Jim, MacPhail Music for Life™, Age 70

After trading a pile of cedar wood in his backyard for a ukulele, Jim didn’t know exactly what to do with his new piece of décor. So he set it in his living room, where it collected dust for six years…And then when he retired at 65 years, a friend happened to send a pamphlet on the benefits of music learning.  Jim looked to the small, dusty instrument in his living room as an opportunity to take on something unique – and well outside his comfort zone.

“I have zero music ability. None.” Jim says with a laugh. “At my age, you hear a lot about how you should be finding new pathways for the brain. Ukulele could not be further from accounting and contracting. It’s the other end of the spectrum.”

Jim now participates in a ukulele class through MacPhail Music for Life ™, a music learning program designed for adults 55+. “When I first started, it felt really awkward because I’ve never done something like this, but the class is at a good pace and every week is getting better. It’s challenging and enjoyable. I have to think about everything,” he says.

“I have a lot of friends who paint, or do other forms of art, or travel… this has offered me a different form of escape.” And Jim’s ultimate goal? “We go to my friend’s cabin every year, one day I’m going to whip this baby out at a bonfire.”