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Jerryc41
06-21-2018, 03:12 AM
Our local library is having a "LocalFest" in a couple of weeks, and they want our group to have some kind of singalong with kids. No one knows the ages or number of kids who will show up, but we would have them for half an hour. The library has about a dozen loaner ukes, and I could bring my Koalohas and Kamakas for the kids to use. Well, maybe I won't do that. : )

So, any ideas about what to do in a situation like this? We have three adults from our group who will be leading the kids, and one of them is not a singer.

Croaky Keith
06-21-2018, 04:06 AM
Find a couple of songs that use just two chords, show them how to make the chords, then try getting them to sing & play - it will probably be chaotic, so just smile & have some fun - it might just be the kind of introduction that will set the seed in their brains. :D

acmespaceship
06-21-2018, 12:22 PM
By "singalong" do they perhaps expect you to do the uke playing while the kids sing?

If you really want to get them strumming, and that is a noble goal, make it easy as humanly possible. Half an hour is not long and you have to assume these kids have never strummed or fretted a stringed instrument before. Start them on ONE-chord songs. Row-row-row your boat. Father John. Most of the rounds that kids sing at school and camp are OK with a single chord. Make it C-major so the littlest kids can strum an open C6 and fit in.

Have some 2-chord songs ready if you get fast learners.

Bring shakers, drums, maracas and other rhythm instruments for the kids who can't deal with ukes. As long as everyone participates and has fun, the event will be a success.

What songs do they teach at the local elementary schools? What do they sing at other library activities? Ask your neighbors with kids.

A 6-year-old visited our uke club last fall. He was adorable and he could strum a C chord intermittently. He said his favorite song is "Shake It Off" and he loves Taylor Swift.

sunshiNee
06-21-2018, 04:32 PM
I like your sense of humour :)

I could bring my Koalohas and Kamakas for the kids to use. Well, maybe I won't do that. : )

So, any ideas about what to do in a situation like this? We have three adults from our group who will be leading the kids, and one of them is not a singer.

Jerryc41
06-22-2018, 12:33 AM
I think taking one good uke along is a good idea. You can let the older children look at it and maybe play it under supervision. They can hear how it sounds. You can tell them about how ukuleles are made and some of the mysteries of the K brands and Hawaii. Some ukulele story and trivia can break up a music session give their little hands a rest.

Great idea! Do you have a K uke we can use as a sample? ;)

Jerryc41
06-22-2018, 12:35 AM
By "singalong" do they perhaps expect you to do the uke playing while the kids sing?

If you really want to get them strumming, and that is a noble goal, make it easy as humanly possible. Half an hour is not long and you have to assume these kids have never strummed or fretted a stringed instrument before. Start them on ONE-chord songs. Row-row-row your boat. Father John. Most of the rounds that kids sing at school and camp are OK with a single chord. Make it C-major so the littlest kids can strum an open C6 and fit in.

Have some 2-chord songs ready if you get fast learners.

Bring shakers, drums, maracas and other rhythm instruments for the kids who can't deal with ukes. As long as everyone participates and has fun, the event will be a success.

What songs do they teach at the local elementary schools? What do they sing at other library activities? Ask your neighbors with kids.

A 6-year-old visited our uke club last fall. He was adorable and he could strum a C chord intermittently. He said his favorite song is "Shake It Off" and he loves Taylor Swift.

Both the kids and adult leaders will strum and sing.

One of my groups does a great job with "Shake it Off."

Jerryc41
06-22-2018, 02:38 AM
Yes I do have one that I would take as an example. I have done it before. At my local library, the computers and the other equipment they let the children use these days costs twice as much as my Kamakas would cost to buy new and the children carry around devices which cost just as much as a new Kamaka and amazingly the devices and computers don't explode in the presence of children. If you want the parents and children to take you seriously, it helps to have an example of a nice instrument to show them.
You don't have to give it to them and let them run off with it. You can identify the one or two interested persons and sit them down and show them how to hold it and they wont drop it or run off. If they look like they are not ready to trust to hold it, or there are too many, then show them the features and talk about Koa and Hawaii and don't talk about the price or the fact that you own 41 ukes. You might actually inspire a young person.
What it is the use of owning 41 ukes if you can't take one of the better ones out to talk about and to encourage new players?

Thanks for your suggestions.

Rllink
06-22-2018, 03:14 AM
Wheels on the bus, Old McDonald, Down by the Bay, Five Green and Speckled Frogs, Clap Your Hands If You're Happy, On Top of Spaghetti, Don't Worry Be Happy, Clementine, Banjo On My Knee. You are my Sunshine. That's off the top of my head. I get drafted for a county summer program every year and those are some of the most popular for me. It sounds very much like what you are doing. Encourage them to clap, sing, and dance. If you play songs for them and they have to sit quietly, they will get real restless and then they get out of control. Best to get them to interact with what you are playing. By the way, kids usually sing in the key of C.

Jeffelele
06-23-2018, 03:49 AM
I read Jerry’s line let them try one of his Kamakas or Koalohas and had instant brain freeze and it took a while to get to maybe not. Any further discussion of actually doing it and it’s every man for himself territory.

It might be argued there’s a better attitude to have but .....