Boyle Heights Students Learn Ukulele Virtually

As 2020 came to a close, Uku finalized a partnership with Young Musicans Foundation and College Track. Through a donation in partnership with Young Musicians Foundation, we were able to kickstart a ukulele program in a location that previously did not have one. This spring, Summer Haze Uku ukuleles made their debut with an exceptional group of high schoolers in the Boyle Heights College Track program.

This spring, the students of YMF’s College Track program embarked on a one-of-a-kind musical journey. They not only learned a new instrument, but they did it virtually. These exceptional students worked hard all semester, practicing and stepping out of their comfort zones into a new musical world. Towards the end of the semester, several students were willing to share some of their thoughts and music with Uku.

Diana Ruiz

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When asked “What do you like about learning the ukulele?”, Diana Ruiz responded, “I liked the melodies I learned with the class plus the environment since we were really cool with each other and nobody judged anybody.” With regards to her Uku ukulele in particular she shared “I like that I was able to learn chords and a melody. I was able to play the song and I enjoyed that I was motivated to try strumming well.”

CLICK HERE to see Diana’s ukulele playing for yourself. Diana shared a Japaneese Pop song with us, rock on! 

Eimee Mendieta

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Eimee offered a poetic description of the ukulele that many players may be able to relate to: “I really liked how just by placing my fingers on some strings and dragging my other hand across them I could make something that sounds so beautiful.” 

Leyni Martinez-Melendez

When asked what she likes about the ukulele, Leyni shared “I like that you can play a lot of songs in it and can do different sounds or rhythms.” She likes her Uku ukulele because it is “small and it is nice to play with”. 

CLICK HERE to check out Leyni’s natural musicality with the ukulele here. Way to go Leyni, great song choice for the ukulele! 

Frank Nunez

For his testimonial, Frank shared: “What I like about learning the ukulele was the chords and how all of them made different sounds.” Frank also expressed What I liked about my ukulele is that I made music for the first time in my whole life.” 

Jennifer Flores

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Jennifer expressed: “Something that I like most about learning ukulele is that I am able to learn new songs that I can play and sing along to.” Jennifer also summarized the ukulele in the best way when she described the Summer Haze ukulele: “ is small but has the capacity to place a smile on someone's face.”

Jorge Llamas

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When asked what he likes best about learning the ukulele, Jorge shared “I like learning songs, especially the ones I like or things I am comfortable sharing for other people.” 

When asked the question “What do you like about your Summer Haze ukulele?”, Jorge stated: “For me, ukulele is such great distraction from life, and it gets me doing something that I know I am being productive with my time and also having fun instead, it doesn't feel like work to me as most other things that I have on a day to day basis feels like.”

CLICK HERE to see Jorge’s talent for yourself! Amazing job with the FUN song, Jorge! It’s a ukulele classic.

To all the College Track students, and specifically Diana, Eimee, Leyni, Frank, Jennifer, and Jorge, thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts, and music with Uku and our community. We are ecstatic to have you as a part of our Uku family. Your talent is evident and incredible.  May your desire to play music always continue to grow! 

College Track’s ukulele program would not have been possible without the teaching skill of Kenzie Jones. Kenzie jumped into virtual teaching without missing a beat, and as you can see from the amazing talent of her students, she was more than successful. Click here to read an interview with Kenzie and hear more about what it was like to teach the exceptional students at College Track Boyle Heights.

The post Boyle Heights Students Learn Ukulele Virtually was first published on Uku Ukuleles.


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