View Full Version : Lawd what have I done?

05-22-2011, 07:21 AM
I have taken another local kid under my wing, and I have mixed feeling about it. Typically I work with young teen, preteen kids from 12-17 or so. There is a kid that is kinda rambunctious, but a pretty cool kid. I was at my daughter's softball game all day yesterday (she is in tournament). I took one of the ukes and sat next to my truck watching the game, and played the uke for hours. This boy (he is also one of my daughter's teamates little brother) I have known since he was a wee lad, and he is a trip. He bugged me to death to let him play my "Little guitar". I finally did, even against my best judgement, because it was one of my good ukes, but I just couldn't not let him try it. I showed him a few chords, and kept correcting him because he was holding it backwards (kinda embarrassed over that, because later I learned from his Mom that he was left handed, lol). So anyway, he kept asking me if he could have my "little guitar", and there was no way, lol.. But, I made a deal with him. I told him that IF he stopped calling it a "little guitar" and started calling it a "Ukulele" that I would teach him how to play a few easy songs. We see him allot at local functions, kids games, etc around the town, besides I know his mom and dad very well because his sister and my daughter are good friends. But at any rate, as many know, I have NO problem giving away a uke to a kid, but this kid is only 8 years old, and before I give him a uke, I want to be sure he is not going to use it to play wiffle ball in the back yard, or as a weapon on one of his sisters. I told this kid, that IF he calls it a "Uke", learns some chords (I will teach him some and a couple easy songs) I will let him keep one of my student ukes to take home and continue his facination with it. But I just want to be sure he really wants to learn to play, and not consider it just another toy. Is that fair enough? He has already been bugging his mom to bring him over here so he can start learning. His mom came to me and asked about it, and I told her the same. IF he wanted to learn, I will teach him, and get him on his way, but he has to play an entire song on his own, and I will give him a Uke. She thought that was so cool, because she enjoyed listening to me play all day yesterday, so she's on board too. I just hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew with an 8 year old.. lol

05-22-2011, 07:43 AM
I think it is awesome Tudorp. Time will tell if he remains interested or quickly gets bored. You are a good man.

05-22-2011, 08:07 AM
tudrop you are the true spirit of UU, growing the next generation of uke player.

05-22-2011, 08:35 AM
Way to go amigo! You can't get them too
young,so long as they mean business!

05-22-2011, 09:22 AM
That's a good age to teach music notation too, if you can work from a beginner method book, he could learn the notes and how to play them with some one and two finger chords. Then no matter what instrument he picks in the future, he'll remember how to read the treble clef. It's a really good age for that to stick. One line and one space at a time.

05-22-2011, 03:11 PM
The nature of this thread is exactly why I love being part of this community!

05-22-2011, 05:45 PM
What have you done?

Encouraged a child. Brought light into someone's life. Approached a difficult situation with reason, tact, and heart.

Yeah, Tony, you've done it again! You've been yourself!

Way to go!


05-22-2011, 05:51 PM
8 is a good age, if he sticks to your agreement that's great!
Good on ya again Tudorp!

05-22-2011, 05:58 PM
I think it's fantastic that this kid is showing interest in playing an instrument and that you're willing to help him with it. Eight years old is just about the right age to take on the responsibility of playing, I think. I started piano when I was 8... it was a great time. At that age, some kids *want* to prove to their parents or elders that they are capable of responsibility and taking care of something of their own. As for giving him a uke, I think it sounds like a wonderful idea but you'll be able to guage when is best. :) Good for you for giving him your time. I think he's going to love playing uke, if he can get the name right. ;)

05-22-2011, 06:10 PM
I think you're doing wonderful things for many kids, Tudorp.

Also, I believe it's wise to give him concrete goals to meet before he receives it.

As for age, I think it all depends on the kid -- my nephew is 8, and the day after I gave him his ukulele he practiced by himself for over 3 hours singing with the chords to Frere Jacques and Amazing Grace. He had to chunk instead of doing "G."

