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Beyond Books: Ukulele Lending Collection

Posted on by Future Neenah
July 30, 2016 @ 9:00 am
Neenah Public Library
240 E Wisconsin Ave
Neenah, WI 54956
Gretchen Raab, Library Director

The little ukulele has seen a huge resurgence in recent years. It’s a popular instrument for good reason: it’s affordable, it’s relatively easy to learn, and it’s small and portable. But perhaps most importantly, playing the ukulele with others creates a musical and magical sense of community.

The Neenah Public Library’s eight ukuleles will be available for checkout beginning Saturday, July 30. The ukulele kits put together by Heid Music include a Kala soprano ukulele, a gig bag, an electronic tuner, and an instruction booklet with access to online learning tools.

The Neenah Public Library/Heid Music Ukulele Collection launch will kick off at the Neenah Downtown Farmers’ Market on Saturday, July 30, 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. (The Farmers’ Market is located at Shattuck Park, next to the Neenah Public Library).

At 9:00 a.m., the advanced members of the Green Bay Ukulele Club will perform at the Farmers’ Market, led by Michael Monfils, a music instructor with more than 40 years’ experience studying and teaching guitar, bass, and ukulele.

From 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., any and all ukulele players and those interested in learning more about the collection or the instruments are welcome to attend an open jam session/workshop at the Neenah Public Library led by Michael Monfils and other local musicians.

Heid Music will have a variety of ukuleles in different sizes on hand for attendees to try on for size.

Coming this fall, the Library will offer a weekly Saturday morning open jam session for uke players at all levels. Hosted by musician Mike Iverson, this is the perfect opportunity to play with others in the community. Mike has taught guitar, bass, piano, and ukulele for the past 18 years. The open jams will be informal and fun, and they’re open to anyone – from beginners to experienced ukulele players. (Dates and times to be announced.)

Also this fall, the Library will begin offering a weekly group class (days and times to be announced) taught by Sam ‘Alika Bader. Sam, a native Hawaiian and a student at Lawrence University, has been playing ukulele for the past 11 years. The group class is for beginning students of any age. Students will learn the basics of the instrument, basic strum patterns, and how to play chords. You’ll be playing songs before you know it! Bring your own ukulele or check out one of the Library’s ukuleles.

The best part: it’s all free. Checking out a ukulele is free, jam sessions are free, classes are free. The happiness, merriment, and magic of playing music with a community are free, too!

Uke on, Neenah!

Heid Music, founded in 1948 in downtown Appleton, has four locations (Appleton, Green Bay, Wisconsin Rapids, Oshkosh, and Madison). The Appleton store, located at 308 East College Avenue, includes extensive retail and education spaces. Heid’s focus is on music education and entertainment and their goal is to bring music to the communities and to inspire and engage musicians at any stage, any age.

Neenah Public Library, located at 240 East Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Neenah, boasts an impressive collection of books and magazines, movies, and music available for checkout; full-service reference and readers’ advisory services; programming, classes, and workshops for all ages. The Library’s mission is to inspire ideas, enrich lives, create community, and celebrate literacy.


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