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Articles in Category: Music Education

Music Education

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Ukulele Kids curriculum

The songs in the Ukulele Kids songbook are only the beginning. We have a large repertoire of material that we had out as individual song sheets. For the primary grades we start with songs that can be played with two chords and build from there, sometimes with more chords added to the same songs.

Fortunately, an abilty to play 4-06 chords opens up a good range of material to these younger students. Their progress at this stage is very age dependent. Six months can make a big difference. As we urge them ahead, keeping it fun is our priority.

With junior students we are able to progress more quickly and expose them to a wider variety of music. At the same time we provide more advanced teaching materials, additional chord charts for practice, an introduction to bar chords and variations on bar chord structures. With the wider range of song styles come different rhythms and strumming techniques. Juniors particularly enjoy playing fairly current pop songs such as I'm Yours, Stay With Me and Riptide. often with newer pop numbers we have to adjust a few lyrics to make them more appropriate.

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Music education in schools and how it benefits students

Children are very much attracted to music and this can exert various benefits on them.

Geof UkuleleKids PerformanceEvery time we present our program in school gyms we bring in all the ukulele colours, we play and sing happy tunes, the children’s attention immediately goes toward the musician. Children are very much attracted to music and this can exert various benefits on them.

Music is a universal language: every culture in the world sings, dances and plays different instruments. Children have an innate predisposition to music; since they are born they like to listen to music and sing. Music however doesn’t yet have the role it should in our schools and our society, therefore children loose the sense of musicality as they grow up. Ukulele Kids has been playing an important role over the last 8 years in bringing music to the elementary schools to enrich students curriculum and helping children benefit in all other aspects of learning and development.

  • Our music program helps students express themselves better and it stimulates their perceptive capacities
  • Playing the ukulele brings a lot of joy, happiness and movement, at the same time helps students develop emotionally.
  • Playing and singing positively influences language skills and promotes relaxation.

How can parents help at home?

In addition to the music education at school parents at home can also play an important role in encouraging children to listen to music. Here are a few simple suggestions:

  • Sing easy songs along with your children
  • Reintroduce the use of the lullaby, which unfortunately has been lost to the benefit of television and cartoons
  • Encourage playing simple musical games with small percussion instruments or even with unstructured instruments: whistles, little bells, empty bottles in which to blow
  • Listen to music with your children even when doing other activities, for example when drawing or doing a chore

Teaching the Reading of Music

Our overall approach focuses on engendering an interest in instrumental music in a  accompaniment context as that is the most common environment for the ukulele and from where most of the enjoyment of the instrument is derived.

We do, however, want the older students to be able to relate it to standard musical notation and elementary theory so that a connection is made with other musical studies. It can be fun to have instrumental-only renditions where some students play melody notes and others accompaniment chords, switching back and forth.

Some students are keen on melody playing and others tolerate it until they can get back to strumming and singing, so we dole it out in appropriate amounts.