I am passionate about the power of music to transform lives.
Music has been used as a healing force for centuries and can bring people together by reaching across barriers of language, age, nationality, status and culture.
My weapon of choice is the humble ukulele – what I call the Instrument of Joy.
I am training a team of ukulele players – my Uke Squad – to go into places where people are feeling disconnected from society, whether it be by their health, their age, their economic status or their ethnic background. The aim is to share the feeling of connection, joy and value that comes from participating in music.
Through a grant from Coffs Harbour City Council, we are piloting our first Uke Squad with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) families from the Australian Red Cross’ Happy Hearts Playgroup and Migrant Parenting Program. We will deliver ukulele classes to up to 20 families during school term IV.
“This project is all about the joy of music for our families,” says Amanda Flack, Migrant Playgroup Facilitator at Red Cross. “It’s about sharing songs and stories. Through this sharing, we create a safe space to explore cultural identities, a sense of belonging to our community and JOY!”
Whether confined to a hospital bed or in a nursing home; to a life on the streets or on the margins of society, my Uke Squads will bring joy to participants and a way to connect with others (and self) through music.
Stay tuned for more news on this exciting project.