The Ukulele Players of Pyramid is a program recently started at the Tallahassee Pyramid Program, a day-treatment program for adults with developmental disabilities. Pyramid offers a wide range of visual and performing arts activities, in addition to services including physical, nutritional and behavioral assistance, social and life-management skills, and educational classes. Arts activities include painting, sculpture, jewelry making, dance, theater, and a variety of music groups. For example, the Electric People is a group of musicians and singers who perform rock and roll and contemporary songs. The Blues Lab is a group who perform original and standard Blues songs.
A new music group, the Ukulele Players of Pyramid (UPP) has recently started under the direction of Ken Winker with assistance of Pyramid music staff who identified students interested in learning how to play the ukulele and to perform songs. Ken meets weekly with the group and teaches them strumming patterns in a variety of tempos, and how to play a sufficient number of chords which lets the group perform a wide range of songs, including original songs. Ken is applying music and music-based experiences to help students develop and re-gain life skills including communication, physical movement, attention and memory, emotional growth, and lots of fun.
The Ukulele Players of Pyramid have been provided with a small number of ukulele instruments. However, these instruments must remain on site for the class. Students are unable take the ukuleles home where they could practice more and also share their music with their family and friends. A goal of the group is to perform in shows at the Pyramid Program and at venues and events in the community. And, to share the inspirational efforts of these very special people with the Tallahassee community through UPP- lifting performances.
The purpose of the requested funds will be used solely to purchase between 20-25 ukuleles and bags to allow for each student in the group to have their very own ukulele so they can practice and play music for themselves and family and friends and to have a sufficient number of instruments left in the classroom for the group to use during class should they forget to bring their ukulele to the facility. Funds will also be used to design and buy unique t-shirts for the Ukulele Players of Pyramid.
Funded by Tallahassee, FL (June 2016)