Monday, February 21, 2011

Ukulele Week #1

This week I am going to write a series of posts for readers interested in teaching ukulele to groups of very young children.

(Disclaimer: the best time to start teaching ukulele is when the learner is interested. I do not recommend five year old as the ideal age at which to begin teaching ukulele. I happen to work with five year olds, so that's what you'll see in these posts. My hunch is that eight or nine year old kids would be more successful, but I work with five year olds who want to learn ukulele, so I go with that.)

With that in mind, here's lesson one.

The first thing to teach your class is how to hold the ukulele when carrying it from place to place. If you skip this step, you may wind up with broken ukuleles.

I teach my kids to carry the ukulele like a baby: held to the heart. This way decreases the possibility of dropping the ukulele, or swinging it. It also emphasizes the connection to the heart, and I think one of the reasons I am so drawn to the ukulele is that it has a way of opening hearts.

Rebecca demonstrates how to carry a ukulele—cuddled to the heart.

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