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Thread: Leftie Child: Teach Right-Handed or Flip the Uke & Play Upside Down?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    Great video. Very touching.

    At the Boys and Girls Club I was helping to teach ukulele to 8 to 10 years old kids. Three were left-handed. All three were quite upset that they "had" to learn to play right-handed. (An ex-music teacher was leading the group and insisted that all of the kids learn to play right handed. She's a righty.)

    So, I bought a left-handed ukulele and donated it.

    Then, at the class, I gave the lefties the option of learning to play right or left handed. I explained why I thought it would be easier for them in the long run and why. I then asked them to try it for a while, but if they just couldn't do it, then they could use the left-handed uke.

    All three stuck with the right-handed ukes and did quite well.

    Giving the kids the choice made all the difference. They bought into the honest explanations. And tried their best, along with lots of encouragement, to prove that they could do it. Instead of resisting something that was forced upon them, they tried and felt really proud when they succeeded.
    I'm glad that two people mentioned this....letting the child decide!
    Nothing is more frustrating to a child than being forced to do things.
    I don't know how old this child is, but if she were mine, I would just ask her. Then I'd get her uke set up.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Yates View Post
    I have one student who plays a left handed guitar, but he was already playing before he came to take lessons from me, so we didn't switch back. He says it's just like looking in the mirror, but we seldom have left handed instruments in the store where I teach. Whenever there is a left handed guitar, I urge him to try it out.

    You said, "It seems the brain is wired so that the dominate side, (left side of the brain for right-handed people), keeps rhythm naturally and more easily. So strumming and picking is easier to learn using the dominate hand. " I agree with this. Try tapping out the rhythm of I've Been Working On The RR with your dominant hand and keeping the beat with your non-dominant hand. Now try switching hands.
    In spite of that, I had four siblings all living in a house with one guitar. My brother Dave was a lefty, but we wouldn't let him switch the guitar, so he learned righy. He turned out to be the best musician of the five of us.

    Nice to hear Christine Lavin mentioned here. Maggie and I are fans of her song writing and performing. I even love her baton twirling. In the eighties we performed her song about Princess Diana and Prince Charles at a few venues in Southern Ontario.

    Oh maybe, you got panicky
    Thinking you were losing your looks
    Well confidentially Chuck
    You got no looks to lose
    Or maybe you are the kind of cad
    Who likes to drive us women mad
    Knowing now we all have the
    I'm-never-gonna-get-to-be-the-future-Queen-of-England-blues

    Charles! Prince Charles
    Do you have a last name?
    I was gonna ask you that on our first date
    Forget it! Things have changed


    Once they got married, she could no longer do this song. Here's Maggie singing the song at Cobourg's Waterfront Festival.
    Attachment 119167

    And here she is with Christine Lavin at the Winnipeg Folk Festival about 30 years ago.
    Attachment 119168
    Don't mean to digress from the thread, but Lavin's autobiography was very good. I was bummed when she came to the Minnesota area a couple of months ago and I was out of town.

    I've never seen her live. It's great that y'all had a chance to meet her and play & sing with her.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  3. #43
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    Most left-handers are a bit ambidextrous to begin with. I write with my left hand but learned violin right handed, and play the uke right handed too. It has never been an issue, but I also wasn't given a choice when learning violin as a kid. Now crocheting right handed is a whole different thing... I'd say let the child try it out both ways and see if one way feels more comfortable to them. Good luck!
    Current Uke Family:
    ~ Mainland Mahogany Satin Concert ~ KoAloha KCM-00 (Koa Concert) ~ MP Black Walnut Cali Concert x Mike Pereira
    ~ Rebel Soprano Double Crème (Mango)

    "Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine." ~ Lord Byron

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeMichaels View Post
    Well, I've always played the right hand and I could not imagine playing left. I would like to read a review like click site about the style of teaching when you try to change "playing" hands. Anyway, why don't yot child play left?
    Spam. The only other post you made was as well. Please go away or behave, I for one find it irritating. The misspellings are also off-putting.
    Last edited by ukeanixi; 02-12-2020 at 09:53 AM.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RosieKamozie View Post
    Most left-handers are a bit ambidextrous to begin with. I write with my left hand but learned violin right handed, and play the uke right handed too. It has never been an issue, but I also wasn't given a choice when learning violin as a kid. Now crocheting right handed is a whole different thing... I'd say let the child try it out both ways and see if one way feels more comfortable to them. Good luck!
    My son is the same, lefty for the most part, but, since he's learned piano he's becoming a lot more ambidextrous. His Grandma was very much the same.
    He plays ukulele right handed and is very comfortable that way. I don't remember him mentioning that he wanted to play left-handed. I think it's his piano history that has made it very easy for him. No need to re-string his uke!

  6. #46
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    "But it has always been my experience that lefties don't necessarily view the world as a place oriented for righties; rather, we just take things as we find them, and go for it. That probably explains why, as a grade-schooler, I did perfectly fine with standard scissors and a standard school desk, but was totally thrown off when my seventh-grade teacher got me some left-handed scissors and a left-handed desk! I had long since adapted to the world as I found it, and I had never considered scissors or school desks to be problematic (they "were what they were", to use today's expression...)"

    As a lefty I used to relate. I was beyond accepting in my youth. I was downright clueless. I was big into sewing my own clothes as a teen and learned from my mom who would try anything. So she was helping me make a blazer with some heavier cloth, and had these industrial strength giant scissors that I was using to cut out the material. She stood watching for a moment, and then said, "I feel so sorry for you having to use those big old scissors with your left hand." You guessed it! I looked at her completely confused, and asked what she was talking about. What a revelation to realize that blisters and red marks were NOT supposed to be part of the cutting experience. I think that was when I began seeing the world as made for righties, and my life as a lefty militant began....

    I share the opinion that the little guy is going to be the best one to know what feels right. I play most sports, as well as Uke and guitar righty and it feels perfectly normal. But writing and golf (and cutting...), totally and unequivocally lefty. The little one will know.

  7. #47
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    I am left-handed, but I never played anything but right-handed guitars or ukes. Maybe it’s because my main instrument is piano, which doesn’t really give room for such a debate. (Although left-handed pianos have been built...go figure..)

  8. #48
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    My left handed friend who got me into uke playing has always strummed-picked with the right and fingered the neck with the left. Has worked for him.

  9. #49
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    I don't think there's a "right way" or a "wrong way". If the child can play the in typical right-handed manner, then it will avoid a lot of extra hurdles to learning, finding resources and instruments.
    Playing in the left-handed manner of left hand picking & strumming, right hand fretting, is not wrong.

    Think about if a teacher had come to you and told you couldn't play right-handed. You had to change and play left-handed. Some of us could have done it. Others, maybe not.

    Most children can adapt. But there are some who absolutely cannot. And they should be helped and encouraged as much as the right-handed students.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

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