Chef and I were privileged to receive bursaries for our local Folk Fest Retreat this year. Chef received workshop instruction from Abigail Washburn (who did a terrific confidence exercise for Chef during her workshop; thanks Abigail!), Kai Welch, Martyn Joseph, and Willy Porter.
Chef also had two bouts of one-on-one time with Martyn Joseph. Chef had never touched a tenor guitar before that, and has only spent about an hour on his 6-string in the past year, but with Martyn he learned a song on the tenor guitar. I'll see if I can get the recordings set up here at some point.
Abigail told me Chef had no trouble picking up the banjo exercises she taught in her other workshop Chef attended. Chef hadn't touched a banjo before the retreat.
When we arrived back home, Chef and I decided to pick up a ukelele for him to start on before investing in something pricier. Yesterday he carried the uke and good ol' Mel Bay's ukelele book downtown and hung out on a nearby bench while a friend and I sat outside of a local coffee shop.
An hour later, Chef came over and played a two-chord song for us. He played at a good tempo, and without mistakes.
Prior to sitting on that bench, he'd never picked up a ukelele.
It's always exciting to see Chef pick up a new instrument. He's had the same experience in easily picking up tunes/songs on keyboard, penny whistle, and guitar - but thus far, he's always chosen to not continue because "it's too much work." It would be great to see that way of thinking change someday. In the meantime, it's a real pleasure to see what he's capable of doing when introduced to a new instruments.