Für Elise, For Grandmother

Speaking of the most familiar piano song, the first one jumps into my mind is "Für Elise" (For Alice) by Ludwig van Beethoven. This great German musician composed this song in early 19th century and it has been popular for over 200 years. Basically everyone around the world is familiar with its tune. Every time I listen to this piece, I can feel the sense of romance flows through those notes and make me calm down. 

Since "Für Elise" is a piano piece, I got no chance to practice this one when I learned the violin. My teacher always assigned me to practice songs for violin specifically. Fortunately, I have a grandma who is very passionate about music and started to learn the piano when she was 65 years old. ( I admire her very much) She practiced this song a lot. When she played the piano, I liked to sit behind her and watched her playing. She was always so absorbed that I didn't want to interrupt her. I just stayed there quite and listened. I enjoyed that. 

This is the first time I try to play "Für Elise" with string, especially with Ukulele. This is the special version for Ukulele and it simplify many parts for beginning players. Hope you are able to feel the very little part of beauty of this song through my "performance". I also want to dedicate this song to my beloved grandmother. 

Charm of Ukulele

Ukulele has been the one I think about first when I'm free. Even when I'm still busy doing something but I really want to relax myself, I will think about it as well. It has been a part of my life. 

That's the charm of this instrument. The charm of music. 

Unlike guitar or other strings, Ukulele is relatively easy to learn. It doesn't require you to know professional musical theory or to have accurate way of how to play it. It's a freestyle instrument. I can( in the future) sing any songs I like whenever I want along with Ukulele. 

Since I'm still practicing and I'm not so skilled that I'm able to do that, I usually go to watch videos of those professional Ukulele players. There are so many excellent works out there and here's one I like recently. 

If you are interested in this player, here's his Youtube account:

Adam Christopher   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0qkdv3MyMvlkoKWZhvtvXQ

I hope you can have a glance at charm of Ukulele after watching this. I really expect that I can create a video like this of my own and share it with you here. 

 Start Over In Music With Ukulele

Start Over In Music With Ukulele

Music has existed since I have memories. 

I started to play the violin when I was 5 years old. A violin teacher came to my kindergarten for looking for  several potential talented kids to teach in one afternoon. I can't remember what did she say exactly at that time. All I can recollect is my mom took me to the teacher and bought a violin for me the next day. I didn't know what that instrument with four strings means to my life in that age. But now I'm thankful that my mom made this decision for me. 

Learning to play the instrument is not easy. During those 9 years, almost the only other thing in my life besides homework is violin. I spent 4 hours in average to practice everyday, and more over weekends. I got callused left hand and once hated this "annoying" string. I asked mom after I grew up why she let me practice so much. She says a person who loves music must has an interesting soul. And an interesting soul is essential for every one. 

I stopped playing the violin after I went to high school. There was too much pressure from Chinese college entrance exam to allow me continuing to practice the music.  

My life turned silent after that. I do listen to the music when I need a rest. But there was no opportunity to play it on my own. Time went to the year I came to U.S for college. My mom suggested me to bring my violin to here so I can continue to practice when I'm free from class. However, my violin is big ( I changed the violin size several times while I was getting taller) and I had to take two heavy luggages with me. So I left it in my home. 

Luckily, I met my Ukulele this summer. 

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That is a instrument store selling different kinds of Guitar and Ukulele. I walked into out of curiosity. After listening a man's Ukulele performance, I told my friend, "I want a Ukulele." Very similar with violin, Ukulele is a four-stringed instrument. So it's not hard for me to learn it at all. 

I decided to bring it with me when I need to come back to school. 

That's how I go back to music with Ukulele. I normally practice twice a week now. Although I'm just a Ukulele beginner, with 9-year experience with violin, it's not tooooo hard for me to learn this similar string instrument.

Here's one simple song I practiced this weekend. Hope I can play more complicated one soon.