Teaching a musical instrument in music class can be challenging. Here are three ukulele teaching tips to help you reach all learners.
THREE UKULELE TEACHING TIPS
Sometimes it’s a challenge to teach and/or to learn how to play ukulele.
Keep reading to get the three ukulele teaching tips that will help you reach all learners.
TIP #1 MOTIVATE TO ACTIVATE LEARNING
One way to motivate students to learn and play ukulele together is to help them see the big picture.
Here’s what I tell my students!
You are the “TEACHER’S NAME” ukulele band and we are professional ukulele players.
We’re going to play together. Here’s how we get ready.
I’ll count 1-2-3-4 and then we’ll play.
We want to do our absolute best because we’ll be playing for our school friends and families. So, it’s very important that we play together.
Are you ready? Here we go!
Creating a reason why your students want to learn will motivate and activate your students learning.
TIP #2 DIFFERENTIATE TO ACTIVATE EVERYONE
I’ve found that it’s very difficult for some students to learn to play stringed instruments.
Some of the reason’s students struggle are due to reading development, fine motor skill development and attention span.
Nevertheless, there are some different strategies you can try to help these students.
Remember, it’s okay to go slow and repeat teaching concepts using various strategies. Students thrive on repetition! This ukulele teaching tip and strategy applies to learning all music concepts.
Here’s some ideas:
VERBAL LINGUISTIC: Create an acronym for the string names G C E A.
Or, names of animals:
Giraffe (is high in the sky)
Alligator (is low on the ground)
TEACHING BUDDIES: Group students with at least one child who can demonstrate and share how they are playing.
STUDENT TEACHERS: Let students come up and reteach the skill in their own words.
SHOW VIDEOS: Share videos of the skill- even if you make a short one of yourself.
TEMPO- Try switching up the tempo of the drill. If the students can do the activity without you, pick up a hand drum and begin with a slow tempo. Increase speed slowly until no one can keep up with the beat. Have a good laugh about it!
VISUAL: Print pictures of the skill for students to use as you practice.
ADAPT: Adapt the activity as much as possible so that students can still participate.
- For example: If you are playing a song in the key of C, have the students just play the open string C on the beat.
- If they can not play ukulele, then have them either play the steady beat on a drum or on a xylophone.
- Use a familiar nursery rhyme like “Frere Jacques”, “Are You Sleeping” and play the song using only one chord at a time.
- Try having half the class play and the other half sing the song. Then switch.
- You can use this strategy to teach string names and 1 concept at a time.
KINESTHETIC: Connect learning with physical movement or the body in some way.
- For example: String “G” is closer to my NOSE and String A is closer to my TOES.
REPETITION the drills, activities every class time. I usually teach a new drill each class, then use that drill as the warmup for the next class time.
TIP #3 HOW TO BUILD CONFIDENCE
Most of all I want my students to have confidence to keep trying, keep learning and to make music together.
This teaching ukulele tip can be the most challenging one to implement because every class is different, and every child is different.
And as music teachers, we don’t have
That’s why I start with one chord songs.
I find that C is the easiest chord, so I begin there.
Compliment, compliment, compliment, praise, praise, praise.
“Great job strumming, playing and singing.
Thank you for helping your neighbor learn that chord.
You’re an amazing ukulele player!”
Need a ukulele? These are the ones I purchased for my students- they love the Dolphins!
Here’s the style I purchased for my students. My Dad’s club bought me 32 ukulele’s!
CLICK HERE TO GET THE “IF I HAD A CHICKEN” UKULELE LESSON RESOURCE
Looking for more ideas on how to teach songwriting?
CLICK HERE to Get another original Hawaii inspired ukulele song and lesson!
“I Like a Pineapple”. It comes with teaching presentation, video and music tracks.
You’ll be able to leave this lesson for a substitute and use it in google apps.
HERE’S THE LINK TO THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!
“I Like a Pineapple”
MORE UKULELE SONGS AND MUSIC LESSONS
- Ukulele Song “Dragonfly”
- Thanksgiving Ukulele Song “I’ve Got the Turkey Blues”
- Folk Song “This Old Man” Ukulele Chords
- “March is Music” Month Ukulele Chords
- Earth Day Song “Earth Day is a Special Day” Ukulele chords
I hope you’ll use these three ukulele teaching tips in your music classes.
Please share this post with your teacher friends.