An Inescapable Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has cancelled schools. For the millions of kids and teens in Arizona that attend schools (except online) this has caused an even bigger plague, some would argue. It’s called “Boredom”. Boredom affects teens worldwide in very dangerous ways. Symptoms of boredom may include but are not limited to, undersleeping or oversleeping, watching excessive amounts of videos on social media, eating junk food all day long, and/or walking in circles mindlessly. I am a teen that used to experience boredom due to the pandemic daily. I took it upon myself about a month ago to try and learn to play the ukulele in order to pass my inescapable boring days.
Finding a Cure
I received a new regifted ukulele from my brother, who got it for Christmas. When I first picked up the uke I was a bit intimidated. I used to play a number of different instruments, but never a string instrument. All of my prior musical experience was spent in school under the supervision of a band teacher. There was always someone who knew what they were doing, who I could ask for help. It’s different, now I am all on my own. It’s just me and Chad. I forgot to mention! My uke’s name is Chad. My first day with Chad I learned to play some chords. Chords are a set of different notes that are played at the same time. My chubby baby hands were no match for the ukulele’s structure and I soon called it a day. The very next day I tried picking some simpler tones and I started for the second time. Forty minutes in, my knuckles hurt and one of my fingers obtained a scratch from the repeated strumming. I wasn’t used to manipulating and contorting my hands in this way before. Even then, I kept playing because I started feeling accomplished when I made progress.
Each week since then, I have played consistently. I can confidently play two songs in total and I am working on two more. There was definitely a phase at the beginning of my learning where I felt I was going nowhere. I considered giving up because I didn’t feel like I looked like I knew what I was doing. Which in reality was very true. However, even the greatest uke players had to start somewhere. I considered giving up when my dad sent me a tutorial on YouTube which made the confusing music lingo understandable. I also couldn’t imagine a world where Chad would collect dust in my closet, so I picked it back up and started playing. I haven’t turned back and I am going to keep playing because I know that I am very capable of putting in the time and effort to learn. Everyone should try something new this quarantine, even if success isn’t visible. It’s always worth a shot.