Katherine went to a pre-festival ukulele workshop in the park this morning.
She has tried to teach herself how to play through YouTube videos, which has been rather frustrating for her. She really needed someone live to watch and learn from and this was a perfect opportunity.
The workshop leader was Linda Tilton, the much loved sign language interpreter at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival.
Linda was great. She calmly and gently explained the basics, from how to correctly pronounce the name of the instrument (it's oo-kulele not you-kulele), to the names of the strings, to how to finger chords.
Katherine was by far the youngest player there, but she didn't care and neither did anyone else. Most of the group were complete novices, so Kate fit right in. She settled in next to Seth, my friend from college days, and listened intently.
And I hung out the back, just watching. Within 45 minutes Linda had taught everyone two song, Hank William's Jambalaya and Let the Circle Be Unbroken. The weather was gorgeous, the lighting was cool, and the thrumming of ukuleles soothing. I was more than content to sit and people watch.
I have a feeling that this won't be the last time Katherine sits around playing songs with a circle of strangers. And really, I can't think of a better way to spend a morning.