Ukulele classes are proving to be one of the more popular programs at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, according to Erlinda Naputi.
Naputi, coordinator at the JKPL Children of Our Homeland Center, said yesterday that they have 38 students who are enrolled in the after-school ukulele class for beginners conducted by musician Larry Lee.
Of this number, six are adults and the rest are children ranging from 8 years old to teens.
Naputi disclosed that they initially got 40 students, the maximum number they can accommodate for the class. However, two students were unable to continue with the lessons.
She said this year's registration had a “really good turnout” compared to 2012, in which they had 31 students. Naputi noted that even after classes began on Feb. 7, they were still receiving calls from parents who wanted their children to learn how to play the instrument.
“Majority of the students were just enrolled by their parents so they were reluctant at first. They thought it was going to be difficult but they're really enjoying it now,” she told Saipan Tribune.
According to Naputi, the students learn the parts of a ukulele, the proper way of holding it, strumming, and keys. They also learn to play new songs each week.
Besides the beginners' class, JKPL also offers an intermediate class for those who have already completed the beginners' class.
The intermediate class is conducted by various ukulele instructors.
Both the intermediate and beginners' classes will run until March 28. Prior to the last day of classes, Naputi said the students will showcase their ukulele skills in a public presentation to be held at JKPL.
With the continued interest in ukulele lessons among library patrons, Naputi is optimistic that the state library can also carry on with its partnership with Lee and other ukulele players on island to educate the public about the instrument.
“We want to thank all our instructors and the community for showing interest in our ukulele classes. Without them, we won't have this program,” said Naputi.
For more information about the library programs, visit JKPL in Susupe or call 235-7316/22/23 or fax 235-7550.