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By Robby McKittrick
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Every Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the fall, the Caryl Center hosts a ukulele class for seniors.
The class consists of around 30 individuals who appear 65 and older. The members pay for the class online and play once a week to improve their use of the ukulele, have a great time, and socialize with new friends.
“We have a lot of fun here,” said one class member, Eleonore Alvarez. “We learn something new every day we come.
“We enjoy it because it’s a very international class,” added another participant.
Playing the ukulele is great for the seniors in the community because it is an engaging activity that is easy to learn.
“It is supposed to be great to sing and play the ukulele at the same time [for an aging brain],” said a couple in the class.
“I never played an instrument in my life,” added another participant, Nancy Lindholm.
“It’s been fantastic.”
The ukulele class was created over three years ago by Dover resident Trudy Walsh. Walsh read an article in the Boston Globe about a similar program held in Weston by instructor Daniel Metraux. Walsh and her friend visited Weston and convinced Metraux to teach the course in Dover.
“He is the leader,” said Walsh.
“We love him,” added Lindholm. “He is really great.”
Metraux explained why the ukulele is a great instrument to teach.
“You don’t need to know music [to play the ukulele],” he said. “People have a good time.”
Metraux is originally from Switzerland and Canada, and he has played the ukulele since he was 15 years old.
“The ukulele is actually one of the easiest instrument to learn,” Metraux said. “They now do it in schools because it is small, easy to carry, and only has four strings, so it’s easier to learn than a guitar.”
The class typically plays and sings a variety of songs from the 1960s. For example, on Wednesday, October 11, the class played and sang "Do-Re-Mi," "Abilene," and "What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor."
The ukulele class will be running every week until December. Then, there will be just 16 sessions in the winter and in the spring. The group also plays in the summer, and the sessions are free.
Members come from all over the area, such as Lincoln, Concord, Millis, Brookline, and Jamaica Plain. The class has grown over the past couple of years from 15 to 30 people, and the group is still accepting new prospective members.
“We always welcome new players,” said Walsh.