Peter Luongo, otherwise known around town as “the uke man,” told the Langley Advance Times that after enough people come up to him, asking where they can sign up for uke lessons – an idea crossed his mind.
“People always ask me ‘where do I go as an adult to play the uke,’ Luongo said. “I feel really excited to use my history and experience to the Langley community and bring something together for people who have thought ‘man, I’ve really wanted to learn the uke.”
Luongo, founder of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble (LUE), wholeheartedly refers to Langley as the “Uke Capital of Canada,” and wants as many people as possible to enjoy the sounds and experiences of playing the upbeat instrument.
The largest obstacle for most is that people don’t have access to ukuleles and LUE doesn’t have enough to go home with people so they can practise and keep playing after class.
Luongo’s hope to rescue any ukulele stuffed away in someone’s closet and put it to good use by lending them out to new students.
If anyone has a uke to spare – one they won’t miss that has been collecting dust over the years – Luongo said this is the perfect easiest way to give it a new life.
“It has to be in one peice – one broken string we can probably deal with that – but if you bought one that’s just sitting there, we are able to take if off people’s hands,” Luongo said.
The instruments can be dropped off at the Langley Advance Times at 20258 Fraser Hwy between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Though LUE has been offering continuous children’s classes and even a uke summer camp for the past thirteen years, this will be the first time adults can get their own opportunity to come in and strum away.
“We’ll have learn-to-play classes for adults. We don’t expect people who can play, we’ll be teaching right from the beginning,” Luongo explained. “The idea is to get a group of people who will see each other and make music together.”
Students from LUC will be helping to teach adults in an opportunity that Luongo hopes will also bring together generations.
Families certainly haven’t been forgotten either; Luongo says another round of classes will bring together moms, dads, siblings, and whoever else wants to learn the instrument.
“Hopefully we’ll bring together the family unit over music,” Luongo said, adding that a family can consist of any member, as long as four people are present.
Anyone interested in signing up is encouraged to visit www.langleyukes.com and watch for updates and registration information as it becomes available.
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