View Full Version : First time teaching Uke, suggestions or ideas?

04-08-2010, 05:15 PM
Hey guys!

New member and wanted to say 'hey' and all the yada yada new member stuff :)

Ive been playing for about 3 years now and consider myself a fairly proficient uke player but respect that I still have plenty to learn and continue to learn each and every day. I have the amazing opportunity to teach uke lessons at a local music store and have never taught and wanted to get some pointers from those of you who have given lessons or taken lessons in the past. I have 3 students lined up all whom have never played before and im curious if its better to go the route of just teaching chords and how to learn to play songs or go the route of teaching method and such.

Any info of what to expect or some pointers would be really beneficial! I look forward to being a contributing member of the forum and getting to know everyone!


04-08-2010, 08:06 PM
Hey, welcome to UU!
Check out some of the info on this site http://www.ukuleleyes.com/issues/vol9/no1/index.htm

Good Luck

04-09-2010, 01:57 AM
Pretty cool info there, but Im looking more for specific info (unless I missed something on that site:confused:)

04-09-2010, 02:09 AM
I'm kind of in the same boat, only I'm not lucky enough to have any students lined up yet. I just have it worked out with the music store owner that when someone comes up asking they'll be directed to me and I can use the shop as a venue... I was excited at first, but now I realize I shouldn't expect it to go anywhere.

Check out this thread:


04-09-2010, 02:36 AM
Thanks Beejums!

Did you end up using the method book? Or any others for that matter? Im going over to the store today to take a look at some method books and music books.

04-09-2010, 04:13 AM
When I used to teach guitar I would get the student to bring in a few recordings of tunes they liked (pick a suitable one), transcribe it (normally in the lesson) and then teach it to then. If necessary I'd simplify it a bit. I think it's a good idea to teach them a few tunes before you hit them with modes, arpeggios, ect. I do however think it's a good idea to explain intervals and chord structures quite early on and to discourage the use of chord books. Just my opinion. i never used teaching syllabus books as they are not tailored to the specific student. It's important to teach the student what they want to learn if you want to hold their interest over a long period of time and keep the money rolling in.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-09-2010, 04:37 AM
Congratulations on your teaching opportunities.

Here are a couple of links that I hope will prove helpful:



My general philosophy is to begin with forming and changing chords, but NOT
necessarily learning any song in particular. This is especially helpful if the
students want to strum and sing. Someone else will have to provide more
specific suggestions when it comes to reading music and working on picking.

Anyway, for strummer/singers, you know how difficult it would be to try to
learn lyrics, melody, chords and chord changes all at the same time. This
tends to overwhelm the beginners. Hence, my suggestion to work on learning
chords (by name, proper formation) then practicing changing from chord to
chord at a regular tempo (dexterity and eye hand coordination).

The 'Boot Camp' booklet emphasizes learning chords and practicing chord
changes. The 'Songbook' suggests the same, but is organized around familiar
songs that the students could learn to play.

I hope these are helpful for you and your students. They are FREE so please
feel free to print them and distribute as you see fit.

Keep uke-in',

04-09-2010, 05:05 AM
I'm new to the Ukulele since July 09 and the big mystery for me were: a) What chords go together? and b) what notes make up a chord?
I stumbled on the Circle of Fifths theory (the I. IV,V theory) and that really opened my eyes. Now I can make up my own chords (I, III, IV) and If I have to change a song to another Key, the Circle of Fifths makes it clear.
There is a great Ineractive Circle of Fifths diagram on the net. Hope this helps some.

Try http://randscullard.com/CircleOfFifths/

Also http://www.happyponyland.net/ukulele.php?action=display&chord=D7&tuning=1

04-09-2010, 04:19 PM
Well I got my first confirmed student today and its a 69 year old man! He apparently had a bad experience with a guitar player at another music store who tried to teach him uke although the teacher didnt even know how to play! Thanks for the links above, im going to check them out and see what I come up with.