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

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Tampa Bay, FL


    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA


    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

    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

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