/both-sides-now-a-singable-picture-book-and-my-business-with-the-cloud-artwork-at-the-corcoran/ BITLY LINK https://bit.ly/2D175Lk BOTH SIDES NOW, a classic song by the great singer/musician/songwriter Joni Mitchell. It’s such a rich and full song about how we experience life. It’s the illusions I recall, still, truly, about all of it, too. I do a lot of thinking about things. In the end, though, for me, very often, I’m happy to let magical thinking win the day. To find more info and materials about this song, visit the link in this posting or type the song title into the search box of the Sing Books with Emily blog: http://SingBooksWithEmily.wordpress.com Like or Follow Sing Books with Emily on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter Come Sing Books with Emily #SingBooksWithEmily #IllustratedSong #SingToKidsOfAllAges #Enrichment #SingToChildren #ChildrensMusic #PictureBookSong #Music #Sing #ShareCulturalHeritage #EducationalEnrichment #CulturalEnrichment #Children #kids #JoniMitchell
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY Saturday, January 12, 2019 10:30-11am Reston Regional Library 11925 Bowman Towne Dr. Reston, VA 20190 More information, here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/branches/rr/
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY Thursday, December 27, 2018 2:30-3pm Chantilly Regional Library 4000 Stringfellow Rd Chantilly, VA, 20151-2628 703-502-3883 ext 4 No Registration Required – Please Join Us! Free for all ages! For  more information: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/calendar?cid=6524&t=d&d=2018-12-27&cal=6524&ct=31090,31106&cm=3438
Just a page on a notebook? A list? Yes. But to me, it’s much more than that. This list represents 45 minutes of Sing Books joy at Mary Riley Styles Library this morning. I especially loved the chance to try out my new ukulele arrangement for BRING A TORCH JEANNETTE ISABELLA. We also sang favorites like I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS, SILVER BELLS, and HANUKKAH O HANUKKAH. I played ukulele, kazoo, jingle sticks for many songs and my beloved limberjack horse while we sang Jingle Bells, including the verse with Fanny Bright. Such great fun! Ps: Many Thanks to my daughter Eloise who came and helped me set up, clean up, and hold books when I accompanied with ukulele. And HUGE thanks to the marvelous staff and volunteers at MRSL who make it such a nice place to visit. @littlecitylibrary

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