Let's Learn to Play the Ukulele
Starts Jan. 28, 2021
|Meets||Once a week for 14 weeks on Thursday|
|Time||1:00PM - 1:55PM PST|
- Course description:
Let’s Learn to Play the Ukulele introduces you to one of the world’s most beloved (and portable) instruments. You can take this instrument anywhere and spread the joy of music. You just need to learn how! By presenting the necessary skills in easy-to-digest lessons, your child will be making music in no time! The ukulele’s gentle learning curve makes learning how to play (and sing) completely accessible. The class is divided up into four areas each week. Students will get a strumming exercise and a chord exercise each class, creating a strong foundation that will lead them to be able to learn any song. Each week we illustrate how music intertwines with one of their core subjects, such as Math, Science or English so they can see how music is inseparable from many fields of study. At the end of each class, students get to shine by showing the progress they are making on the song they are currently learning. The performance exercises give each student an opportunity to share their favorite songs with their peers. Being able to choose the songs that they WANT to play ensures they will enjoy themselves and stay interested throughout the course. With daily practice, students should be able to play a song or three by the end of the semester!
The exercises should only take about 15 minutes to practice each day, as daily repetition is key in reinforcing the basic concepts of the ukulele.
- Class structure:
We start the class by checking in with everyone to see if there were any challenges throughout the week that they may have questions about. Then we go around the class, having the students demonstrate their proficiency on the rhythm and chord exercises for the week. Then we go over the exercises for the next week. After that, we take a moment for a brief presentation on how music relates to one of their core subjects, such as History, Math, Science, English, Social Studies or Geography. This helps illustrate music’s far-reaching grasp into many areas of our lives. Finally we take the last part of the class to check in with each student to see how they are doing with the song they have chosen to perform. This part of the class organically brings up new concepts and skills needed to play the ukulele, outside of the basic curriculum.
Introduce Whole, Half and Quarter Notes
History 1 – Instrument history
Strings / Tuning
Strum and Count Whole, Half and Quarter Rhythms. Introduce 1/8 notes
Math 1 – Rhythm as fractions
Learn C Major and A minor
Counting 1/4 and 1/8 notes together. Strum and count 1/8 notes 1-4
Science – Sound Waves
Play C Major and A minor
Learn F Major
Strum and count 1/8 notes 5-8
History 2 – Instrumentalist history
Play F Major
Learn G Major and E7
Strum and count 1/8 notes 9-12
Music’s role in World Events
Play G Major and E7
Learn Major Chords
Strum and count 1/8 notes 13-16. Introduce 1/16 notes.
Math 2 – More fractions
Play Major Chords
Learn minor Chords
Strum and count 1/16 notes 1-4
Science – Dual sound waves
Play minor Chords
Learn 7th Chords
Strum and count 1/16 notes 5-8
English – Lyrics as poetry
Play 7th Chords
Learn sus 4 Chords
Strum and count 1/16 notes 9-12
Geography – Location and found sounds
Play sus 4 Chords
Learn sus 2 Chords
Strum and count 1/16 notes 13-16. Introduce dotted rhythms.
Math 3 – Uneven fractions
Play sus 2 Chords
Learn mi7 Chords
How to count dotted rhythms using 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 notes. Strum and count dotted rhythms 1-4
Social Studies- How syncopation shaped culture
Play mi7 Chords
Learn mi6 Chords
Strum and count dotted rhythms 5-8
English – Lyric analysis
Play mi6 Chords
Learn MA7 Chords
Strum and count dotted rhythms 9-12
Science - Multiple
Play MA7 Chords
Strum and count dotted rhythms 13-16
Geography – How music changes from North to South
Students are encouraged to compliment or give constructive feedback after a student presents their exercises and performance piece. They are also encouraged to share in each other’s learning process as we present the challenges and concepts particular to each student’s individual piece.
- Learning goals:
Introductory: How to tune the ukulele, string names.
Rhythm: Be able to strum rhythms incorporating whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth and dotted note rhythms.
Chords: Be able to play one-, two- and three- and four-finger chords as well as having access to almost 100 different chord shapes.
Performance: Be able to play one song of their choosing by the end of the class.
- Homework / practice time:
Students should practice the assignments a minimum of 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, as daily repetition is essential in showing progress on the instrument. 1-2 hours a week will ensure they show progress weekly. However, the more time they spend practicing, the quicker they will become proficient on the instrument.
I give verbal assessments during the class for each student highlighting where they are excelling and where the challenges lie in their playing. Parents can request a written assessment via any messaging format.
- Distribution of Class Materials:
During these online classes, students will see screen shares of the worksheets for the following week as the instructor explains the assignment. The worksheets will be emailed in a PDF format to all the students / parents after the class has concluded.
- Teaching style:
Dave is very patient, energetic and compassionate to the challenges of learning music. He stresses the importance of balancing discipline with fun and tackling a number of small tasks instead of one large task in order to learn music swiftly and with much less stress.
- Teaching experience:
I have been teaching private music lessons from my own studio for 24 years, with additional teaching experience in public schools and employee training while working as a music librarian for Disney Studios. I teach group lessons in piano, ukulele, guitar, song writing and music geography. I have worked with children ages 4-18 throughout my teaching career. While at Disney I also helped prepare the scores for numerous films such as Frozen, Big Hero 6 and many other family classics. This experience allows me to prepare custom pieces for my students based on their interests and favorite songs because of the skills acquired while working in the film industry.
I have been playing piano for over 40 years, and guitar and ukulele for over 10 years. I have created my own curriculum for these instruments, emphasizing taking complex ideas and simplifying them for any age group so students can play music AND understand how music works. I have been writing songs for 37 years and focus on my students releasing their creativity while learning how to give and receive constructive feedback to their peers. I have studied world music and culture for over 31 years, which greatly informs my understanding of Music Geography.
- Next steps:
After this class, students will be well prepared to start taking private lessons on the instrument or join Ukulele Club.
|Class size||3-5 students|
|Supplies||Students will need to purchase the following items
Students need to have a 3-ring binder with plastic pockets on the inside of the front and back covers. A great starter ukulele can be purchased at Sweetwater. Here is the link: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MKSUkePack--kala-makala-classic-ukulele-soprano-pack
About the Instructor
Unique lessons for your one-of-a-kind child sums up what Dave and his teaching style are all about. Constantly writing and adapting his original curriculum to fit any group of learners is something Dave does well.He enjoys the art of teaching immensely.
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