Meet Michelle Kiba

 

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I picked up my first ukulele in a second hand store, a Kamaka soprano pineapple. Small and intimate, I fell in love with it immediately. Before that, I had played guitar since I was 12. I discovered self made music was empowering, joyful, challenging, and rewarding.

 

20 years later, I developed repetitive stress injuries in my wrists. Eventually the pain became so bad I had to use both hands just to hold a toothbrush or raise coffee cup.  Playing a guitar was painful too. My doctor recommended that I shouldnít play music anymore. I didnít give up.

I discovered the shortly after my diagnosis. I also discovered the ukulele was wrist friendly. Unlike my jumbo guitar, it didnít hurt to play. That was 20 years ago. Recovery took 10 years and an awareness of healthy ergonomics. My wrists are healthy now and ukulele collection has grown. I now own several more lovely ukuleles. Yes, I have UAS (ukulele acquisition syndrome).

What adventure Iíve had too! IĎve performed at many ukulele festivals around the country, and taught at music camps as well. It was very exciting to perform and tour the east coast of Australia.

I also had the honor of touring and teaching in Japan, playing in Hokkaido, Tokyo and Osaka, As icing on my dream cake, I have recorded 4 CDs and published 5 ukulele songbooks.

 

I gave up my corporate day job to become a music therapist, playing for folks in Alzheimer units, retirement communities, hospitals, sanitariums, skilled nursing facilities, etc. As of this writing, Iíve retired from my day job as a music therapist, but I am still teaching group classes in the evenings.  I perform as a solo artist and often with my band of 12 years, the TikiTones.

 

What an amazing journey! And it's all because of the ukulele.