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Tuatagaloa bringing ukelele back

Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale is offering ukulele lessons for street vendors and others who would like to learn the traditional instrument in a bid to revive its popularity. 

Over the weekend, Tuatagaloa offered lessons to the public at the Samoa Women’s Association of Growers (S.W.A.G) Market. He explained that he has a talent that God gave him which needs to be shared.

"I feel that whatever time I have left I should share this talent. The whole thing was started really with the idea of trying to get the street vendors to come and be part of this because this could well be part of their future, you never know. I am sure there is a lot of talent,” he said.

“I have tried to encourage them because at the start of this market they were here early with the usual things that they sell. As a committee (S.W.A.G committee) we thought about how we can engage them.

“This was one way, I offered to teach Ukulele.”

Tuatagaloa stated that over the years he has had a lot of people asking if he could start a ukulele school but he has explained that he would love to but the difficulties of time and distance stand in the way. 

He explained that when he was young, he started playing with the guitar before he ended up playing the ukulele.

“I have gained so much from all of this particularly being able to play an instrument. It is a wonderful gift to know how to sing and how to play an instrument,” he said.

Tuatagaloa explained that the tradition of playing the guitar and ukulele is one thing that he is trying to bring back.

“I am not a professional by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t play with notes, I don’t know how to read music but I listen. And I play by ear and that's what I teach to my students or my group, to listen," he said.

“That’s how I have succeeded with the ukulele and the guitar, it's by ear."

According to Tuatagaloa, it has been a great experience for him.

"You get to know those who are with you. You get to understand and know their different skills and their talents. We are all gifted in different ways. We have started to learn songs now, Pese Samoa,:

He explained that when he was young, everyone had played the guitar and ukulele and further explained that the number of people who know how to play the guitar and ukulele has decreased.

"It’s just something that happened, it's just like playing marbles, you rarely see anyone who plays with marbles,” he said.

Tuatagaloa stated that things such as playing the guitar and ukulele and playing marbles were stuff that they always did when they were young but he explained that you rarely see these things nowadays.

"The youth has been influenced by phones. Also in terms of music, they don’t have to go and play an instrument to go and listen, they can play it on the phone,” he said.

“It has taken the adventure out of life," he said.

He also explained that phones also have their advantages and further explained that his students and group have been recording his music and replaying it at home to continue practising.

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