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View Full Version : thinking of "volunteering" to play at kindergarden



pixiepurls
09-03-2014, 07:07 AM
Hello all.. I am *thinking* about volunteering for my daughters K class to play some lullaby's for them. My school actually teaches ukulele in 4th grade so the kids will eventually learn to play anyway.

I thought if the teacher was interested, I could come in and play a few lullaby's and bring my two cheaper uke's and let the kids each try to strum an A and a C chord? Suggestions and ideas? I have a kids hohner soprano and a dolphin so the kids can try on those and take turns going around and playing a chord. I can play my low G Martin and then also hand that around once I'm teaching them the chords. I'm guessing we would all be sitting on a rug on the floor.

I was going to play In the Jungle and Hush Little Baby, trying to think of other popular lullaby's parents sing to their kids.... I think 3 songs would be enough. Right now those are the only two I know :D I am pretty sure the teacher will say yes as they like when parents come in and do this sort of thing.

rockyl
09-03-2014, 07:15 AM
Great idea! Yes to everything except passing your Martin around, these are five year old destructive machines, after all.

actadh
09-03-2014, 07:21 AM
I sing Gershwin's Summertime to my grandkids. The Hokey Pokey is good, too.

Freeda
09-03-2014, 07:26 AM
Anything with actions they can do is good. Itsy bitsy spider, head shoulders knees and toes, etc. I play for preschoolers pretty regularly.

pixiepurls
09-03-2014, 07:55 AM
ohh you rock thanks!!! those two are perfect and you are right about them being able to move!

Jon Moody
09-03-2014, 08:23 AM
A school that teaches 4th graders ukulele? That's AWESOME! And so are you for thinking about this.



Great idea! Yes to everything except passing your Martin around, these are five year old destructive machines, after all.

In a group, yes. One on one? I have a video of my daughter (then 18mo) playing with my "go to" bass (which is worth what some people would say is absurd for an instrument) and she did fine.



Anything with actions they can do is good. Itsy bitsy spider, head shoulders knees and toes, etc. I play for preschoolers pretty regularly.

Hey, who are you calling a preschooler?!?!?!?

Yeah, anything with movement. I played a couple of times at my mom's elementary classes (she was the music teacher) and that was the one requirement; movement.

Ukulelia
09-03-2014, 08:53 AM
I was wondering why lullabies, and agree with the actions. As for the chords, kind of hit or miss, maybe the C chord and sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Above all have fun! This is a great idea! And I don't know of other U.S. schools teaching uke, I know ours don't - but they do have an orchestra in Elementary school. Thanks to James Hill, apparently uke has become even more popular in Canadian schools, as from my understanding, they were teaching it before he was, but he's written quite a bit of classroom material. Sorry, that was OT but might be helpful someday!

One more thing. I've had a lot of musical experiences at different ages. But those I remember best, and most vividly as being positive, were, say, age 7 and under! So you have a wonderful opportunity here, carpe diem! :D

SailingUke
09-03-2014, 10:53 AM
My experience with K-graders is they are to small and don't have the finger dexterity.
I tried showing them F & C7 so we could play some songs, but it was too much for most of them.
My ukes I use for them are now tuned GCEG (1st (A) string down a step). They now have an open C chord.
They can strum along and surprisingly they do have rhythm.
Get some shaker eggs (all the same color) for the kids who are not holding a uke and you will have a blast.
I have done many of these sing-a-longs and they are a blast.
The "Daily Ukulele" (yellow) as a whole section of kids songs if you need a resource.
Good luck and have fun !!!!

janeray1940
09-03-2014, 11:00 AM
You can do "Old McDonald" using a C chord all the way through (http://www.madelinelpots.com/old-mcdonald.html) - I think the kids would have fun coming up with different animals and sounds. This was the first song I taught a five year old a few years back; she got it right away and moved on to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" the same day. Since I don't have kids or much experience with them, I was kind of worried that a modern kid would think these songs were stupid, but she had a blast (and is still playing several years later).

Ukulele Eddie
09-03-2014, 11:14 AM
Another song you might consider is "I Wanna Be Like You" from Jungle Book. They might like singing the "oobie doobie" parts with you. ;-)

Ukejenny
09-03-2014, 12:23 PM
That is a great idea! I played last year for "U" week in my son's kindergarten class and we got in the floor, strummed, and sung. I did the ABC song, and some other tunes they were familiar with (asked the teacher to name a few and got the chords and worked them up). It was a ton of fun.

