View Full Version : Advice needed: 5/10 year olds

Annie K
10-16-2014, 07:33 AM
Hi there,

Oh, and I thought I could just pick a colour! :)

I'd appreciate anyone's help in picking ukuleles and tuning and instructional material for my 5 year old, my 10 year old, and myself? I was planning on getting 3 Soprano packages from Empire music, but now I'm wondering how to have them tuned? I also want to get the Glee songbook for DD10 (which calls for C tuning)...so, then, I think I could get the L'il Ukers books for DD5 also in C. I'm assuming we should all have the same tuning if we are learning together? Am I on the right track here?


10-16-2014, 08:35 AM
Am I on the right track here?


I have not seen those songbooks myself, but It sounds like you will have a very good starting point.

C tuning is probably more common, and more ukulele music books you will find on Amazon and melbay.com as well as local music shops (in the USA at least) will be in C tuning by default. Later on you might want to add Jim Beloff's 'The Daily Ukulele' (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/scripts/prodList.asp?strSearch=Daily&strSearchType=OR&strSearchMin=0&strSearchMax=0&strSearchCat=0&sortField=price).

The main thing to keep their attention, and keep them practicing, is to use music that they like and keep it fun at the same time, and they might not even realize that they are learning something.

10-16-2014, 01:29 PM
C is standard. Personally, I'd let the kids do searches online for beginner's ukulele lessons, songs, etc. and choose the ones that make sense to you guys.. Just search ukulele chords, lyrics, then type in the song name. Lots of lists, just search ukulele songs for kids, beginners ukulele songs, and put together your own song book for the cost of printer ink. Same with learning sheets. Get Uncle Rod's Chord sheets. For videos, go to YouTube, search ukulele, how to and then enter hold, fret, strum, basic chords, clean, change strings, set up, tune, etc. etc. You'll save a fortune. Get a notebook and some document protectors and put together your own family book of ukulele lessons, chords, songs, etc. Also, a family copy of Ukulele for Dummies would be a good idea as a great "overview" of the ukulele. Don't buy any books until you know what book you need and why you need it. As I said, you'll save enough money to invest in better ukes. Those Kala starter sets for $99 a good deal.

First, there are lessons here on Ukulele Underground.



i.e. first five lessons are free. They will keep you busy for a long time: http://www.learntoplaymusic.com/blog/music-lessons/ukulele/beginner-ukulele/

More free lessons: http://www.ukeschool.com/ukulele/lessons/beginner.html

Some good links: http://www.topukulelesites.com/Ukulele+Lessons-cat.html

Lots of great lessons at Hawaii Music Supply (great place to buy a mail order uke too) http://www.theukulelesite.com/video-lessons

mm stan
10-16-2014, 08:17 PM
Great place to start for beginers and kids...as you all know the rhythm,. http://www.baby-patch.com/guitar.html

Annie K
10-17-2014, 03:20 AM
Thank-you all very much for your replies! Lots of great info. there and I appreciate you taking the time, and all the links!

We've had a little turn of events in that DD10 decided she wants to go the guitar route. So now I'm just looking for something for me and DD5. She wants a lilac ukulele so we are deciding between a Dolphin/Shark and an Emus. I started thinking that maybe I should get something a little different/bigger for myself, but I guess I'm a girlie-girl and I wish I could find something "pretty", too. I was searching all over for a "pretty" concert uke last night...on the interwebs until 1:00 am reading about ukuleles and visiting websites!! I'm down the rabbit hole here, people! Lol. I'd really love to find a magenta Kala concert (ohhh...purty), but no luck in Canada. :(

Annie K
10-17-2014, 03:59 AM
Still looking around the web...oh...the Lanikai Spalted Mango! Drool! Think hubs would mind if I spent $900 on my first ukulele?

10-17-2014, 05:41 AM
Still looking around the web...oh...the Lanikai Spalted Mango! Drool! Think hubs would mind if I spent $900 on my first ukulele?

If he loves you then certainly not! :p

10-17-2014, 05:20 PM
I'm teaching lessons to a 6 year old and am finding that short spurts of time are helping, rather than trying to drag it out to 30 minutes. I'm sure we'll get to the 30 minute mark in a few months, but starting out, I go only as long as her attention span can hold out.

Your books, ukes an tunings sound good go get started with. Just have fun and make sure the kids are enjoying it too.

10-17-2014, 06:57 PM
I frequently work with young people. In so far as attention span goes I try to work within these rules of thumb:

1. Kids have a longer attention span than adults. 20-25 minutes is the optimum max for kids.
2. Adults optimum max is 15 minutes.
3. Teenagers need to be motivated for attention span to kick-in. But once you have their interest you can hold their attention for 20-35 minutes.
4. I like to use task based intervals. Seven minutes at a task max, then stop or switch to a new task.
5. All bets are off when dealing with children under three.
6. Try to work some hooks into your teaching process. As individual or group attention wanes or grows chaotic a properly used hook can pull things back together. In comedy this is known as the Myron Cohen Technique. As a storyteller the easiest hook for me to use is to name Names and Places. If one person in the group recognizes the Place, Name, or Situation their attention will be drawn back to the subject at hand. In a group setting others recognize the first individual's renewed interest and fall in line.