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lindydanny
10-25-2010, 03:30 AM
After doing a lot of thinking about it (and wanting to find a small supplemental income), I'm going to start taking a hard look at teaching ukulele. I've got at least a couple things going for me:

1. I can actually play one (more than just a few chords)
2. I would be one of the few in my area of KC.
3. There is a local store that sells better than average ukes (Kalas and Lanikais)
4. I've taught some guitar lessons before (experience)
5. I've got a lot of background music experience (I can read notation; not just tab)

Before I advertise and get myself hip deep, I'm going to need to do some prep work. I figure I'll need the following:

* Course outline for beginners
* Memorize "Soul Sister" (since it will probably be expected I know it)
* Find a place to teach
* Add a soprano to my collection (tenor and concert now)
* Make sure my chops are really up to snuff

After I do that, I know of at least two shops I can advertise in (one I will probably have to sweet talk a bit). In addition, I can advertise at church and probably at several other churches in our area. Additional advertising online (craigslist) would be a fall back.

That's the basics of what I'm planning at the moment. I figure now is a good time to get my name in the mix since apparently the Christmas season is looking like ukulele heaven for some retailers right now.

If anyone has anything to add (especially those who are already teaching), then I would love to hear from you!

~DB

Lexxy
10-25-2010, 03:33 AM
I would like to highlight for the 'Hey soul sister' part,

You might also want to learn I'm Yours by Jason Mraz :)

lindydanny
10-25-2010, 03:45 AM
Yeah, but was there really a ukulele played on the original of that song? 8-)

~DB

Lexxy
10-25-2010, 03:48 AM
I think there was! Jason Mraz played a..Baritone ukulele I think. I might be wrong, but I'm yours is one of the basics.

Somewhere over the rainbow by the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole is also another well known song.

Ukulele JJ
10-25-2010, 04:25 AM
If anyone has anything to add (especially those who are already teaching), then I would love to hear from you!

I don't teach, but I'll butt in anyway...

You might want to consider group lessons. A good way to make a decent amount of money per hour, but without charging each student too much. At the beginning level, the uke lends itself well to group instruction, IMHO.

If it were me, I'd also pick up a half-dozen Dolphin ukes or something similar to have handy as "loaner" ukes for use during lessons. Think of how many people would be willing to show up for a group ukulele lesson if they didn't even have to own a uke first! The universe of people in your area who are curious about the uke, but haven't made the plunge and bought one, is almost certainly bigger than the universe of people in your area who have bought a uke and are looking for a teacher.

JJ

<eM>Burr
10-25-2010, 04:47 AM
* Course outline for beginners


You could look here (http://ukuleleintheclassroom.com/) for course information.

MB

Uncle Rod Higuchi
10-25-2010, 05:23 AM
Group Lessons are a good idea. You'll need to have a plan for those who will practice and learn
swiftly vs those who won't practice and will not be making much progress from lesson to lesson.

Consider preparing the students (group or individuals) for some kind of group performance so 1. individual
students can meet others, 2. the Group members have something to work toward, 3. the music shops have
an opportunity to 'host' it during the holiday season to add a little something for their customers and to
highlight the uke for more sales, 4. you will have a bit more guidance and structure and showcase your 'product'.

My personal concern focuses on helping your students develop a firm foundation in the basics: namely,
chord identity & formation, and smooth transitioning from chord to chord at a regular tempo. (see
my booklets under my signature - Boot Camp and FREE Songbook)

Eventually, you'll need to identify the various types of ukulele playing your students will want to learn,
strum and sing, fancy strumming, picking, performing, etc.

I suggest really working on BEGINNER workshops, esp if you feel your area needs it. Just about
everyone begins as a beginner. If you develop a reputation for setting a good foundation, you may
gain a 'monopoly' on beginners' interests.

Try to develop your own songbook (after finding out what your students want to learn), if not for
sale, then as a great 'present'/value-added bonus. If they feel they're getting 'more' than they're
paying for, well, you know how you feel when you feel that way.

Good luck and keep uke'in',

bongofury
10-25-2010, 05:37 AM
Might want to think about baritone ukulele as well. I put up a Craigslist post regarding uke lessons and the first person to respond wanted baritone lessons. But if you've also taught guitar lessons, the change in tuning shouldn't be a problem.

I've been teaching music lessons full-time for a few years. Craigslist is a good first route to take for finding students. Before putting up an ad, think about what would be unique about your approach to teaching. You need something in your ad that will stand out from the crowd and motivate people to contact you now! Also, since Craigslist only allows you to have your ad posted once every 7 days, have a few variation posts you could have up at one time. For instance, one post could speak to beginners and another to intermediate players.

Another website you might find helpful for finding students is www.learningmusician.com. You can create a profile there and I've gotten quite a few students through them (although no ukulele students).

Good luck on finding your first few students. Those initial few seem to be the hardest. Once you have a few students, and you're a good teacher, word-of-mouth is the best advertising out there.

lindydanny
10-25-2010, 06:57 AM
Thanks for the input.

I had been considering (along with this) doing a beginner level group class at church. I figure that would be a great way to pickup individual students who want to learn more. Getting a few loaner instruments is a big part of this.

I originally wanted a baritone when I got my tenor (just didn't work out at the time) so I'm open get getting one of those too. I'm more concerned with the wife accusing me of M.I.A.S. (Musical Instrument Acquisition Syndrome) because I already have in addition to my ukes 3 guitars, a trombone, a melodica, several harmonicas, a trumpet, a clarinet, and a violin. Space at the house is becoming an issue!

~DB

misterpk
10-25-2010, 07:59 AM
I think there was! Jason Mraz played a..Baritone ukulele I think. I might be wrong, but I'm yours is one of the basics.

Somewhere over the rainbow by the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole is also another well known song.

Jason didn't play I'm Yours on the baritone ukulele. He did play a song called If It Kills Me on baritone uke though!

fitncrafty
10-25-2010, 09:04 AM
I am a complete newbie in every sense of the ukulele world. Group lessons would be great though.. You don't happen to be anywhere near Albany NY do you? I would love to be a beta tester!!
Good luck to you.. I can say it is hard to find uke teachers!

lindydanny
10-25-2010, 09:38 AM
Sorry, fitncrafty, I'm in sunny Kansas City. But your absolutely right: "...it is hard to find uke teachers!" That is one of the biggest reasons I feel like this is a good idea for me.

~DB

SailingUke
10-25-2010, 10:17 AM
I am doing group lessons at a local college through the community services program.
If you are in it for the money you might be better off on your own as they take a big cut.
They do all the marketing and give you a facility however. It is a good way to pick up private students if that is a goal as well.
I teach because I enjoy playing and like to share the joy. I have also been very fortunate to have some great players share with me,
so I feel obligated to pass it along.
Good Luck and have fun.

lindydanny
10-26-2010, 03:05 AM
That's a great idea, Sailing. I hadn't thought about getting in with those classes. I look at group classes as the intro to ukulele playing anyway. So, that would be a great start to getting people who are interested in private lessons.

~DB

lambchop
10-26-2010, 09:03 AM
I'm doing a community ed class this winter and really looking forward to it. They take 40% and I get 60%, which I thought was fair. If I get 10 or so people, I'll only make a couple of hundred a week, but it is my first gig and I see this as an opportunity to get my name out there while actually doing some good - helping people learn music; getting people playing. I also do a free open mic hosting once a month as well, and while it seemed kind of strange to do something like that for free, it is enjoyable and connects you to the local music scene and is quite nice, actually. Good luck with teaching - you are definitely qualified by the criteria you listed in your original post. Just have fun with it. Mike

lindydanny
10-26-2010, 09:39 AM
You guys that are doing the community ed stuff, did you have to try out to teach? Or was it just a person with the community ed that you called and purposed to?

~DB

joeybug
10-26-2010, 10:52 AM
Sorry, fitncrafty, I'm in sunny Kansas City. But your absolutely right: "...it is hard to find uke teachers!" That is one of the biggest reasons I feel like this is a good idea for me.

~DB

OOO...my SO lives in Kansas City...might take a few lessons from you if I end up over there for mine and his birthday!