Students learn to strum songs at Ukulele Club


Smiles flash around the room as fingers brush against the strings of ukuleles in attempt to tickle the chords projected on the screen in front of them.

Ukulele Club meets every Tuesday during lunch in room 45 at MHS.

Ukulele club co-presidents sophomores Elissa Laymon and Maddie Young help and advise the members of the club with their ukulele knowledge. They try to work on different things every week the club meets, including tuning, playing songs, learning chords, and fingerpicking.

“People come and if they want to learn something on the ukulele they can come to one of us and we’ll help them learn some songs or teach them simple chords,” Young said.

However Laymon said that she is a beginner herself and hopes to learn from other people in the club as well.

“The ukulele is a simple enough instrument that anyone can learn and participate in a song together,” Laymon said.
The club has both beginners and people who have been playing for a while, Laymon said.

“I like the freedom of it, how everyone can just play what they want and it’s not too serious,” Young said.

Laymon said she started this club this year after she found a ukulele in her house and taught herself and then her friends how to play it.

“I became interested in ukulele last year,” Laymon said. “I would have friends over to my house and because I had an extra one I would teach them a few chords and I began to really enjoy playing with other people.”

Club member sophomore Faith Zirkelbach-Ngai said that due to her interest in playing the ukulele, she asked Laymon to teach her last summer.

Laymon said that she and Young both took on the full responsibility of organizing this club, including planning the agendas for every meeting.

“At the beginning of the year it was a little bit stressful trying to give structure, but as the weeks went on we just let it become a more loose space for people to do what they wanted while offering ideas but not stressing too much,” Laymon said.

Zirkelbach-Ngai said that having other people learn and play alongside her is fun because they can help her figure out strumming patterns as well as other things they do in the club.

Currently it’s a small club, containing only about five people, but if Laymon and Young were able to expand the club further, their goal would be to work together in order to learn a song and perform for certain groups, Laymon said.

“We were going to try to learn a song altogether and perform that song at elderly homes or places like that,” Young said.

Laymon and Young have attempted to collect ukuleles for the club from different resources including The Next Door website and The Guitar Center, but have not succeeded. They do, however, have a few extras for those who do not have one of their own, Laymon said.

Laymon said that anyone can join and there are no expectations.

“It’s just a nice chill time in the middle of the day to hang out and play,” Zirkelbach-Ngai said.