Library to provide ukulele beginners classes

Workshops cost $17 for a total of four workshops throughout April, May

Scott+Hallett%2C+founder+and+instructor+of+the+Ukulele+Players+of+the+Palouse%2C+says+he+had+a+trip+to+Hawaii+and+bought+a+ukulele+because+he+could+not+bring+his+guitar.+Hallett+then+discovered+his+passion+for+the+instrument.
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Library to provide ukulele beginners classes

Scott Hallett, founder and instructor of the Ukulele Players of the Palouse, says he had a trip to Hawaii and bought a ukulele because he could not bring his guitar. Hallett then discovered his passion for the instrument.

Scott Hallett, founder and instructor of the Ukulele Players of the Palouse, says he had a trip to Hawaii and bought a ukulele because he could not bring his guitar. Hallett then discovered his passion for the instrument.

SANDY VO | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Scott Hallett, founder and instructor of the Ukulele Players of the Palouse, says he had a trip to Hawaii and bought a ukulele because he could not bring his guitar. Hallett then discovered his passion for the instrument.

SANDY VO | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

SANDY VO | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Scott Hallett, founder and instructor of the Ukulele Players of the Palouse, says he had a trip to Hawaii and bought a ukulele because he could not bring his guitar. Hallett then discovered his passion for the instrument.

SANDY VO, Evergreen reporter

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Whitman County Library will host an “Introduction to Ukulele” beginner’s class geared toward adults next month.

Scott Hallett, founder and instructor of the Ukulele Players of the Palouse (UPOP), said the class costs $17 for a total of four workshops. The class will be held from 6-7 p.m. on April 10, 17, 24 and May 1. Attendees can register for the class by calling the county library at 509-397-4366 or the Community Colleges of Spokane at 509-279-6030.

Hallett said the class is aimed at adults because it is powered through the Community College of Spokane’s ACT 2 program. This program is subsidized funding for anyone retired or preparing to retire. His goal with the class is to get people interested in playing music.

“There are an awful lot of people who would like to do something with music and think they can’t,” Hallett said. “I am trying to get them to think they can do something with music through the power of the ukulele.”

He said the ukulele is the easiest string instrument to play and learning only three chords can make hundreds of songs accessible.

“You can’t hold a ukulele without smiling,” Hallett said.

He said everyone who attends the class will get an informational packet on ukulele sizes, how to tune the instrument, some music sheets and a brief history.

“Everyone thinks ukuleles came from Hawaii, but it came from Portugal,” Hallett said. “It came to Hawaii from Portugal on a ship where some Portuguese people came over to work on the sugarcane fields.”

Hallett said legend has it that when Portuguese people got to Hawaii, they were so happy to arrive there that they jumped off the ship and started to play the ukulele.

“Hawaiians said their fingers move so fast it looks like jumping fleas, which translates into ukulele,” he said.

Sarah Phelan, librarian at the Whitman County Library, said people should not worry if they do not have a ukulele. The library has five ukuleles available for checkout and they come with a tuner and beginner’s handbook.

Hallett said UPOP donated these ukuleles and can be checked out from libraries in Pullman and Moscow as well.

He said he started UPOP seven years ago because he thought it would be a fun idea to make music and learn from other people.

“You learn a lot more playing with other people than you ever will by yourself,” Hallett said.

He said he got into playing the ukulele because he found himself not having a passion for anything.

“I had a trip to Hawaii planned out and could not bring my guitar, so my wife suggested I buy a ukulele,” Hallett said. “I went online and discovered a huge ukulele community and it stuck with me ever since.”

The classes at Whitman County Library will be located at 102 S Main St. in Colfax.