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Thread: Ukes in the classroom

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default Ukes in the classroom

    Hi UU,

    I am a teacher and will be using ukes to teach my general music classroom starting next year. I need to get 15 ukes plus cases (soft or hard doesn't matter, they will be stored in lockers in the classroom).
    I'm looking for a high level of durability and playability (stays in tune at least decently, action isn't too high/low, etc.) for these instruments. My budget is roughly $1000 USD (a bit over wouldn't hurt).

    EDIT: the tuning I’m looking for is high G sopranos.

    I've looked into a few options, but want to see what you all would have in mind.

    Thanks,

    mctot
    Last edited by mctot; 05-10-2018 at 06:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    954

    Default

    I recently got a bunch of Kala KA-15S ukes for a program I am teaching. I am pleased with them. They sound decent, play well, seem really durable, etc, etc. Basically they tick all the boxes. If you get one of the many well known vendors (including folks like Elderly, Uke Republic, Mim's) or a decent local shop to set them up for you they will have good playability. As it stands right now, if I had to order them again, I would have no problem getting more of these.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Port Hueneme, CA
    Posts
    2,477

    Default

    I am using Ohana SK-10's for my kids classes. I have restrung them with Aquila Kids strings.
    Bulk packages of 20 sets are available directly from Aquila in Italy. The colored strings make it easy to teach the kids where their fingers go.
    G string is green, C string is red, E string is yellow, A string is blue.

    Good Luck with your program.
    Keep Strummin'

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default

    The strings--is there a website or a phone number you use for that? I'm highly interested in those--never knew they existed, would be tremendous as a teaching tool.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    PHX, AZ
    Posts
    2,155

    Default

    You should talk to Choirguy, who is also a teacher and would be the best source of info on here.
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
    Posts
    1,538

    Default

    If you need sites as references, let me know...I’m happy to share.

    At this point, I would suggest four possible routes for ukuleles that meet your criteria (you have not specified what scale of ukulele you are interested in).

    The ukuleles we are purchasing for our next school are Outdoor Ukuleles, which come in Soprano or Tenor, and if you contact them, they give special pricing to schools, making them very affordable. If you want rugged and perfect set-up...that’s the way to go.

    Another option is to contact Mainland Ukuleles. Mike (active here on UU—and the host of Ukulele World Congress) has helped schools to have high quality instruments at a reduced price—seconds if he has them (Mainland’s seconds are better than many company’s “firsts.”). With solid Mainlands, you will need a strategy for humidity (not sure where you live—your info doesn’t include location). Paul Marchese, another UUer with a educator’s website, was able to get Mainlands last year, and he created his own humidifiers for them. Mike sends these set up properly.

    A third option is the new Makala Dolphin concert sized instruments. They are in the $65 range, and can be purchased set-up by a number of dealers (Uke Republic, for example).

    A final option is in the world of Amazon (gasp!) where a company called Enya has entered the market. I have found their products to be very good, and there is a laminate concert Sapele (laminate) for $53.39 with a very nice gig bag (the only choice in this list with a gig bag). These have been shipping well set up.

    I have no problems with other Kala or Ohana products, and if ordered from Uke Republic or Mim, they would be set up properly. Set-up is the main reason I would recommend one of these dealers over a local music store.

    As for the Aquila KIDS colored strings, I highly recommend them, and they sell them in bulk packs of 20 to schools. Contact Aquila directly via e-mail and they will arrange to sell you the strings.

    I would also buy an Eddie Ball string winder tool, a string winder/clipper tool, and I also highly recommend the Roadie 2 for tuning purposes. I know the Roadie 2 seems like a bug expense when a $5 tuner (see Reverb.com) will do...but it is so nice to be able to tune without thinking about it.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Port Hueneme, CA
    Posts
    2,477

    Default

    If you get outdoor ukes I advise getting all the same color.
    I had some colored Ukes and the kids fight over the colors they want.
    I now have 20 mahogany Ohanas.
    Keep Strummin'

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Vista (North County San Diego), California
    Posts
    3,264

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
    Posts
    1,538

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ricdoug View Post
    The Mitchell MU40 is your 'ukulele and the Bonsai soprano gig bag are your ticket
    Ric, can I ask why you recommend this model? The Mitchell ukulele series is not usually recommended (see some of Booli’s thoughts for example). Do you have a different experience with them?
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    75

    Default

    For the 25 or so ukuleles I leave in my classroom for the younger classes, I use Makala sopranos. They've done the job really well. I store them in their original boxes in a big cabinet.

    Then we also have 30 or so others, some Lanikai soprano, some Kala, which I use for older kids. They can take these home and bring them back each week, and we also provide padded gig bags and tuners for the older kids.
    Kala KA SC Concert, Fluke Tenor, Flea Soprano, Gretsch 9121 Tenor, Waterman Soprano, Stagg Union Jack Soprano

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