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Sure it’s a fun to play, but the ukulele is more than just a friendly little easy-to-learn instrument.

There are many far-reaching benefits to playing an instrument in general — and specifically the ukulele — that include increased hand-eye coordination, lower stress levels, improved brain function, and better focus and mental clarity, not to mention social interaction and a sense of accomplishment. Oh, and it even helps improve reading comprehension!

Our Chelan and Moses Lake libraries offer year-round opportunities to play the ukulele, and our Oroville library provides seasonal programs.

  • Chelan: A weekly ukulele circle at 1 p.m. Thursdays for adults. Play together and learn new songs and techniques. Bring your own instrument.
  • Moses Lake: A monthly jam session on the 4th Monday of the month at 6 p.m. for all ages and skill levels. Bring your own instrument.
  • Oroville: Will resume its ukulele get-togethers for those middle-school-aged and older in the spring, most likely in April. Please check with the library for the actual start date.
Need some motivation to start playing? Here are a few benefits:

Increased coordination: Your brain sends rapid messages to your finger tips as you read the music and pluck those fine strings, which can seriously improve your hand-eye coordination.

Improved brain function: Mastering the art of playing an instrument has been called the brain’s equivalent to training for a marathon. When playing a ukulele, you are exercising brain muscles. Some studies have shown that musicians have a lower chance of developing memory issues.

Improved reading and comprehension skills: Studies have shown that children who played music over multiple years demonstrated better reading and comprehension skills than those who didn’t. That’s because they are constantly reading notes and comprehending their meaning. Researchers at Northwestern University have found that reading and music are related via common neural and cognitive mechanisms.

Improved mental health: Many studies have shown that playing an instrument can help with depression, stress and insomnia because it acts as a positive outlet for negative emotions.

Increased social skills: When you are part of a musical gathering, you open yourself to a new community of people who share your love of music.

So why the ukulele? It’s small, portable, easy to learn and more affordable than many other instruments.

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