Antidote is an organisation with a mission close to my heart. It organises playful events every Thursday evening, just for adults. From singing and dancing to playground games, they have a full schedule where you can always be guaranteed to have fun.
So when the opportunity came up at one of their events to make and learn to play my own Utterly Butterly Ukulele – yes, that’s right, a ukulele made from an empty margarine tub – I knew I couldn’t miss it!
I’ll admit I was sceptical. Were we really going to make an instrument ourselves, in the course of one-and-a-half hours? And one that anyone could play? And then learn how we could play it? It turns out my scepticism was unfounded – sure enough we made a ukulele, doing everything from cutting holes in the tub, threading in the wooden body, adding ‘hooks’ for the strings, and tying them on (they were made from fishing line).
The only part we didn’t make was the wooden body, which had been shaped and with ‘frets’ stuck on. Plus helpful places marked out for where the hooks would go in.
The eventual complete instrument actually sounded reasonably credible – and we spent a good half hour playing tunes and singing along. A fantastic experience, which everyone threw themselves into, and which flew by in a whizz!
There’s something about the ukulele that just makes you smile. It makes you let your guard down. It brings out the child in all of us. – Jake Shimabukuro
Ease of play: 6/10
Resemblance to play: 9/10
Potential frequency of play: Low