05-22-2011, 06:30 PM
Hey ksiegel,

Sent you a PM.

mm stan
05-22-2011, 07:56 PM
Aloha Tudorp,
What a nice thing you do with your give a uke program....I hope this thread helps you with more donated ukes for the Kiddies.. Good Going Big Guy....MM Stan

05-22-2011, 08:09 PM
I have a 2nd grade student come to my classroom for lessons on Friday afternoons after school. Last week he surprised me with 3 songs he wrote himself, complete with chord progressions. 8 years old isn't too young. Have a blast changing lives, and don't be surprised if they change yours!

05-23-2011, 06:18 AM
What a guy! That's really good of you to not only give the kid a chance at his first uke, but to give a bit of yourself as well. You have a kind heart indeed.

I recently 'lost' my 5 string banjo in a sorta similar manner. Long story short: My buddy Eric teaches guitar/bass/uke for a living and he sends his students to me when their instruments need repair/set up. Well, one of his students friends, Taylor, showed up at my shop with his Mum and an open back 4 string banjo that looked like it had been in a car accident, the drum was bent into a egg shape and the neck was busted in two places. He asked if I could possibly fix it and I asked what the hell happened to it? "I was on my way home from my first lesson and we got in a car accident." as he held up his left hand in a cast. After I had told him that his banjo was dead, he was crestfallen. I told him that if he brought me a $100 deposit that I would let him take home my 5 string banjo for a period of six months for lessons and practice and if he could show me six chords and play one song for me from start to finish, we could talk about a selling price. Well six months later he shows up and showed me he knew twelve chords and could play two songs start to finish. I was so impressed I sold it to him for the price of his deposit and ended losing $150 on what I had originally paid for it years ago. It was worth every penny.

05-23-2011, 09:38 AM
Daughter has a game tonight, and odds are I will see the boy there again, and I am sure the 1st thing he is gonna ask is about the uke. Not gonna give him one yet, until he owns up to his part of the bargain, but did set up one of the LU21s Lefty and will bring it and start teaching him a couple chords, and actually let him learn them left handed..

Speaking of which.. I have always been amardexerous, but am right dominant, and played righty. Never even tried playing lefty. has anyone ever tried playing a guitar, or uke the way in which they are NOT dominant? Man, that is a horror story, lol.. I hope I can even teach a lefty.. ;)

05-23-2011, 10:01 AM
That's a great story. A friend of mine bought this beautiful Arabian mare with bloodlines a mile long. Her stable name was Star and she was a trip but in a cool way. Very smart, very fun to be around, but she'd been taught tricks, like running up to you and rearing up, but with a face that said "Ta-Da! Look what I do for you!" Idiots teach horses the dumbest things.

Anyway, everyone got on great with this horse, but for the woman who bought her. It was weird because she's a talented horse person and the horse equally suited to her, but there was a personality clash. Now in these classes, 100% of the time I blame the person, but if you're not going to get on, then it's best to find a better home for the horse, which she set out to do.

It came down to a choice of two new owners. The first was an accomplished show rider who would have taken this horse on to a fine career. The second was a girl who had ridden once, who had no money, but loved this horse, and the horse loved her. Ann picked the girl, lost a ton of money on the deal, but found this horse a forever home (the father was a rancher, so the horse would always have a good place) on condition that she taught the girl how to ride.

It was actually an easy choice. :)

05-23-2011, 11:44 AM

I think it's a great thing you're doing for that child, and I agree on not letting him have the ukulele at once. If he wants to learn and does so, then out of the blue, you give him a ukulele; he will cherish it all the more. He will have gotten a ukulele after learning a bit more about it, instead of having it on a whim.
Plus, as said before, 8 years old is a good age. (which I could go back in time and get a ukulele at the time I was 8! I'd probably play so much better...)

05-23-2011, 01:31 PM
I'm a lefty but learned uke righty. In my opinion, the instrument is going to feel awkward and foreign at first, no matter whether he plays it righty or lefty. He might be able to do both just fine.

05-23-2011, 01:36 PM
I'm a lefty but learned uke righty. In my opinion, the instrument is going to feel awkward and foreign at first, no matter whether he plays it righty or lefty. He might be able to do both just fine.

I hope it's not going to be too awkward to him. I strung one up left handed so he will feel more natural with it.