I would love to start a program for the older kids, where they learn to play ukulele. It would be so much fun. Maybe try to aim for 2nd grade, so the class sizes aren't too big.

pixiepurls
09-03-2014, 02:23 PM
I was wondering why lullabies, and agree with the actions. As for the chords, kind of hit or miss, maybe the C chord and sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Above all have fun! This is a great idea! And I don't know of other U.S. schools teaching uke, I know ours don't - but they do have an orchestra in Elementary school. Thanks to James Hill, apparently uke has become even more popular in Canadian schools, as from my understanding, they were teaching it before he was, but he's written quite a bit of classroom material. Sorry, that was OT but might be helpful someday!

One more thing. I've had a lot of musical experiences at different ages. But those I remember best, and most vividly as being positive, were, say, age 7 and under! So you have a wonderful opportunity here, carpe diem! :D

Its called "Uke and Roll" and we have a guy here locally that works on getting grants from the counties I guess? And I think the local uke shop is involved somehow I don't know the particulars but I do know they do it in my county and possibly another.

pixiepurls
09-03-2014, 02:24 PM
My experience with K-graders is they are to small and don't have the finger dexterity.
I tried showing them F & C7 so we could play some songs, but it was too much for most of them.
My ukes I use for them are now tuned GCEG (1st (A) string down a step). They now have an open C chord.
They can strum along and surprisingly they do have rhythm.
Get some shaker eggs (all the same color) for the kids who are not holding a uke and you will have a blast.
I have done many of these sing-a-longs and they are a blast.
The "Daily Ukulele" (yellow) as a whole section of kids songs if you need a resource.
Good luck and have fun !!!!

My kid is in this class and learned Am and C last year at 4 years old, the one finger ones are super easy for them! So when I said A I meant Am. Little ones learn so quick!

ricdoug
09-04-2014, 05:29 AM
with just an A7 or C7 you can play the Coconut Song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbgv8PkO9eo

pektel
09-04-2014, 07:36 PM
It's definitely a fun experience! I played for my son's kindergarten class last year:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97429-First-Performance

ukulelekarcsi
09-05-2014, 02:54 AM
It's possible, and fun. They'll absolutely will want to play it themselves, so either be very firm or don't take your most fragile instrument along.

Most teachers start out with a C and a G or G7, but that latter chord is way too hard to form in the first minutes of holding an instrument.

I start out with an Fsus2 (0010, index on the second string, replaces an F) and a C7 (0001, index on the first string). I don't mention the names of those chords, of course, just call them 'second string' and 'first string'. That way you let even 4-year olds play along with most two-chord songs within a minute, and with audible result, just make it clear when to change. Let's see, we have 'skip to my lou', 'tom dooley', 'hokey pokey', 'brown girl in the ring', 'wheels of the bus', all in F. If you push it, you can even let go of the IV chord (in F, that's the Bb) and replace it with the V7 (here, C7) and merrily strum through the rest of the songbook that normally has three chords (banana boot song, old macdonald).

Works like a charm, and they'll be begging for more songs and chords. Most struggle seems to be with the right hand strumming, that's stiff or hooks behind the string. I've seen blisters appear after one song! Try have them using the nail of their index finger, gently and at the neck joint. Also, have some fun diversions up your sleeve: a joke, a twisted lyric, flash card illustrations of a song.

I disagree with the Lime in the Coconut-song, or one-chord songs like Get Up, Stand Up (Cm all the way): they're not really that well-known to be sung along by your target audience, and the rhythm is a tricky to get right.

With teenagers, it's nice to start out with Avincii's 'Wake Me Up', played with one-finger chords: Am twice, Fsus2 twice and C four times.

Nickie
09-05-2014, 04:21 PM
Pixiepurls,
I think this is a GRAND idea! I think James Hill started playing ukulele very early in school, so ya never know....it sounds like one heckuva lotta fun, as little ones respond so well to music. I have a friend who lives in GA, and specializes in playing and writing kid's songs.
One thing, I would for sure check out the School Distircts policies on volunteering. It's getting so weird out there, a lot of parents, beleive it or not, are looking to make trouble. I don't wanna alarm you, but knowledge is power....in the excitement of having music for her herd, a young teacher might forget there are rules.
I plan to enter the school Harps For Healing soon, which has had no ukulele playing students, so I can be certified to play for children in hospitals, etc. There may be something like this for what you wanna do....
I hope I'm not throwing cold water on this, I just about got in trouble at work for using the ukulele to calm my patients, not allowed anymore!