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Thread: Suggestions for Inexpensive Boys & Girls Club Instructional Ukuleles

  1. #1
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    Default Suggestions for Inexpensive Boys & Girls Club Instructional Ukuleles

    I need some suggestions for some inexpensive yet durable ukuleles.

    I want to buy some decent-sounding ukuleles for 3rd to 5th grade young people to learn & play at a Boys and Girls Club. I don't want to spend more than $50 each.

    Is there anything available here in the USofA that will sound reasonably good, be easy enough for them to play, and come with a good setup?

    There's no point in teaching the kids how to play on bad-sounding instruments. They won't enjoy them and won't practice between lessons.

    I suspect that it would be good if they were durable as well. A laminate or plastic, maybe?

    I'm thinking 2 sopranos and 2 concerts, but I can be persuaded otherwise.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    I have used the Kala KA-15S in a class situation and found them to be decent players. The tone is reasonable and intonation and action is fine.

  3. #3
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    Post #6 on this thread may be of interest to you. https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...-the-classroom
    Choirguy's YT channel cool cover photo is a row of OU sopranos w/ rainbow Aquilla nylon strings.
    I vaguely recall his review of Kala Waterman talks about both https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5YJGRd0cik


    Personally, I am so impressed w/ how well my Kala Waterman Concert & Sopranos have been (ABS plastic). Out of the box, w/o change of strings. I got them for less than $50 & $30 respectively.
    And my Outdoor ukulele moonshine (polycarbonate) feels bombproof w/ spot on intonation right out of the box. Would hand it over to most kids in a heartbeat. Their sopranos are $105 right now, more spendy now but perhaps more cost effective in the long run.
    Both Watermans & OUs are so easy to maintain (what maintenance?) & no fretting over humidity & humidifiers in winter when central heat is in use.

    In a classroom situation, using 100% fluorocarbon fishing leader line could be more economical for restringing. If you go that route, Hi-Seas is more economical than Seaguar Blue.

    There are a few music teacher blog posts on restringing w/ fishing leader line... will edit this response & add those if I come across them again.
    Last edited by Wukulele; 02-08-2019 at 03:39 PM.
    keeping an eye out for a very special concert....

  4. #4
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    I use Ohana 10s ukes. I have 30 ukes with Aquila Kids Strings (colored).
    Ohana has been a great partner for my program at the Boys and Girls Club.
    I do various fund raising events to raise money to buy the instruments.
    Good Luck with your venture. Feel free to keep in touch as you progress.
    Keep Strummin'

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wukulele View Post
    Post #6 on this thread may be of interest to you. https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...-the-classroom
    Choirguy's YT channel cool cover photo is a row of OU sopranos w/ rainbow Aquilla nylon strings.
    I vaguely recall his review of Kala Waterman talks about both https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5YJGRd0cik


    Personally, I am so impressed w/ how well my Kala Waterman Concert & Sopranos have been (ABS plastic). Out of the box, w/o change of strings. I got them for less than $50 & $30 respectively.
    And my Outdoor ukulele moonshine (polycarbonate) feels bombproof w/ spot on intonation right out of the box. Would hand it over to most kids in a heartbeat. Their sopranos are $105 right now, more spendy now but perhaps more cost effective in the long run.
    Both Watermans & OUs are so easy to maintain (what maintenance?) & no fretting over humidity & humidifiers in winter when central heat is in use.

    In a classroom situation, using 100% fluorocarbon fishing leader line could be more economical for restringing. If you go that route, Hi-Seas is more economical than Seaguar Blue.

    There are a few music teacher blog posts on restringing w/ fishing leader line... will edit this response & add those if I come across them again.
    Great information. Thank you. I will check them out.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDW View Post
    I have used the Kala KA-15S in a class situation and found them to be decent players. The tone is reasonable and intonation and action is fine.
    I'll check it out.

    Thank you.

  7. #7
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    Oh, I like the idea of the kids strings. That would be a fun touch.

    I'll pick your brain as we, the CheezLand Uke Club, progress.

  8. #8
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    I've bought from alibaba.com, and so have several friends. You can get surprisingly good ukuleles for surprisingly low prices. After a friend got one, I ordered a pretty little Amoon soprano for about $30. It's no longer listed on their site, though.

    https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search...chText=ukulele

    Enya is another good, inexpensive brand. I got a concert for $18.31, delivered, during a temporary sale on Amazon. I would go for uniformity in the instruments - four identical ukes. Otherwise, the kids will all want what the kid next to them has. (The grass is always greener)
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  9. #9
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    Malala Dolphin. We have a 2-1/2 year old grandson and we bought him one when he turned 1 year old. Even though it was just something for him to play with, I did a setup on it. It lives in a toy box and has a few nicks here and there, but when we visit I tune it up and play it. It actually sounds pretty good, and it has held up. Whatever you do, get a uke with geared tuners.

    John

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    Malala Dolphin. We have a 2-1/2 year old grandson and we bought him one when he turned 1 year old. Even though it was just something for him to play with, I did a setup on it. It lives in a toy box and has a few nicks here and there, but when we visit I tune it up and play it. It actually sounds pretty good, and it has held up. Whatever you do, get a uke with geared tuners.

    John
    +1
    The Makala Dolphin sounds much better to me than the Waterman.
    Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Mainland Mahogany Classic; Mainland Red Cedar; Ohana SK-28; Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Musicguymic's "Kolohe" concert; Cordoba 24T; Cordoba 30T; Kanilea Islander MST-4; Cordoba 24B

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