On Thursday 24th of October at 7pm the popular Welsh singer Alun Tan Lan will be training staff from Mudiad Meithrin’s cylchoedd in Conwy how to play the ukelele at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.
A grant of £4285.60 was awarded by Awards for All in April to fund this project which included purchasing an ukelele for each Cylch Ti a Fi in Conwy and to commission Alun Tan Lan to compose 10 short and simple songs that will be sung in the cylchoedd after the training.
Delyth Jones, Conwy Development Officer for Mudiad Meithrin said:
“We’ve already held one training session before the summer for one group of leaders and we had loads of fun learning how to play the ukelele and signing the new songs. The songs that Alun have composed for us are great – Alun himself is a father of young children and a leader of Ti a Fi Llanddoged, so he had first hand experience in identifying the types of songs that would be suitable and that would appeal to very young children. It has been a pleasure to work with Alun on this project, and everything has been a lot of fun and easy to organise. I also feel this project has brought the cylchoedd staff within the county together to meet in an informal atmosphere and socialize with each other, as well as learning a new skill.”
The demand for this project was identified by researching into how many of the leaders in the cylchoedd could play a musical instrument. It became apparent that there was a shortage in many of the cylchoedd, or if a leader could play the piano there wasn’t a piano in the building where the cylch was being held. Therefore Alun Tan Lan came up with the idea of creating a musical workshop to teach music skills, and because the ukelele is a relatively cheap instrument and easy to carry around... but most important of all an easy instrument to master, it was decided that this would be the best instrument to be used for the training.
Delyth Jones added:
“This project is a fantastic way of increasing the skills and creativity across several levels in our cylchoedd - the leaders and volunteers will learn the skill of playing the ukulele which will add to the creativity of the activities within the cylch. The leaders will have learnt how to play a musical instrument enabling them to sing simple songs in the cylch with the children, and the children will be given the opportunity to increase their musical skills by singing and experimenting with the ukelele.”
The new songs promote healthy eating and keeping fit and through these themes will enhance the children’s Welsh language skills in a fun and natural way. Each cylch has received a copy of the songs on a CD as part of the training pack to encourage and support staff to continue playing the ukelele in the cylchoedd after the training.