By Cassie LeBel
Hunter Peterson was one of many talented musicians part of Cape Cod Community College’s (4Cs) former Rock and Roll Club who had the idea for a different type of club.
This club would be more inclusive to students who may have an interest in playing an instrument, even if they have little to no background in music. Peterson found that the Rock and Roll Club only catered to musicians interested in that genre and even then only those with access to the right gear could participate.
Wanting to spread the love of music in a low-pressure environment, Peterson asked himself what instrument would level the playing field for everyone.
“Most people have a ukulele kicking around,” said Peterson. “Bring it out with you. Put it in your hands and then come to a group setting where there are all skill levels.”
Everyone is welcome at the Ukulele Club.
Musicians who already play the ukulele are encouraged to come to the club as a way to advance their skills and experiment with the instrument while those who do not play will be presented with the basics.
“With a little bit of practice, with some time, everyone can learn how to play this instrument,” said Peterson.
This is a peer-driven environment where students who are confident in their skills are encouraged to turn and offer help to others—from tuning the ukulele, learning how to hold it and strum properly, and figuring out which fingers are for certain chords.
“We’ve got several very nice, friendly, music-oriented students already,” said Jerry Skelley, a music professor at 4Cs as well as the Ukulele Club faculty advisor. “Students will help students and that’s my intention.”
Skelley was previously the faculty advisor for the Rock and Roll Club. With the long-term goal of building a larger music program at 4Cs on his mind, he agreed to take on the Ukulele Club in hopes of reaching more students through the trendy and unimposing elements of this instrument.
“It seems so casual, it seems like anyone should be able to play it,” said Skelley.
While the ukulele is also inexpensive, and bringing your own gear is recommended if you have it, there will be extra ukuleles made available to give everyone the opportunity to play.
Tessa Culhane was one of the music students approached by Skelley when they decided to disband the Rock and Roll Club in place of the Ukulele Club. Culhane already had a background in playing the piano and guitar and was familiar with the basics of the ukulele when she decided to join the club as a way to learn more in a fun and inclusive setting.
“This is such a low-key club,” said Culhane. “We just go there to have fun and to do what we love which is just to make music with like-minded people.”
It is also stressed that the Ukulele Club does not take attendance, so students are simply free to come whenever they are available.
Whether you have just finished up a long day of classes and are looking for a laid-back way of relaxing or you’re a serious musician looking to add another instrument to your repertoire, students of any level are encouraged to stop by the Ukulele Club Wednesdays at 2 PM in the Tilden Arts Center Room G11A.