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Ukejenny
09-12-2014, 07:41 AM
Three kids came in this week. They are all bright, nice kids and they will do fine. They had been taking lessons in another town and paying quite a bit for a "group lesson". Now they will be getting individual lessons with me.

Their ukuleles were nice. One was in need of a setup and the other two just need a little fret work.

Let me ask y'all something - especially those here who teach lessons - if these three kids have been taking lessons elsewhere since February/March of this year, where should they be by now? We have had to work on posture, left hand position, right arm/hand position, how to angle the instrument and all that. It was almost like a very first lesson where they hadn't been taught before. They could each form a shape for C, F, Am and G chords, but the strings weren't ringing due to their left hand position. I am now led to wonder if the person who taught them before was an actual ukulele player, or if the kids just forgot everything they were taught before getting here. I've never seen anything like it.

Good news is, they all picked up pretty quickly and were willing to try new things... including putting down their picks and using their fingers for a bit. We had fun and I'm looking forward to next week.

kvehe
09-12-2014, 07:47 AM
Going only by my experience with uke lessons (as a student), I would guess they were not taught the proper posture/position/angle, especially if the former teacher was primarily a guitarist. I've had lessons with two different people and neither one ever said one word to me about any of those things. (And believe me, it wasn't because I already knew those things.)

Jon Moody
09-12-2014, 10:23 AM
My guess would be that their former teacher was not someone that really took the time to "know" the proper way to play the uke (maybe a guitarist, or someone that taught another instrument and thought they could teach uke as well). That's my first guess.

The second is that they're kids. When I taught (bass), usually the first 10 minutes of the lesson were always talking about what we did last week, reminding them and helping them through the simple (so I thought) homework that they were assigned with. Unless you have some that are super excited to learn and practice, they're going to have a lot of other things vying for their time, so it's a bit hard to gauge exactly where they "should" be.

ricdoug
09-12-2014, 10:38 AM
From the chords, it sounds like the Guitar Center lessons. Ric

PhilUSAFRet
09-12-2014, 11:03 AM
Early lessons should include identifying and correcting any learned bad habits. Emphasize these issues as playing "skills" that should be practiced. In my classes, I find and email my students tutorials on the skills I need them to learn so they can see the correct fingering, strum, etc. as they use it.

IamNoMan
10-03-2014, 10:18 AM
Hi guys, I am new to the uke and acutely sensitive to posture issues. I have multiple physical issues that effect posture and range of motion.

Please advise me on proper uke posture concerns. links are acceptable

peanuts56
10-03-2014, 11:43 AM
It's always difficult to teach someone, but also very rewarding when they begin to get it. I teach band/violin and classroom music in an arts magnet elementary school and it's always amazing to hear the improvement from the fall to the end of the year.
I will actually be doing a presentation to my music colleagues on using the ukulele in classroom music. Many of the teachers in our town travel from room to room and lugging a keyboard around is tiring. Some play guitar and use that instead. I am the only ukulele player in my dept. and a few colleagues have approached me about using it in the classroom. I volunteered to do a presentation/class for our next professional development. It should be interesting to see what happens when I try to teach a bunch of teachers!

Doug W
10-03-2014, 02:37 PM
usually the first 10 minutes of the lesson were always talking about what we did last week, reminding them and helping them through the simple (so I thought) homework that they were assigned with. Unless you have some that are super excited to learn and practice, they're going to have a lot of other things vying for their time, so it's a bit hard to gauge exactly where they "should" be.

Made me laugh thinking of the first ten taken up by a review of the week. One kid always started out rehashing the time we were both at an all ages pickup hockey game at a local park, and could we do that again and his dad let him take the 4 wheeler around the driveway AND he can't wait til he can play football at the high school in ten years and what is my favorite color anyway?

pixiepurls
10-04-2014, 07:16 AM
Three kids came in this week. They are all bright, nice kids and they will do fine. They had been taking lessons in another town and paying quite a bit for a "group lesson". Now they will be getting individual lessons with me.

Their ukuleles were nice. One was in need of a setup and the other two just need a little fret work.

Let me ask y'all something - especially those here who teach lessons - if these three kids have been taking lessons elsewhere since February/March of this year, where should they be by now? We have had to work on posture, left hand position, right arm/hand position, how to angle the instrument and all that. It was almost like a very first lesson where they hadn't been taught before. They could each form a shape for C, F, Am and G chords, but the strings weren't ringing due to their left hand position. I am now led to wonder if the person who taught them before was an actual ukulele player, or if the kids just forgot everything they were taught before getting here. I've never seen anything like it.

Good news is, they all picked up pretty quickly and were willing to try new things... including putting down their picks and using their fingers for a bit. We had fun and I'm looking forward to next week.


My nephew took guitar lessons from a good teacher (I watched the lessons) and he stopped and has forgotten everything. He doesn't remember any chord shapes at all.

bonesigh
10-04-2014, 08:54 AM
Looks as if what they had learned in the past is of no concern. Your here to save the day! I have taught uke to people as individuals and groups. I really prefer to teach very small groups or individuals that's for sure. I had 40 kids to teach in a group one time! That was a lesson learned, for me!! LOL I'd never taught anything before! The following year we put a cap on the amount of kids. The program is still going strong at the school (:

I've just started up another group at a senior center with a friend on mine who wanted my help. All is going very well and the group is very excited. Teaching uke can be a very rewarding experience so good for you, Ukejenny!

I've considered teaching the uke as a "job" and certainly could do this but I'm a little concerned about the fact that I don't know much about theory. I've been playing for 5 years and am a very good player now and can get you far without theory. Should I though? Is it okay to be a teacher in that case? The other day one of the seniors asked me why we are playing an A7 instead of an A. What could I say?? I was honest and said, "I don't do theory, it just sounds good" (: