View Full Version : Advice?

03-04-2010, 01:15 PM
I just got hired at a local music store as an ukulele teacher.

Any advice to offer?

03-04-2010, 01:25 PM
DO NOT overload students
DO NOT get disheartened
teach fun songs that will stick, with relatively easy chords, and obvs progress to harder stuff later
REMEMBER teaching can be difficult, but stick with it and it can be rewarding.

03-04-2010, 01:29 PM
Thanks for the advice! Will be sure to keep that in mind.

03-04-2010, 01:31 PM
Advice? Yes -- have fun.

03-04-2010, 01:45 PM
I wish you were in Little Rock, Arkansas. I'm looking for a teacher. I would even do online. Don't tell me Aldrine is teaching online, as I'm not that advanced and I don't want to waste mine or his time. Maybe later if he is still teaching, I'll do it.

03-04-2010, 04:33 PM
Be very PATIENT! And, always accentuate the positive. Make it fun.

03-04-2010, 04:35 PM
make it fun, that's the way ukulele's should be for kids. find out what music he likes too, and look up some songs on www.ukulele-tabs.com . great site.

Brad Bordessa
03-04-2010, 05:07 PM
make it fun, that's the way ukulele's should be for kids. find out what music he likes too, and look up some songs on www.ukulele-tabs.com . great site.

But... Make sure the sheets are very accurate before you get them all printed out. Sorry to say that many user-contributed tabs are inacurate. Everyone else has covered most of it. Be prepared, but if the lesson deviates, don't worry about it. Better to teach something the student has a question about than not.

03-04-2010, 07:44 PM
Thanks for all the help! I'll keep this all in mind when I go into my first lesson.

03-05-2010, 04:01 AM
I think you would benefit if some of the new members, like myself, chimed in. What would I look for when venturing out for some uke lessons? I would like a patient teacher, one that would teach fundamentals, and not just "how to play this song". How to hold the uke, different strumming patterns, maybe explain a little history, the different sizes, things like that. And as other have said, make it fun! Best of luck to you!

03-05-2010, 04:41 AM
yeah, stick to what they want to learn...thats the only reason we bothered to keep practicing was because we really like some songs and wanted to play em. If they dont like the songs...forget it.

Start with basic strumming
teach em a few basic songs they like...give them a feel for basic I, IV, V progression. Teach them minors on 2nd, 3rd and 6th...then they can kinda pick their way through alot of songs on their own. Its simple, easy and long lasting...but let them get a feel for playing a while first then help them understand the "what and why"

then maybe some basic in-out fingerpickin

then you can work in the do, re, me major scale stuff...thats pretty easy after you get a feel for some basic music stuff.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
03-05-2010, 11:53 AM
Congratulations for carrying on the dissemination of ukulele love and knowledge throughout the world!

Here's something I prepared. Feel free to use it if you like. Make copies if you need more.


My suggestion is to help them really get a 'grasp' on learning to identify, form, and be able to change
from chord to chord smoothly at a consistent rhythm BEFORE teaching them songs.

It can get frustrating when the carrot is so near, but one hasn't the skills to reach for it. That is,
lack of chord knowledge and one's inability to change from chord to chord in time with the melody
of the song.

A strong foundation, carefully laid out in the beginning, will pay rich dividends after a few hours of
practice. Imagine your second session with students who can recognize several chords, can form them
easily, and can transition from chord to chord. With students at that basic level of skill, learning songs
will be a lot more enjoyable.

So again, help them get to that level of basic skill and it will benefit both them and you.

Happy uke-in,

03-05-2010, 12:30 PM
Here's a recent thread on the same topic.


03-05-2010, 12:43 PM
Be prepared for every lesson. You need to practice your lesson just as the student needs to practice.
Be structured, music is structured. Each lesson should build a block for the next one.
Too many teachers just jump around. As said before go slow and don't overburden.
Break up your lesson plan to include plenty of review along with something new to work on.
I like to include a few minutes of some open jamming to loosen & warm up.
Encourage students to record the lessons so they can practice at home.
Also encourage them to play with others, it helps timing and chord changes.
If you have more than one student you might consider putting together a jam night for them.
Good Luck and have fun

03-05-2010, 01:04 PM
Teach them to play from memory, not from looking. Make it simple to begin with. There are a ton of songs you can play with three chords. If the folks like the song and have heard it before it's fun for them. I once taught a gal these songs using CFG No books or sheet music. I was amazed how fast she caught on.
Frankie and Johnny
Coconut island
When the saints go marching in
Thats all right momma

The next time we got together we played some G, D C (D was the new chord) It really worked better than having her staring at chord charts and sheet music.

03-05-2010, 08:44 PM
These are all amazingly helpful. Thanks for all the support!

03-05-2010, 09:04 PM
I just got hired at a local music store as an ukulele teacher.

Any advice to offer?

DO NOT tell them you can't play uke

03-06-2010, 12:17 PM
I have always felt that beginning students of guitar and ukulele just go crazy when they can play a little riff with just a few moves (four or less). It sounds like music and It gives them confidence and makes them want to learn the real stuff. My first guitar instructor, back in the cave man days, was a taskmaster who taught music theory right from the start and took all the fun out of it.... I lasted about five lessons. If he would have started with a few power chords or some R&R riffs I know I would have thrived. In those days you spend 75 percent of your time learning how to tune up the guitar with a tuning fork. You will know quickly if you are on the same wave length with your students, if they keep coming back. Be a friend, as well as a teacher.