The people that we meet throughout college can change our lives drastically. For Penn State junior and advertising major Christy Nunn, her friend from across the hall freshman year opened a whole new world for her with just the sound of a few chords.
Sitting in her friend’s room on a normal day, Nunn heard the sound of a ukelele. Already an avid guitar player, Nunn was fascinated. Little did she know that this minor interaction would influence her life greatly.
“I became immediately obsessed,” Nunn says, “The ukulele is easy to pick up if you have familiarity with a string instrument. It’s also way easier to transport around with me than a huge guitar.”
Shortly after discovering the wonders of the instrument, Nunn received a ukelele for Christmas. Upon returning to Penn State after the break, she realized that a club dedicated to it did not exist. So she made one herself.
Today, more than two years later, Nunn is the Founder and current President of Penn State’s Ukelele Club, PSUkelele.
Comprised of about 20 active members, the club meets on Tuesday nights in the Ag Engineering building to simply just play the instrument that they all love. Nunn says that this was the exact point of creating the club in the first place.
“I wanted to create a club more that was an escape from hard work and school for people,” Nunn says. “I also wanted it to be less of time commitment. People can always come and go as they please. We just come together and play music.”
One of the best things about the club is the varying skill levels of the students that return week after week. Some are seasoned musicians while others are just beginning. Besides just having general club officers, PSUkelele also has a tutor that is readily available to help aspiring ukulele masters find their sound.
For Nunn, the best part about a ukelele is simply its nice, relaxing sound.
“I love that no matter what chord you play on a ukulele, it’s nice sounding. It’s really hard to play a sad song. It can cheer you instantly,” Nunn says. “I played the ukulele to my baby nephew when he was crying one time and it cheered him right up. It’s magic.”
While the music can provide stress relief on a smaller scale, PSUkele has used its talents to better the lives of others. The group has performed for LifeLink and even took a trip to Hershey Medical Center. While there, Nunn and her fellow members held a mini concert in the cafeteria for the families of the sick children.
“Although we couldn’t perform for the kids, we had the room of families clapping and laughing,” Nunn says. “Those people needed cheering up, so we definitely did our job. It was amazing.”
After graduation next year, Nunn says that she would love to work in digital marketing. However, music will always be an important and integral part of her life.
“Music is my escape. I play music when I’m happy. I play it when I’m sad or when I’m bored,” Nunn says. “It’s my everything.”