New discoveries in music and in life.

This miniature guitar originated in Portugal. The Hawaiians fell in love with this nimble, fun instrument. They named it the ukulele, the jumping flee.  

Six Years ago, a special man of uncommon joy and kindness came into my life. He brought his young son to our basketball camp in Maui.

At camp, he asked me to teach him how to shoot a basketball. He wanted to help his son master the craft. The foundation of the Crowell Shooting System, at its most basic level, is Touch, Brush, Swish. This became his homework.

Soon I learned Derick Sebastion was one of the world’s foremost masters of the jumping flea. Sebastion could make the Ukulele dance, laugh, cry, scream and jump for joy.

Weekly, Derick performs at the Hula Grill. Children get a free lesson. Adults can join too if there are enough instruments.

Isabella, third daughter of Shann and Jennifer, got her first Ukulele and lesson from coach Sebastion. I joined her for my first shot at a musical lesson.

Coach made it simple like I try to do in shooting classes. The right hand is the first key, not the left hand. The rhythm is tick tock like a clock.

The place of the fingers like basketball is crucial. The motion reminded me of Touch, Brush, Swish. The jumping fleas prime motion is down up, down up, up down.

Bella picked up immediately; not me. I was doing down up, down up, up down with my imaginary Uke as we returned to Spokane. This was my homework.

During the ukulele lesson and personal time with this gifted and beloved friend, I heard something I needed to hear.

Join me in wrapping your mind around these profound ideas.

The Ukulele coach says, “Talent is important; dedicated work is even more important but also remember, when you perform any act, people are more interested in how you make them feel as you do it.”

Bang! Mind lights come on. Let’s use the flight attendants on the plane. Three attendants had served me. All had done a professional job. They handed me drink or food alike; however, one of the three did it with joy and gratitude. She made me feel good. The other two simply performed their duties like it was a job.

Derick’s wisdom moved me to say this to my amazing 11 year old grandchild:

“Bella, I am proud of you for saving half the money. Thank you for choosing the Ukulele the manager suggested. I was blessed to pay the extra. I will never ask you to practice. If the Ukulele is the instrument you love to play, let it be your motivation. If not find your passion elsewhere.”  

I have known for years, if you really love something you can’t get enough of it.

Encouraging people to find their passion is my passion. It is my jumping flea.

What’s Yours?


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