Teaching a 10 year old ukulele

kaizersoza

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Hi Guys

I have been asked to teach a 10 year old girl to play the ukulele, she has never played a uke before and is a complete beginner, can you give me some song ideas to teach her, she is quite mature for her age so nursery rhymes are no good, I want to make the lessons interesting and fun for her, the chord progressions need to be C, Am, F, G7, I have searched the internet and I am struggling for ideas, your ideas will be much appreciated thanx in advance

kaizer :)
 

johnnyn2o

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That last course is a little expensive, Amazon list it for $2,504.98 !

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itsme

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...she is quite mature for her age so nursery rhymes are no good, I want to make the lessons interesting and fun for her, the chord progressions need to be C, Am, F, G7, I have searched the internet and I am struggling for ideas, your ideas will be much appreciated thanx in advance
There are tons of songs that use the same progressions.

Why don't you just ask her what songs she'd like to learn? Nursery rhymes may be beneath her, and she might not be familiar with or want to learn songs from your or her parents' era. Maybe you'll be the one who'll have to learn some new songs. I don't know... Katie Perry, Taylor Swift or whoever young girls listen to these days. :)
 
D

dhoenisch

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I've taught a group of 20 kids, ranging from 6 to 14, to play the uke during a week long music camp. They all caught on nicely. I taught them four different three-chord songs in the key of C. Some of the ones struggling put little stickers to mark finger positions for C, F and G7, using a different color for each chord. I taught them "Down By the Riverside" and a couple of other easy folk tunes. They had fun with them since they could actually play a song. I even through a "Down By the Riverside" parody called "McDonalds Is My Kind of Place" and they absolutely loved it.

I've also taught teens, and for them, to keep their interest, I had to teach them songs they wanted. I took a list, and found the easier ones for them first, and when they needed more of a challenge, I'd add the additional songs.

Dan
 

OldePhart

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I've found that ukuleles are very difficult to teach, no matter how old or new they are. :)

Okay, now that I got that out of my system...

Find out what she listens to and ask her what she'd like to learn first. You can simplify almost anything down and change the key to make it three or four chords in an easy key like C.

John
 

Pueo

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Yes, ask her what she would want to play, and I was also thinking Katy Perry and Taylor Swift - and the inevitable One Direction. Maybe Willow Smith Whip My Hair?
 

blowery

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I found my daughter who is 12, much more enjoys playing pop songs she know. Most are very simple and with a capo can cover a ton of ground.
I'd add em7

Imagine Dragons - Demons, C, Am, F ver. C, Am,F, G chorus capo 3, or just sing lower
Jason Mraz - I'm yours C, G, Am, F
Taio Cruz - Dynamite, Am, G, C, F over and over
Katy Perry - Roar G, Am, Em, C There are a few changes in pattern but easy to follow and substitute Em7 for the em.

Ben
 

Bob Bledsoe

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I teach lots of kids this age at summer camp. I'll echo what many others have said. I go with C, G, Am, F - teaching C,Am,F first and tackling G after they can play the other three in a progression. With those chords, you can give them a list of a ton of pop songs. They'll get real psyched about one or two off the list and they're off to the races... The homework you need to do is figure out what the most popular songs are from the last few years and then how they're played in the key of C.
 

bunnyf

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Playing songs you like is a huge motivational factor in learning the uke, so I ditto the current pop song idea. You can check out a YouTuber like anthemofadam. He has suggestions of easy modern 3/4 chord songs. You can perhaps listen together to see which songs are familiar to her (and you)... Songs like price tag, I'm yours, edge of glory, you belong with me
 

TheCraftedCow

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Here is a HOW which will help the WHAT. Start her playing the C 0-0-0-3 chord with the little finger instead of the ring finger. Play the F chord 2-0-1-0 with the center finger on the 1 and the ring finger on the 2. G7 0-2-1-2 as center finger on the 1 ; the ring on the upper 2, and the little finger on the 2 of the A string. A minor as the ring finger. WHY? All of those chord shapes can be played in exactly the same position anywhere up the fretboard ONLY IF the index finger is left available to form a barre chord. Since you are teaching someone who wants to go on to more than mere basics, why not give her a running start which will permit her to go beyond the third fret? If the standard finger positions are used, then a second set of fingerings is needed for anywhere else on the neck.

16 student were taught this fingering method last year at an elementary school. Since they had not formed an initial habit, there was nothing to first unlearn. She can change keys for each verse of a song and not have to change her fingering. Some songs become very interesting when varied, even if they are simple songs.
 

peaceweaver3

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That ONE thing...

This is that one thing... You know, the one nobody tells you until you've been playing for years, and then you see it and go, "Duh!" A great service to uke players of any age, thank you!

Here is a HOW which will help the WHAT. Start her playing the C 0-0-0-3 chord with the little finger instead of the ring finger. Play the F chord 2-0-1-0 with the center finger on the 1 and the ring finger on the 2. G7 0-2-1-2 as center finger on the 1 ; the ring on the upper 2, and the little finger on the 2 of the A string. A minor as the ring finger. WHY? All of those chord shapes can be played in exactly the same position anywhere up the fretboard ONLY IF the index finger is left available to form a barre chord. Since you are teaching someone who wants to go on to more than mere basics, why not give her a running start which will permit her to go beyond the third fret? If the standard finger positions are used, then a second set of fingerings is needed for anywhere else on the neck.

16 student were taught this fingering method last year at an elementary school. Since they had not formed an initial habit, there was nothing to first unlearn. She can change keys for each verse of a song and not have to change her fingering. Some songs become very interesting when varied, even if they are simple songs.
 

kaizersoza

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Wow thank you all for your replies, certainly some food for thought here, some great ideas and some really good sites to visit to prepare my lessons, once again thank you all for taking the time
 

coolkayaker1

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I agree with the posters that mention asking her what she wants to play, and the sooner the better. Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue isn't going to be her bag.

Similarly, introduce her to the music of ukulele players--through downloads and videos--of young ladies that she can look up to, k. Brittni Paiva comes to mind: outstanding covers (like this one below of Katy Perry's hit) and her originals are supremely contemporary (posted above). Eventually, she'll get to where she can play Brit's music. Someone to emulate is important for a youngster.


Postscript: on the Katy Perry tune, although she will not be able to play the lead for some time, she could work up to playing the background--the part that Brittni adds to the looper at the beginning--which is, I think, about three chords, over and over. Then, she can play it with Brit's video! It's fun--even for adults! lol
 
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