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Rosemount United Methodist and RAAC partner to bring ukulele workshop

As instruments go the ukulele is easy to play. That's part of the reason the Bartig Boys, brothers Dave and Gary, like to introduce people to music with the instrument. Another reason: it's fun to play.

The Bartig Boys will bring their one-of-a-kind ukulele workshop to Rosemount from 4 to 5 p.m. March 16 at Rosemount United Methodist Church. Afterwards, from 5:15 to 6 p.m., the brothers will perform a concert that will include a mix of old country, swing music and some 20s and 30s pop classic.

Gary said the brothers have offered the workshop at a number of Bluegrass festivals with great success. In-tune ukuleles will be provided to everyone who registers. Gary said they start each workshop learning how to strum. Dave teaches the class and Gary provides assistance to people in the crowd.

Once they get everyone strumming correctly, Gary said they show them how to play a C chord and then an F chord. As they progress through the workshop, attendees learn to go back and forth between the two and then learn to play the song Polly Wolly Doodle All the Day, which, you guessed it, consists of those two chords.

Gary said there aren't many instruments that you can pick up and play a song on your first lesson. If they have time, they will also show attendees how to play a G chord.

"With those three you can play a thousand songs," said Gary.

Besides the music, Gary said the workshops focus on having a good time. Gary said they've done the workshop a number of times and they feel like they're on to something.

Rosemount UMC artist in residence DeAnne Parks thinks they're on to something too. She has seen them put on the workshop several times and thought it would be a great way to engage Rosemount residents in the arts.

"I've seen them in action and they are really accessible to people who don't play an instrument," said Parks.

Plus, Parks added, "they are so darn entertaining."

The two-part event is a collaborative effort between the Rosemount United Methodist Church and the Rosemount Area Arts Council. Parks said part of her role as artist in residence is to create arts-related events with other community groups. As a member of RAAC, Parks said this collaboration works out great.

"It's more interactive than just a concert," said Parks.

For those who enjoy playing the instrument, there will be ukuleles available for purchase, Gary said. He added that YouTube contains hundreds of ukulele lessons to move forward with.

The workshop and concert are free but attendees are asked to reserve a spot to ensure there are enough ukuleles. RSVP by calling 952-388-8652 or emailing by February 28.

The workshop is open to people of all ages. Children should be accompanied by an adult.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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