Review: Arpeggio Meditations for Ukulele

Daniel Ward’s 30-page “Arpeggio Meditations for Ukulele” for ukulele players reminds me of the Hanon exercises I played every day as a budding piano player. That’s how I built my technique, after playing the scales and arpeggios in the key I was assigned, I’d play one piece from Hanon for the entire week. This sort of repetitive finger exercise gets you into a trance. However, I daresay, Ward’s music is a lot more interesting and pleasing to the ear than Hanon’s.

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Review: How to Play Ukulele, a complete guide for beginners

Hot off the press, Dan “Cool Hand Uke” Scanlan’s new book, lightweight paperback and nicely designed, is full of tips and advice gleaned from the author’s sixty years of playing and teaching the ukulele. In that time period, the author has undoubtedly encountered all sorts of questions, for playing an instrument isn’t just about playing. Adults like to ask questions. It takes an experienced teacher to explain the answers without taxing the brain and intimidating the beginner.

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Relocating and reinventing yourself

Do you have to relocate to reinvent yourself? Or just find the time to write? Anne Ku discovers why she admires authors and writers so much.

This December, my sister said,”Why don’t you write a book about relocating? You’ve done it so many times. If anyone knows how to do it, it would be you.”

Last December, my writing teacher said,”Why don’t you write a book about how to organise a house concert? Everyone who goes to your house concerts is thinking — gosh! I wish I could do this in my house. You can sell it to your audiences.”

People whom I’ve met on our USA concert tour have said to me,”Why don’t you write a book about your tour?”

There are many books I can write. There are many books I’d love to write. But I only have time to blog.

How do I make the time to write? A blog is not a book.

A friend who loved to write but never wrote a book told me to get up in the morning and just write.

When I discovered that “The Four Seasons” was the title of a new novel while researching Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, I wrote and introduced myself to the San Diego based author. Laurel Corona promptly sent me the novel. I’ve been following her on Facebook and Twitter ever since.

I am now half-way around the world from where I have been living most of my adult life. I am closer to my roots than anywhere I’ve lived in the last 20 years.

At the Rotary Club Maui luncheon last Thursday, I met the author Jill Engledow. I promptly visited Borders bookstore in Kahului and bought her book — “Island life 101: a newcomer’s guide to Hawai’i.” I am half-way through the book already.

This afternoon, I sat on a dried up tree trunk on the pebbled north shore of Waiehu Beach road and read another book while Robert body surfed.

For some reason, Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” caught my attention in a book store at one of the many airports I lingered at recently. I found it again, overdue in a stack of books destined to be returned to Wailuku Public Library. I had been wanting to immerse myself in a book since I left the Netherlands. Now, I can’t put it down. Liz, as the author called herself, relocated and reinvented herself.

Tonight I watched “Message in a Bottle” on Netflix online. While perusing the author’s website, I read about his life and how he got into writing. Nicholas Sparks did not stop whatever he was doing in his life to become an author. He just wrote. He eventually got published.

Perhaps being away from my normal environment will help me realise a dream. Perhaps that’s why I admire authors so much.