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View Full Version : Teaching uke to kids...and parents!



LonnaB
01-12-2009, 09:06 AM
Hey folks

I've put the word out in my community that I am willing to teach free ukulele lessons to children in the area. I've been teaching my own nine year old and figured she'd like to have a 'class' to join her on the weekend.

I've found someone who is interested- and her dad wants lessons, too, so that they can play and learn together.

Now, I'm thinking about how to bridge teaching basic music concepts to children and keeping the content interesting enough for a grown up who already knows a bit about music.

I figure I'll start with tuning- doesn't everything start there?- and then move into learning chords for the songs they would like to learn. The little girl is a huge Beatles fan, so that should be easy enough. I figure we learn the chords we need, learn to change, work on rhythm and strumming and go forward from there.

I've been teaching my little one scales and chord theory, but I don't know if that would fit cohesively into a half an hour or hour long lesson.

I'd love any little bit of feedback. Those of you who have taken in person lessons- where did you start and what was covered? Is there a basic building blocks approach to doing this? I'm all about incremental learning.

I'm so excited about the opportunity to help spread the joy of ukulele, both to children and to adults! I hope to find more students soon :)

deach
01-12-2009, 09:16 AM
Very cool of you!

LonnaB
01-12-2009, 09:19 AM
Very cool of you!


I read your advice to someone the other day about volunteering time and thought it was brilliant!

It was funny- cause these people wanted to insist on paying me and I had to tell them that it doesn't work that way in the ukulele community!

See what you've started?:bowdown:

ukulelemotion
01-12-2009, 09:23 AM
that's awesome! i also give lessons to some of my jr. high kids at my church.. and also at a high school uke club that just started.. im the off-site advisor for the club.. its fun and rewarding seeing the ukulele movement grow in the youth. the uke revolution has begun!

deach
01-12-2009, 09:24 AM
This is very cool of you. If you need any material - books, tuners, whatever, please let me know.

ukulelemotion
01-12-2009, 09:35 AM
This is very cool of you. If you need any material - books, tuners, whatever, please let me know.

you are truly an awesome guy deach. i praise you for your ginormous heart bro..

here are some links incase you havent seen them yet lonny.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2218

http://www.beatlesite.info/

hoosierhiver
01-12-2009, 09:54 AM
So awesome,setting those kids up with the tools for a happier life.Be sure to get some vids of the gang. If the parents feel super guilty about the free lessons,I guess you could refer them to Ukuleles for Peace.

LonnaB
01-12-2009, 10:01 AM
So awesome,setting those kids up with the tools for a happier life.Be sure to get some vids of the gang. If the parents feel super guilty about the free lessons,I guess you could refer them to Ukuleles for Peace.

That's a great idea.

And, I gave my prospective students a link to Mainland Ukes, for sure! I'm so excited for you, hh!

salukulady
01-12-2009, 10:13 AM
LonnaB,
Tuning is boring....send them home the first week knowing how to play Happy Birthday and You Are My Sunshine (both in C) and work up to F.U.N. the Sponge Bob song. This is how I start with my classes. Show Dad how to tune it and the kid will pick it up in no time. Don't let 'em get bored or you'll lose 'em.

freedive135
01-12-2009, 10:26 AM
So cool of both of you...

What my Inst. did was for the first class (1hr) show us how to use a clip on tuner then how to tune the Ukulele to another in tune Uke, that took about 1/2 an hour.
Then we worked on 4/4 time strum, he called it 4 on the floor D,D,D,D for about 15 min. The last 15 was spent changing the strum to D,U,D,U.

The next few classes were spent learning to D,U,D,U while changing Chords to some basic songs like Love Me Tender and King of the Road.

As weeks went by we moved to adding finger picking, different strums, muting, harder/quicker chord changes and such....We never really got to far into theroy.

So here I am 26 weeks of classes later waiting for March to come for the next block of lessons to start!!!!

ricdoug
01-12-2009, 10:48 AM
I've used Ukulele Tonya's beginner lesson package literally hundreds of times, Lonna. It's a great starter package to teach large or small groups basic strumming and chords, which builds the foundation for future lessons:

http://ukuleletonya.com/files/beginner_lesson_pkg.pdf

LonnaB
01-12-2009, 12:00 PM
I've used Ukulele Tonya's beginner lesson package literally hundreds of times, Lonna. It's a great starter package to teach large or small groups basic strumming and chords, which builds the foundation for future lessons:

http://ukuleletonya.com/files/beginner_lesson_pkg.pdf


Wow- this is a great resource- thanks!

LonnaB
01-12-2009, 12:01 PM
you are truly an awesome guy deach. i praise you for your ginormous heart bro..

here are some links incase you havent seen them yet lonny.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2218

http://www.beatlesite.info/


That's a great thread for me to check out, thanks.

Ukulele Beatles Fun! Classic good times :)

LonnaB
01-12-2009, 12:03 PM
LonnaB,
Tuning is boring....send them home the first week knowing how to play Happy Birthday and You Are My Sunshine (both in C) and work up to F.U.N. the Sponge Bob song. This is how I start with my classes. Show Dad how to tune it and the kid will pick it up in no time. Don't let 'em get bored or you'll lose 'em.

These are good ideas. Bored kids don't pay attention, that's for sure. How's the homeschooling?

LonnaB
01-12-2009, 12:03 PM
So cool of both of you...

What my Inst. did was for the first class (1hr) show us how to use a clip on tuner then how to tune the Ukulele to another in tune Uke, that took about 1/2 an hour.
Then we worked on 4/4 time strum, he called it 4 on the floor D,D,D,D for about 15 min. The last 15 was spent changing the strum to D,U,D,U.

The next few classes were spent learning to D,U,D,U while changing Chords to some basic songs like Love Me Tender and King of the Road.

As weeks went by we moved to adding finger picking, different strums, muting, harder/quicker chord changes and such....We never really got to far into theroy.

So here I am 26 weeks of classes later waiting for March to come for the next block of lessons to start!!!!


This is great! Thank you so much for sharing. I'll keep y'all posted on our progress.