The Reading Musical Foundation (RMF) and Pretzel City Productions are excited to announce the delivery of 40 ukuleles to Owatin Creek Elementary School (Exeter School District), on Friday, May 5, at 2:15 PM. These instruments are the first “Ukes in the Classroom,” a new educational partnership for the 2017 Berks Country Fest Americana Jamboree between RMF and Pretzel City Productions. Through this partnership, Pretzel City Productions split the cost of 40 Kala ukuleles with the Exeter School District. RMF invites the press to be at the unveiling/delivery of the ukuleles to the Owatin Creek Elementary School general music class. Photo releases for students will be provided.
“Our executive team and everyone else here at Pretzel City Productions, Reading Eagle Company, WEEU Radio, The Sound Room and Berks Country Fest: An Americana Jamboree, are very pleased that we can work with the Reading Musical Foundation and local schools, music educators and students to engage young people in the activity of learning and performing music. By working together, we can help to make Pennsylvania’s Americana Region, Reading & Berks County, a community that not only presents talent, but also nurtures talent and creativity as a way of life,” said Dave Kline, executive director of Pretzel City Productions.
Growing ever popular, the National Association of Music Merchants reports ukuleles are one of the bestselling music instruments, jumping from $33 million in sales in 2009 to over $77 million in 2012.
Currently almost a half dozen districts in Berks County have implemented a hands-on ukulele program in their elementary schools. A small instrument with a simple technique allows little hands to learn quickly, building immediate confidence with playing an instrument.
Program Details and Requirements
RMF announced to all Berks County public schools the opportunity to begin a ukulele program in their schools in early February. Owatin Creek and Exeter School District was the first to respond, with the plan to share the instruments across all three elementary schools next school year. The ukuleles were purchased through Meadowood Music in Blandon, PA, and has generously donated the costs associated with implementation and upkeep for the first year, which includes general maintenance, cost of new replacement strings, and professional development for the teacher responsible for the program.