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Making Ukuleles!

by Guy and Brice Austin

Brice and AustinTime: 2:00 pm
Location: South Tent

Hear firsthand about the process of making your own ukulele from two local students who recently built their own instruments. Brothers Guy and Brice Austin spent three Saturday mornings in August in Doug and Deb Abell's popular Project ACORN class. In all, 31 ukuleles were made in their three separate courses (nine sessions total) in the Ferdinand area this summer, with lessons being offered in the coming fall season. In addition to making ukuleles, all involved also made some new friendships and enjoyed the camaraderie of working together on their art and music project in the friendly confines of Doug's woodshop. Brice and Guy will explain the step-by-step process involved in building the popular Hawaiian guitars from kits--from many pieces handcrafted into one beautifully sounding instrument. From sanding and gluing to customized staining and painting, they carefully added their bridges, tuners, and strings to complete their project. Attendees might even hear them play a tune or two. Stop by for this unique Tent Talk promoting the arts in our youth.

Guy and Brice are the sons of Tracy and Matt Austin of Schnellville. Guy is fifteen years old and attends Abeka Academy as a ninth grader. After being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at a young age, Guy is flourishing both academically and socially. He has worked with speech, physical, occupational, behavioral, and music therapists. Music plays an important role in Guy's life. He has proven firsthand that music, along with other fine gross motor skill activities, helps him successfully overcome his exceptions both verbally and mentally. Guy has taken lessons in piano and zylophone, and he looks foward to ukelele lessons and future wood working and art classes with Project ACORN.

Brice is thirteen years old and attends Forest Park Jr.-Sr. High School as a seventh grader. Brice is an active young man who enjoys music, golf, hunting, fishing, and most activities that include socializing. He has taken lessons in violin, piano, zylophone, baritone, and percussion. He will concentrate predominantly on percussion, as he looks forward to becoming a Marching Ranger in high school. Since building his ukelele, he has enjoyed figuring it out himself and playing tunes by ear; however, like Guy, he also looks forward to group lessons and other wood working and art classes with Project ACORN. Both Guy and Brice are involved as a volunteers in their church and in their youth group, and they serve as "gophers" for the Marching Ranger Band.

Stay tuned for future classes by Doug, a professional woodworker. Thanks to Deb and Doug for their hospitality and generous spirit in making these classes a huge success in Project ACORN's inaugural season. For hundreds of ACORN photos highlighting the 15 summer offerings and exciting upcoming autumn announcements, visit https://www.facebook.com/ferdinandprojectacorn/, and consider attending the Project ACORN Tent Talk.


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