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View Full Version : $500 to spend on Ukuleles for kids workshop. What would you buy?



kameeley
05-02-2012, 10:28 AM
I'm applying for a grant to bring Hawaiian music to kids in my community. The grant is modest ($500) but its enough to buy some cheap ukes and get it into the hands of a few kids and play in the local park. We haven't won yet ;) but in the event we do what kind of uke do you guys recommend?

If I had the woodworking skillz I'd be all over Youthalele II!

Freeda
05-02-2012, 10:50 AM
I'd get the economy pack Mahalo. I think they run around 180 something? It comes with maybe a half dozen ukes in all colors and a big carry bag. So you could afford two. You would just need the skills to do setup and add some decent strings.

Doc_J
05-02-2012, 11:21 AM
I'd get some Youthalele's (design by Brad Donaldson) made.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?63306-Youthalele-II

kameeley
05-02-2012, 11:37 AM
Thanks for the suggestion Freeda! Pardon my ignorance but where can I find the economy pack Mahalo?

Doc_J the Youthalele II is my first choice but without any woodshop experience I don't think it will be feasible this year. I'd like to eventually build Youthalele II but I'm giving myself a lot of time to do it. Thanks for the suggestion!

greyghost
05-02-2012, 02:58 PM
+1 on the Mahalos--I have the smiley face soprano (29.99 at Amazon and Guitar Center) and while it doesn't compare to my tenors, it's a decent, playable instrument, well suited for kids. It's a MUCH better ukulele than it has any right to be for that price.

PhilUSAFRet
05-02-2012, 03:10 PM
I bought a cheap Mahalo a while back, and the intonation was great, string height
low....was surprised at how well they played.

Of course you can get 20 Rogues with case and pitchpipe w/ free shipping for $500, but I've heard spotty comments about them.

http://www.music123.com/folk-traditional-instruments/rogue-ukulele-starter-pack

webby
05-02-2012, 03:18 PM
I'd buy 10 makala dolphins

tjomball
05-02-2012, 11:01 PM
I'd go with the Mahalo's. And some decent strings and some chord books and song books.
500 should go a long way towards introducing a dozen youngsters to the uke.
Good luck to you with your endeavors.

grandpoobah
05-03-2012, 03:36 AM
I'd also invest in a nut file from stewmac and make sure you have a regular file and some sandpaper. The low end ukes are alright as long as you set them up. If they are not setup they generally sound like crap on open chords, which is probably the first thing you will be trying to teach.

PoiDog
05-03-2012, 04:56 AM
I suppose the unasked (and potentially important) question is: how many kids and what age range?

Based on very little I'm going to assume there's about a dozen kids, between the ages of 5 and 8. If so, the Dolphin fun pack (or whatever it's called) or the Mahalo smileys, or those mulit-packs of different colored ukes would be a great choice. But, if you're looking to try and tame some at-risk adolescents with a history of huffing PVC pipe cement, well, then those uber-cute litte ukes will be a pretty silly choice.

In any case, I would suggest you actually reach out to uke manufacturers and let them know what you have in mind. Very often businesses or corporations will be more than happy to let things go at a very significant discount if it is for a community project like this. At the very least, you'll get a chance to find out something about the culture of the companies that make the ukes.

Best of luck on the competition, and I hope you win!

kameeley
05-04-2012, 12:16 AM
Wow guys thanks for all the suggestions! Sorry for the late reply too. We (dodgingsnails and I) just finished recording a song and an interview for the grant. Hopefully we can get the edit done this weekend. Then we submit and wait... oy!

PoiDog, 5th grade to middle school to start so the mahalos (or the makalas) seem like a good option. At risk or not if they take to it we're gonna jam!

I've never set-up an instrument before. On the stewmac website they have a video on gauged nut slotting files which was helpful but now I wonder what the ideal width is (that's dependent on the strings I restring them with and how wide the current slots are on the kids ukes). Which leads to the next topic....

I'm familiar with aquila nylgut strings that mainlands come with. I'll probably get those then come to back to the forums and find a how to vid!

ukes ($30) + strings ($6) + binders and printed music ($3) + music CD's ($1)= ($40)/kid, so yup a dozen max

All of this is contingent on getting the grant so I'll keep you guys posted. Thank you soo much for your help and support it means a lot! :D

singh44s
05-04-2012, 05:57 AM
There's also this maker of a simple-to-construct, mass education -oriented uke that I saw mentioned in another UU thread:
http://www.wolfelele.com/

hint: ordering info is via "model specs"

Nickie
05-04-2012, 11:59 AM
I'd be tempted to use Makala Dolphins. They're colorful and damn near indestructible...

kameeley
05-17-2012, 09:13 AM
Well we just found out we lost (but we did make it to top 3 contenders). This is not the end... just the beginning (wiping dirt off my shoulder)

kameeley
05-17-2012, 09:14 AM
I'm completely fascinated with the wolflele. They just look fun to build!


There's also this maker of a simple-to-construct, mass education -oriented uke that I saw mentioned in another UU thread:
http://www.wolfelele.com/

hint: ordering info is via "model specs"

janeray1940
05-17-2012, 09:35 AM
Well we just found out we lost (but we did make it to top 3 contenders). This is not the end... just the beginning (wiping dirt off my shoulder)

I'm totally bummed to hear that you lost :(

kameeley
05-17-2012, 09:42 AM
Thanks. Yeah I think I'm going to sit and play for a little to get the sadness out. We are gonna talk to the non-profit and see what else we can do. It's just the start right ;)

sidenote - just printed hawaiian warchant. i'm gonna try it for next tuesday.


I'm totally bummed to hear that you lost :(

janeray1940
05-17-2012, 09:49 AM
sidenote - just printed hawaiian warchant. i'm gonna try it for next tuesday.

Happy to hear it! Hope to see you there :)

kameeley
05-17-2012, 10:45 AM
Unless I come down with something bad I'll be there =D


Happy to hear it! Hope to see you there :)