Seated from left: Martha Borkan, Joanne Troy, Roberta Hung and Susan Mitchell. Julie Stepanuk is shown standing in the background.
(Gail Lowe Photo)

Published in the October 1, 2018 edition.


WAKEFIELD — Lilting music flowed from the Lower Level meeting room at the Beebe Library on Saturday morning, Sept. 29, thanks to ukulele player Julie Stepanuk of Franklin County who stopped by to teach 20 women and girls how to play familiar songs in one easy 90-minute lesson.

Stepanuk travels throughout the state to teach at various public venues, including senior centers and libraries. This past summer she visited 100 libraries to teach people how to play the cheery sounding instrument that has been riding a wave of popularity in recent years. The ukulele has been called the trendiest instrument for everyone to learn — from kids to retirees.

Melrose resident Martha Borkan said she wanted to attend the Saturday morning class because she thought it would be fun to learn. And it was, judging from the smiling faces throughout the room.

The ukulele looks like a toy guitar and has four plastic strings that can be pressed to play chords from C to G.

Stepanuk brought with her enough brightly colored instruments so that each participant could learn how to play.

She started by teaching the various parts of the ukulele, pointing out the sound hole, frets and neck.

A little instruction went a long way. Halfway through the class, participants were playing “Happy Birthday,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and Singin’ in the Rain.”

A second class will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. Space will be reserved only for those who did not attend the Sept. 29 session. To sign up, call the Beebe Library at 781-246-6334.