View Full Version : Anyone teach Uke to kiddies? What to do for a recital?

02-03-2010, 10:24 AM
Hey all! I've been teaching a group of 8 year olds at the local hula school for awhile, and they are doing great. They are planning the annual Hula recital, and want the girls to play. !!!! Yikes!

Any thoughts what we could do? I've been to enough recorder concerts for my own children to know that 10 people playing the same chords doesn't always sound so great. Have some of them sing? All sing and play? Augh!

Any ideas on songs for it? The girl's have been learning SpongeBob songs, but for the recital it needs to be hawaiian.

Thanks for any advice!


02-03-2010, 12:13 PM
Hi there - I've managed to get myself, really just a beginner, into being the person who runs the uklulele club at my children's school! I haven't started yet, but the school just bought a class set of dolphin makalas so no pressure!!! So I've been looking round for kids songs too, something a bit cooler than 'she'll be coming roudn themountain' etc. Another school here did a great version of I'm yours with some children on ukes, some on xylophones, lots of kids singing...an easy one is 'ten guitars' - kind of old but is definitely a pacific classic here, (in NZ) if not specifically hawaiian. You coudl get half to play and half to sing, then switch halfway through the song? let meknow how you get on, I'd love any tips/suggestions too.

02-03-2010, 05:56 PM
I don't know how good these kids are.
Maybe you could do Aloha e Komo Mai from Lilo N Stitch. If you do that, you could possibly even have the kids play along with the recording. The chords arent too bad. A D and E I believe? Most of the words are in English except parts of the chorus, but it's easy to learn and it would be cool to sing in Hawaiian.

Another song that came to mind is Grass Shack, but that is probably too hard. it uses G D7 B7 A7 and E7.

American folk songs are a always a safe bet. They're easy and a lot of kids will know them, so your job will be easier.

My last suggestion would be some Elvis or other 50s rock. Hound Dog! Easy 50s chords progressions. That parents would love it.
Good luck!

02-04-2010, 05:43 AM
If you teach, log on to "www.ukuleleyes.com". Get on the mailing list.
It is a free resource, with great tips for any teacher adult or children.
It is run by that Canadian guys James, who seems to know his way around the fret board.
He disproves the theory; "those who can't teach"
He is a world class player, teacher and one of the nicest guys I have ever met.

02-04-2010, 07:07 AM
I teach too, and 7-10 years old is my age range. Though I tend to teach them classic rock covers or they write their own songs. Maybe they could write a Hawaiian-themed song? Or if it has to be authentic, I don't know, White Sandy Beach? I don't listen to much Hawaiian music, but you have to love Iz.

If you don't want everybody playing the same part, you could come up with a simple lead uke part and teach it to a couple of the more advanced kids in the class.

Here are some of the things I've done with my kids:

And in terms of what you can do with kids and ukes, I don't think this can be beat:

02-10-2010, 10:35 AM
Wow - thanks for the help everyone! Gioconbrio - wow! Inspiring!

I will say that things went 10 times better once I switched to music that the kids liked. One lesson of the Spongebob 'FUN' song is worth 4 lessons of 'Strum Jumping Flea'. In the beginning, they could do the chords but the couldn't switch fast enough. I broke them into 3 groups - G, A7, and D, and stood in the middle, played, and pointed at each group to tell them to play. Absolute chaos, but enjoyable, high energy, fun, educational chaos. When i got dizzy and stumbled, all the better. Now that they are a little more established (started barre chords and reading tab) I'm working in more hawaiian stuff.

I wonder if I could get them to sing a song in hawaiian. - I forgot about Aloha E from Lilo n stich.. Thanks!


02-10-2010, 10:57 AM
Hanohano Ka Lei Pikake (Keali`i Reichel) comes to mind, but that nasty E in there might be a problem.

Kawika (Ka`au Crater Boys) It's a tricky one to sing, the chords aren't to hard (maybe the Em is a problem...). And you could simplify the solo in the beginning

http://www.huapala.org/ If you feel like finding your own chords

02-10-2010, 02:50 PM
Tiny Bubbles :

White Sandy Beach :