Mr. Sherman Shen Sponsors Ukulele Club

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Photo Courtesy Of Julian Vigil

BYMS students are invited to attend a Ukulele Club every Wednesday at room 603 during lunch.  The BYMS Ukulele Club is ran and supervised by the social studies teacher Mr. Shen.

“Students will learn chords, strumming patterns, and how to sing while playing ukulele.  It’s a lot of fun and relaxing as well.  Everyone is welcome no matter how much experience they have!” stated Mr.Shen an interview with Matador Messenger.

Mr. Shen was inspired to create the ukulele club because he had heard that  a couple of fellow staff members were interested in learning to play the instrument.

“Throughout last school year, I played more and more and brought my ukulele to school on several occasions.  Many students suggested that we should have a club, so I thought that this would be the year to start,” explained Shen.

“I really only began playing about a year ago.  Some of the other teachers on campus and I formed a little club and we started playing together.  Everything else I know is from youtube,” Shen added.

BYMS eighth grader, Jisun Ho, attends the club and said, “I enjoy being able to play and have fun with others that have the same love for playing. The biggest challenge is learning new chords that are hard to get the fingering for.”

The ukulele was invented in 1879 by a man named Manuel Nunes, it got introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants.

It started to get popular in the 1900s when Panama Pacific International Exposition lured over 17 million visitors with hula dance and song at the Hawaii Pavilion according to theatlantic.com.

In the 1950s a popular television host Arthur Godfrey was giving millions of people lessons for them in their living rooms.

Here are two fun ukelele facts: You may have heard that ukulele means “jumping flea” in Hawaiian. However, the last queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Liliuokalani, translated ukulele as “gift from afar,” according to takelessons.com.

Another interesting fact is that early ukulele strings were made from cat or sheep gut. Most modern ukulele strings are now made of nylon, but you can still find gut strings at specialty shops, according to takelessons.com.