View Full Version : Do you or did you play uke for your baby?

01-22-2010, 03:34 PM
My question goes out to all the uke parents, did you play to your baby? I'm guessing yes, but what song, what uke? My son is a month old and I reckon I'd like to start playing to him. I'm a first time father, so I thought giving him some time first would be good. I just sold my Risa Uke Stick and thought how perfect it would be to play to him, as its almost harp/lyre like unplugged. All that remains is my boastful KoAloha Concert, will that be to loud for him? Here are some pics of the little guy.

Much Love

01-22-2010, 04:36 PM
congratulations! he is beautiful!

I dont have any kids, but in college I'm studying musical development in children from birth to high school!
Some of the best research, especially in the really young, has been done by Edwin Gordon, and what he calls Music Learning Theory.

A child's musical aptitude is continually developing from birth to about age 9. The best thing you can do for children birth-9 musically.. is to expose them to music. This can be music of any kind, but the best is singing. Think about music learning the same way you think about language learning. First, babies listen for a while. Then they start to imitate (obviously this process takes years). Then they can start to string together patterns, and read, and perform. Thats when a child can learn an instrument such as ukulele, piano, or violin.

So you should definitely play for your baby boy, but of course not only to help his musical development! Music is a great way to express emotion and I think that will feel really good to be able to share your emotions with your son. As far what to play.. I dont think that really matters. I dont think he's gonna look up at you and say "I hate this song. NEXT". haha. And yes you should be conscious of volume, but the ukulele isn't too loud of an instrument. If your concerned, then maybe don't us a pick, strum softly, or try finger-picking single not patters.
Best of luck to you and your son! I hope this turns out to be a great bonding experience and lots of fun for both of you. =)

01-22-2010, 04:52 PM
well great, thanks for your contribution, your studying musical development for kids? must be interesting (and no i don't use a pick for my ukulele!)

01-22-2010, 05:07 PM
yup. music education major, birth to high school. Just finished a course on early development last semester. It was really interesting. We got to work with 2-4 year olds to use and see for ourselves how this "music learning theory" business actually works! And, what can be more fun than learning music?

lol nice, no pick.
And I sure do hope it goes without saying.. no amplification system :-P

01-22-2010, 05:32 PM
I play the uke all the time for my 5 month old. I don't even play well, but he doesn't seem to mind. Guess he likes all the commotion! Go for it! ;)

01-22-2010, 09:12 PM
Not a dad but I play all the time for my 9-ish month old niece... I play anything, she loves it and hops up and down and claps her hands while she's sitting. She's just learning to stand and is close to her first steps, so if she's standing and hanging on to the edge of a coffee table she'll wave her hips from side to side and giggle while I play. I even let her sit on my knee and she'll (quite forcefully) pluck the strings. She's my favourite audience, as she doesn't care if I make a mistake, she doesn't care if I play a crap song, and she has no pre-conceived notions about what a uke is. She also doesn't yell "hurrr play tiptoe through the tulips hurrrr"

My advice - do it, it's rewarding for the both of you :)

01-22-2010, 09:14 PM
I don't have kids either (because im 19) but I have played ukulele for babies. I was at my aunt's house while my mom and her friends were hanging out, and she only had babies. So I played ukulele for them. it was a fun experience aha

01-22-2010, 10:38 PM
I played guitar to all three of my boys and they loved it, to the point that it was one of the only things that would send my eldest off to a peaceful sleep. I have another due in march and will be trying the uke out but my kids love it at the mo.

as far as what to play I don't think it matters as long as it is played soft,Damien Rice blowers daughter or aimee worked for me (I'm not even a fan of his). I will say that it is one of the best times you will have behind an instrument and you get a real sense of connection with your baby (unless it starts to scream like a burning pig)

01-23-2010, 12:16 AM
I play for my 20 month old son and he starts dancing. If I stop he says "more." I just play chords because he keeps dancing forever. My other two kids I bought Makala Uke's for on their birthdays. The youngest will get one in a few years.

01-23-2010, 12:41 AM
congrats! I play it to my cousin, if that counts

01-23-2010, 12:45 AM
I used to play a Native American flute to my oldest, worked like a charm

01-23-2010, 11:59 AM
I just remembered this (his son is in the bottom right hand corner, check it out on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl3d4c5hO5Q)for the description):


He plays the uke too, check out his other vids

01-23-2010, 01:34 PM
I play to my 2 month old all of the time! I even played to her when she was still in the womb! She actually does respond well to it. Sometimes it seems to calm her down. Congratulations!

01-23-2010, 06:10 PM
I play for my kids every day. Sometimes my older daughter gets upset that I am playing music and not letting her watch TV, but after a couple of songs she gets really into it.

