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Iza
11-01-2017, 03:56 AM
So I have a 10-year-old sister who's been interested in learning the ukulele. She takes mine all the time and experiments and asks me to teach her. She already makes her own little songs with the three chords she knows. So I took her to my ukulele class, she loved it and now she looks forward to coming with me again. Now, I have two questions:

1) I ordered a Tanglewood T6 for her because she wanted a light blue soprano and this was the only available one in my area. Yes, I'm spoiling her. :p Is it a bad instrument for a beginner kid? I just want her to stick to it, cause when she's not playing, she's on the TV or PC all the time, and I know that kids can easily lose interest over small things. Which brings me to the second question:

2) How do I encourage her? I like playing and singing with her. We don't live under the same roof but I see her once a week or so, and I enjoy it very much too. I'm also trying to slowly teach her how to pick each string separately (she still finds it a bit tricky). Also there's no way she can make a barre chord, her fingers are tiny. :p How do you keep a little girl from getting frustrated or bored with it?

PS: I hope her ukulele arrives soon cause I gave her mine for the whole week and I miss it. At least my mum says she's careful with it, so I won't find it broken with 1 string or something.

Rllink
11-01-2017, 06:19 AM
I don't know what ten year olds listen to, but I have a thirteen year old student and she stays interested by playing songs that she listens too. 21 Pilots and Juno are two groups that she likes. Lest you think that those might be a bit more than your little sister can handle, last week we were playing a song called "Anyone But You" by Juno, and it was a two chord song.

Croaky Keith
11-01-2017, 06:19 AM
Show her where the notes are, get her a fretboard map, teach her some simple melodies, so that she can see that it isn't just strum & sing. :)

WifeOnFourStrings
11-01-2017, 09:39 AM
she stays interested by playing songs that she listens too

I'd say this is true of adults too. ;) Finding the chords to songs she likes would probably do a great deal to keep her interested, though I would say to make note of whether the chords you find are in the songs original recorded key or not. It won't make much of a difference if she's playing/singing on her own, but it might if she tries to play along to an mp3 or music video. And any instrument that makes a kid happy is a solid purchase IMHO.

Rllink
11-01-2017, 10:13 AM
I'd say this is true of adults too. ;) Finding the chords to songs she likes would probably do a great deal to keep her interested, though I would say to make note of whether the chords you find are in the songs original recorded key or not. It won't make much of a difference if she's playing/singing on her own, but it might if she tries to play along to an mp3 or music video. And any instrument that makes a kid happy is a solid purchase IMHO.If you go to ultimateguitar.com , most of the time the songs come up in a key that may or may not be the one it is recorded in, but it gives you a starting point, and whether it is a minor key or a major key. Then you just figure it out. Ultimateguitar.com has a feature to let you transpose it into different keys. They are seldom recorded in some obscure key, so if it a major key, just start out with a G or a C, and in a process of elimination come up with it. The more you do it, the easier it gets to just hear it. That has actually been part of the lessons for a while, looking up songs and figuring out what key she wants to play them in, and listening for common chord progressions with other songs we have played. I don't know how that would work with a 10 year old just starting out, you might have to do a lot of the work for her, but eventually it becomes relevant. My 13 year old student is getting quite good at it.

vinceherman
11-03-2017, 08:04 AM
Yes, I'm spoiling her. :p
Good on ya, Mate.

WifeOnFourStrings
11-03-2017, 12:47 PM
If you go to ultimateguitar.com

I don't mean to derail the conversation, but may I know your opinion on the ultimateguitar site? I stumbled across it today, before I saw your post, and there's tons of great information there, but also a lot of steering towards a "Pro" subscription. Is it worth it?

Chopped Liver
11-03-2017, 01:01 PM
Iza, I'll bet part of the fun of the ukulele for your sister is that you are part of the equation! She probably enjoys that you are doing this together. Maybe you can try some duets with her when her uke comes.