TALENTED schoolchildren broke a musical record at a ukulele concert.
Pupils at Lee-on-the-Solent Junior School, in Gosport, formed a 90-strong ukulele orchestra at a performance for their classmates and parents yesterday.
They broke the Hampshire record for the most number of children playing the ukulele at the same time.
Proud parents were treated to enthusiastic renditions of You Are My Sunshine, Strum Your Uke and Haul Away Joe.
Ukulele teacher Richard Hales set the record last year when he led 60 pupils at a Southampton school in a ukulele concert.
He has been tutoring the Gosport youngsters on how to play the ukulele for the last 13 weeks.
Mr Hales said: ‘I thought it would be terrific if I could borrow some extra ukuleles and have all the classes playing together.
‘We put on a concert to demonstrate all the things they have been learning. They made a fantastic sound.
‘The children have been learning the ukulele as part of a scheme which aims to teach children how to play musical instruments. They have absolutely loved it.
‘It’s a privilege for me to be able to teach them to play the ukulele because they enjoy it so much.
‘The ukulele has become an increasingly popular choice because it is inexpensive, easy to learn and lots of fun.
‘Even adults are taking up the instrument. We are in the middle of a ukulele revolution.’
The lessons were part of Hampshire Music Service’s Listen2Me programme.
Listen2Me provides schoolchilden across the county with free music lessons in school.
At Lee-on-the-Solent Junior School, each year group is given lessons on singing and how to play a different instrument.
Headteacher Mary Charlton said: ‘We always have a concert at the end of the term for the parents to see what their children have been learning.
‘But this one was different because this time every single child in year four has an instrument to play.
‘We were begging and borrowing around to get enough instruments. It’s been quite exceptional.’
Some of the school’s pupils have taken to the instrument so well their parents have bought them instruments to carry on their training. Gareth Weller, 42, of Glenney Close, went to the school to watch his nine-year-old son Matthew play.
He said: ‘I thought it was absolutely fantastic.
‘Considering most of them have only been able to learn during school hours they did an amazing job.
‘People I have spoken to say it is quite a difficult thing to learn.
‘He’s been very quiet about the fact he was learning to play a musical instrument all this time. I’m very proud.’