Seasons of a Self-directed Learning Journey

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven….

This photo from 4 years ago turned up in my Facebook timeline this morning.

Learning to play ukulele, playing and singing with other people, has been a challenging and rewarding self-directed learning project for me. And there have been seasons – when I first started I was excitedly practicing every day and meeting with my mostly homeschool mom friends weekly with our matching blue dolphin ukes. We went to Uke Festivals and workshops. I was so excited I wrote a song and created a photo series I call Dr. Uke says…to show what songs I was working on and how I was feeling.

The group evolved.

I started working on other projects and my mom’s illness progressed.

The season and my learning journey shifted.   

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How to Make a Happy Ukulele

Making Ukulele's talk by Dave Iriguchi post at

Making Ukulele's talk by Dave Iriguchi post at
Dave Iriguchi talks about making ukuleles.

Last week I attended a presentation by Dave Iriguchi of the Happy Ukulele held at the Davis Maker Space.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dave when our Uke group attended the Reno Uke fest for the first time in March 2012.  As a brand new ukulele player, I was in awe of his handmade instruments,which I consider musical works of art.  Or works of musical art.  I was really excited to hear about the process of creation.

Dave talked about his ukulele making process, his designs, innovations, tools and philosophy. He gave details that went right over my non-builder head, but I could see other makers in the room taking notes.  Even if I couldn’t follow all the details, I was entranced.  It was fascinating to hear his story and see  and try the beautiful instruments.

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Goodbye 2012 , Hello 2013! Here’s to an Uplifting and Uncomfortable New Year!

I have a heart full of gratitude for those who have helped make 2012 such a wonderful year. Thank you. I have a son who is always reminding me to get out of my comfort zone and keep growing. I have friends and family, near and far,  who support me when I take baby steps to … Read more Goodbye 2012 , Hello 2013! Here’s to an Uplifting and Uncomfortable New Year!

Ukulele Unleashes Unbridled Urges

 Ukulele. Or maybe it’s the wine? The wine has loosened my tongue and inner editor. But the ukulele and my ukulele group have  unleashed unbridled urges: to create, to sing, to express myself, to unite with other ukelele players, to uncover the hidden or scared musician wannabee. Well, ukulele and unschooling. Thank goodness I  began … Read more Ukulele Unleashes Unbridled Urges

Banish the Blues with Dr. Uke

Today when I saw several posts /tweets about feeling negative, frustrated or stuck, I could relate. No matter how wonderful life is, there is always room to grow. I’ve been in transition for the past few years, with my child heading out into the world and the new responsibilities of caring for my mom. Empty … Read more Banish the Blues with Dr. Uke