For BYU-Idaho students who enjoy learning about little guitars, the Ukulele Workshop is available every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Manwaring Center 368.

The class is free, available to all students and teaches everything from basic music theory to strumming.

Dallin Gleed, a ukulele instructor and a senior studying public health, said he has been playing the ukulele for a little over six years and has been teaching the workshop for two semesters.

Gleed said he was asked by the BYU-Idaho Musicians Network, an online network, to manage and teach both the ukulele and guitar workshops, which occur at the same place and time.

Gleed said anywhere from one to 10 students, sometimes more, show up to the workshop. He said the students that show up often come having a variety of skills levels, some knowing a lot about ukulele and some knowing very little.

Natalie Adams, a freshman majoring in child development, said she just started playing the ukulele May 4, which was the first workshop of the month.

“I bought a ukulele last semester off of impulse, and I thought, why not?” Adams said. “I need to learn this ukulele. It’s just been sitting in my apartment, and I really want to learn.”

Adams said she discovered the ukulele and guitar workshops by searching the calendar on the BYU-I website, where many student-run events and activities are posted.

“(A) study showed that students who played instruments in class had more improved neural processing than the children who attended the music and appreciation group,” according to an article in Time magazine titled “This Is How Music Can Change Your Brain.”

By actively learning how to play an instrument, the brain develops an ability to distinguish between different sounds, which helps on various academic levels, according to the article.

Dallin Gleed, Frances King and Natalie Adams each said learning an instrument has benefits beyond playing pretty notes.

Gleed said he would like to get into music therapy sometime in the future because of the effect he believes music has on an individual’s emotions and the relaxation he personally feels when listening to music.

King said she has grown up surrounded by music and considers it to be a big stress reliever.

“When I’m sitting in my apartment and I’m stressed out about midterms or finals or something like that, I’ll pick up my ukulele and strum it aimlessly,” King said.

Adams said she played clarinet throughout middle school and high school, as well as a little bit of piano.

Adams said she believes that music sparks creativity.

“Music adds balance and makes you more creative and diverse and able to see things in a whole different perspective than you would if you just had a straight math brain,” Adams said.

King and Adams each said that, if nothing else, the ukulele workshop is just something fun to do on a Wednesday night.