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Thread: Teaching Ukulele Language

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Yangon, Myanmar

    Default Teaching Ukulele Language


    I'm an 'academic coordinator' and teacher at an English language school in Yangon, Myanmar. We're starting up a 'making music' student club which will be part English language lesson but mostly I hope it will be a jm session.

    As I'm the one putting it together, the ukulele will be the first instrument we learn about and highlight.

    I haven't done any searching yet, but can anyone point me towards some resources I can use in class? Specifically:
    • Diagrams with names for the different parts of the instrument
    • The simplest chord chart out there
    • A short paragraph is simple English about the origin of the uke.

    Blogging about a momentous life change as I switch careers and continents--> Leaving America

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Catskill Mountains, NY


    This is a good diagram. A uke doesn't have many parts, and this covers them.

    The basic, easy chords are C, F Am, G7, and G. Those chords will get you through thousands of songs. You can add a more difficult one a chord at a time.

    The History of the Name
    Originally named machete, the small, guitar-like instrument was brought to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants in the late 1800s and adapted the Hawaiian name ukulele. There are a few different stories detailing the origin of the Hawaiian name, the most probable being from a British army officer in the court of King Kalakaua named Edward Purvis. Purvis, a lively and petite fellow, gained the Hawaiian nickname ukulele, which translates to “jumping flea” in English. Another legend says that there was once a talented ukulele player whose fingers moved as fast as a jumping flea, henceforth forever uniting the name of the instrument and the movement of playing it.
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 09-22-2019 at 01:29 AM.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA


    I think is an excellent resource and jumping off point for beginning ukulele players. The site is loaded with excellent tips, songs and ukulele reviews. It was created expressly for beginners. (Though the site creator's English is a little funny—he's British you know.) From there, the online information available is endless.

    You didn't mention the students' ages involved. So it's a little difficult to recommend specific things.

    Maybe you can link with a student ukulele group or club here in the US. Trading information and progress as you go.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 09-22-2019 at 06:04 PM.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019


    I wrote an article on 'ukulele history. It's a bit longer than a paragraph:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017


    I find the ones on James Hill's site to be very accessible. It's what I use with my students and is clearly marked free, so less concern about copyright infringement:

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