They really get into fast strumming without singing and like to dance. When they hear the fast rhythm they just jump up and start dancing.

They like the singing MUCH more when it is a song I know by heart so I can look them in the eye while singing. They don't like it when I need to read off a sheet. (Kind of like everyone else, but it's funny how quickly they voice their frustration when I am not looking at them.)

Ukes and Kids is a great combination.

01-23-2010, 08:07 PM
I play for my daughter all the time. She's always liked it and it's a fun way to have a little quality time.

01-23-2010, 08:30 PM
Yea I play for my 3 month old niece all the time and she seems to love it. Most of the time it calms her down. :D

As for volume, probably just some added distance or some lighter strumming and you'll be golden. I wouldnt play super loud in his ear but I'm sure whatever you play will be just fine. Go with your new-found fatherly instinct :D


Ahnko Honu
01-23-2010, 09:26 PM
I'm sure my dad use to serenade my mom while she was hapai with me, and my earliest memories has my dad strumming his Kamaka pineapple so I have no doubt it was happening since infancy.

01-24-2010, 03:16 AM
I've played both guitar and uke for both my kids. They each have "their song" Collin my 4yr old has "You can't always get what you want" and Ronni my 2yr old has "get over it."

01-24-2010, 04:38 AM

My kid is 1 month old, and I play for her daily... She calms down when she hears it, and the prevailing theory is because I played all the time when she was pregnant and she's used to hearing it in utero. It makes me happy.

My parents saw her calm down when I started playing and my dad looked at me and said "All is right in the world with her when she hears you play." It made me get all warm and fuzzy.

So definitely play for your kids! And don't worry about your KoAloha being too loud... I was worried at first, but she likes it loud. I think. I'm a first time parent too, so it's kind of hard for me to tell... It's no louder than her screaming.

01-24-2010, 05:02 PM
I haven't, but am planning to as my wife and I are expecting any day now. I think the ukulele (and my kalimba) will be mainstays in the nursery.

Joe H
01-25-2010, 08:11 AM
I started playing uke when my wife was pregnant. When my son was born I'd be just playing whatever song I wanted to learn and it would get him bouncing. Now I've have a one year old son that claps for me when I finish playing something. When and if he wants to play I will be giving him the same uke I started on.

01-25-2010, 08:22 AM
my daughter is 3 months old. and I play to her regularly - she loves it, and smiles and kicks like crazy. Learned myself teddy bears picnic, Rockin Rollin Riding and Puff The Magic Dragon just for her, but she is equally happy with Maggie Mae or anything George Formby!

01-25-2010, 08:24 AM
My 8 month old niece absolutely loves my Mainland (she ignores the Makala at times, but not the Mainland, she has good taste)

Even when I'm not playing, she stares at my uke, even has tried to eat it....

01-25-2010, 08:32 AM
All the time. He's 16 months now, but ever since he was born he's had almost a daily "concert time" from daddy. My oldest son got a lot of guitar, which he also loved, but I think the smaller uke is a better fit. To a baby a uke is huge, while the guitar probably seemed like a double bass. But any instrument or music maker is good for developing minds. Mommy gives him piano concerts and he loves that, too. Now he's tall enough to open the keyboard lid and pounds away on the keys. Once the lid droppped on his fingers. He cried for a few seconds, then demanded it be opened up again. He wasn't finished with his Oscar Peterson riff, I guess. The heart beat starts all humans off on a musical path from the womb onward. Some just seem to hear it louder than others. I hope both my boys stay into it, but who knows? At least they're getting exposure.

01-26-2010, 07:06 AM
I got my uke around 12 days after my daughter was born so the first thing I ever wrote/played was a song for her http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcs3kbC-XyM

She's now 13 months and she's likes to pluck the strings with me its great, though can be annoying when your jamming with a baby hand deadening all the strings =D since then I've worked out classical versions of 'old mcdonald had a farm', '3 blind mice'.... much more fun to play when they are a bit classicalied

01-27-2010, 06:25 PM
When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, I would play my Flea uke next to her before bedtime. I would play Bruddah Iz's White Sandy beach. It was very relaxing and nice per my wife. It was so relaxing that it made her fall asleep easier. At that time, I was just learning how to play the uke (still am). Now, my daughter who is now two years old, loves to play the uke with me. She will just ask me "lele" and will pull out the gigbag out of the corner for me to play. Then I let her strum the uke while I do the chords. Now that we have two ukes, We jam together. I would play and she will strum hers and takes a bow after. I will always cherish, treasure and enjoy each and future moments with her ... priceless.