My Sweet Leilani

Leilani 001I fell in love with the ukulele during my first trip to Maui. I cried when the Hawaiian band and dancers performed their incredibly beautiful, soulful music. The experience was intoxicating.

Thereafter, I received my Fender ukulele as a gift and slowly learned the strings and various strumming techniques. Naturally, I named her my Sweet Leilani—she had to have a Hawaiian name. It means “a heavenly flower” and reminds me of the lovely plumeria flowers native to Hawaii and used to construct leis.

Determined to learn a few songs, I searched for beginner YouTube videos. My favourite to play and sing is “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley, with perfect tutorials for girls like me by the lovely Cynthia Lin. Her gentle, patient manner of teaching fit in perfectly for a beginner like me. I would recommend her to any girl out there determined to play (and she does not know me and this is not a paid announcement). Her link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0mJxQbXWAc .

My favourite line of Bob Marley’s song is “Every little thing, is gonna be all right”, because it is! Every time I play, even if only for thirty minutes, I feel calmer and more relaxed. Playing a musical instrument really relieves you of being stuck in your head, a major challenge for writers, and energizes the spirit.

I encourage anyone to take up a musical instrument. It uses different parts of your brain and increases creativity. There is nothing like allowing yourself be carried away by sound and song. Play on!

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