GIBSONVILLE, NC - Students at the Gibsonville Elementary Ukulele Club had an extra reason to sing today.
Thanks to their teacher Dr. Sandra Teglas, the 50+ students part of the club now have more ukuleles to play and sing with.
"I chose ukulele because it is easy to play, it is small which is good for elementary students, and it only has four strings rather than six strings. And they can play it and it is not too daunting to be able to play cords or be able to play melodies," explained Dr. Teglas.
The North Carolina Music Educators Association has a mini grant up to $1,000 that teachers can apply for. Dr. Teglas applied for the grant, won, and used the money to buy more ukuleles.
Before the grant, the students had limited old wooden ukuleles that were hard to tune and use. Now the ukulele's light up the classroom cubbies with an assortment of newer, and more colorful instruments.
The club consists of more than 50 third, fourth, and fifth graders who learn how to play in class, and then once a week they stay after school for an extra lesson.
"What it does for them in the long run is they are lifelong musicians. And that is my goal is for them to come together and make music without me."
And Dr. Teglas says coming together is not the only benefit.
"They have learned community service by going to a retirement center. In Burlington we went to Twin Lakes, they have played at a church, went went to play there. We have been asked to play for PTA and other concerts so they are learning community service and become lifelong musicians."
And one student has way bigger plans for his ukulele career than just community service,
"I had one student tell his mother (he had the ukulele for one week) and he told his mother, mom you don't have to work anymore. I am going to take my ukulele to Walmart and I am going to play and sing and make money, so you can quit your job."
And it is easy to tell by watching Dr. Teglas and her students, they have a blast learning to play.
"Everybody is there and wants to play the music and sing."
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