Belgrade resident Tyll Hertsens is changing the tune of senior activities by starting a ukulele group at the Belgrade Senior Center.
MTN spoke with Hertsens while the Ukulele group was playing and he says...
“These guys over here have been playing for we started in November, I think, and you know, by the end of February we were just playing songs.”
Hertsens has been playing the ukulele on and off for 30 years. Now he enjoys teaching and jamming out with seniors every Tuesday.
Hertsens said, “The thing that I bring to it is just the encouragement. No, you can do it, really."
Senior Center Manager Lisa Beedy says this ukulele group has been a great addition to the many other activities they offer, such as fitness classes and singing groups.
“It lit a fire in people that maybe I hadn't seen before," Beedy said. "It kind of gave them a passion that they hadn't really experienced before.”
Hertsens hopes to teach ukulele in more places around Gallatin Valley, such as the Bozeman and Belgrade libraries to continue to share this instrument's magic.
Hertsens said, “There was one lady who one time said, you know, this is my sacred time when I get to play music with other people.”
For Hertsens, it's not about teaching, but having fun with friends.
“I don't consider myself a leader," Hertsens said. "I consider myself an instigator, a ukulele instigator. I love what it allows people to do.”
Hertsens and other members of the Belgrade Senior Center gather every Tuesday to learn and play music together, and there's always room for more.