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Thread: Who's Teaching Ukulele in School?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Torrance, California
    Posts
    90

    Default Who's Teaching Ukulele in School?

    Anyone else teaching ukulele in school? If so, I'd like to know more about you and what you're doing! Things like...

    What grade levels?
    Approximately how many students?
    What state?
    Do you have classroom ukuleles or do students provide their own?
    Anything interesting you want to say about your program?

    Here's me...

    I'm the music teacher at a private K-8 school in Southern California. I introduced ukulele to our oldest students 3 years ago, loaning each of them one for the year and giving a weekly class on it.

    Since then we've expanded down as low as 3rd grade. I keep a classroom set of Makala sopranos for younger grades, and we use them approximately 3-4 times a month (we have to also do other music stuff as well). Older students still get to borrow one for the year. We have about 20 Lanikai or Kala sopranos we loan out.

    I teach using Ukukele Underground or Ukukele Mike videos; I'll go over the chords used in the song first, then they watch it again on video, and (hopefully) practice with that video at home during the week.

    How about you guys??
    Ohana SK-35, Kala KA SC Concert, Martin T1K Tenor, Flea Soprano, Waterman Soprano, Stagg Union Jack Soprano

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    3,387

    Default

    I'm in SoCal and they just started offering ukulele in my daughter's school orchestra for 3rd grade and up. She has a uke and has taken a few lessons, but she does violin in orchestra.

    Heidi Swedburg (http://www.sukeyjumpmusic.com/) and Daniel Ward do wonderful things with kids on the ukulele, so you should check them out (and they're local, too). My kids took their class and really enjoyed it.

    Have fun!!
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Torrance, California
    Posts
    90

    Default

    Thanks Eddie. Heidi and Dan are friends of mine, and they came to the school last year to help kick off our expanded program. They played a concert, then Heidi spent an hour with beginners, and Dan had the older kids for a while.
    Ohana SK-35, Kala KA SC Concert, Martin T1K Tenor, Flea Soprano, Waterman Soprano, Stagg Union Jack Soprano

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Berryville, Virginia
    Posts
    3,060

    Default

    I helped our music teacher get started with the uke a few years ago. He now has 25 ukes in the classroom and teaches 3, 4th and 5th I believe. We used to have an after school club but when he had his first child and mine graduated to Jr. High we fell out of that but might start again this year. You can reach him at perryj@clarke.k12.va.us I'm sure he wouldn't mind talking to you. We are in Berryville Virginia (:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    honolulu
    Posts
    106

    Default

    I just started the ukulele club at the high school I work at.
    We got grades 9-12, a good mix of boys and girls. We're about a month and a half in and I think we got about 15 strong, down from over 20 students.
    I was planning on teaching the beginners, but a couple of students took over and now I pretty much just watch!
    I had to purchase/provide 4 instruments, and some kids brought in their spares, for a lot of kids were interested, but didn't have their own ukes.
    Currently we are talking about fundraising, and we are planning a Halloween lunch concert.
    I'm really hoping this takes off!
    30 sets of strings and counting...


    I take pictures too...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,045

    Default

    Hi,

    I teach junior high grades 6-8 in the Chicagoland area. Ukulele is taught to everyone, kids have music in 9 week installments, and I'll see every kid in the building, which is about 700. We have 30 classroom instruments available, and 30 additional that can be checked out through the library if kids want more practice. I am hoping to start an extra curricular club this year.

    For curriculum content, I use a hybrid of James hills ukulele in the classroom, Aaron keims beginner handbook, Daniel ho's beginner series, and my own stuff through YouTube. We use ukutabs.com for song arrangements and play.riffstation.com as a practice tool.
    Koaloha Tenor 2016
    Hoffman ML ebony/red spruce tenor
    Mya-Moe redwood/walnut tenor
    Stansell Myrtle and POC flamenco baritone
    Hoffmann A style cedar maple tenor

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    honolulu
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Recstar24 View Post
    Hi,

    I teach junior high grades 6-8 in the Chicagoland area. Ukulele is taught to everyone, kids have music in 9 week installments, and I'll see every kid in the building, which is about 700. We have 30 classroom instruments available, and 30 additional that can be checked out through the library if kids want more practice. I am hoping to start an extra curricular club this year.

    For curriculum content, I use a hybrid of James hills ukulele in the classroom, Aaron keims beginner handbook, Daniel ho's beginner series, and my own stuff through YouTube. We use ukutabs.com for song arrangements and play.riffstation.com as a practice tool.
    That, is awesome!
    30 sets of strings and counting...


    I take pictures too...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Charley,
    I'm in the third year of volunteer hosting an after school ukulele club at my kids' public elementary school in N.California. I'm also the volunteer recorder teacher (3rd graders). Our ukulele club is open to 3-5th graders (sorry, I'm not babysitting). I have a 10 week session in the fall and another in the spring. The idea is to expose as many kids as possible to the ukulele. Ukulele Source in San Jose was so helpful in procuring our PTA purchased instruments. I have 10 instruments, but open my class to 15 total in case people have their own instruments. In the Spring, our group has played 2 songs at our schools-wide concert.

    My big challenge is teaching a combination of new and returning students all at once. It's been a great adventure. We've even had a few teachers join us. I've used UU for source material as well as UkuleleMike, Dr.Uke, and Richard G. for song inspiration. The happiness on the kids' faces is my payment!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    9,199

    Default

    Our school had a uke club last year that met once a month for 2-6 graders. There is a class set, if kids don't have their own, but most kids do. The teacher also uses the class set in her classes, I think with 5th graders. I'm starting to wonder if we will have uke club this year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    29

    Default

    I am just about to start teaching uke in my school. I teach in a small independent (Steiner/Waldorf) school in London where I am a class teacher as well as being the school's music teacher.

    I am just about to introduce my class to the uke. They are 8/9 years old which is Waldorf class 3. We have ordered Ohana ck20s and are waiting for them to arrive. They will belong to the children but remain in school as we will be practising together every day.

    I am currently working out the details of my teaching program, but it will probably start with learning to play simple single line melodies and lead on to ensemble pieces and polyphonic solos. I haven't decided yet at what stage I will introduce strumming, but I definitely want to start with one note at a time.

    Even though I play high g, I have decided to start them with low g as I think it will make more sense to them.

    I almost forgot to mention, the really exciting part is that in Waldorf schools the teacher stays with the same class for 8 years. My bunch have just started class 3, so that should work out as almost 6 academic years of daily uke playing.
    Last edited by FourSilverMoonbeams; 10-06-2015 at 10:35 AM.

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