Guitar/Banjo/Ukulele

Let's Learn to Play the Ukulele

I'm available for private online lessons!

Class Schedule


Starts Jan. 28, 2021
Cost $240
Grades K-6
Meets Once a week for 14 weeks on Thursday
Time 1:00PM - 1:55PM PST

Class Description


     - 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.


Syllabus:



RHYTHM

CORE

CHORDS

WEEK 1

Introduce Whole, Half and Quarter Notes

History 1 – Instrument history

Strings / Tuning

WEEK 2

Strum and Count Whole, Half and Quarter Rhythms. Introduce 1/8 notes

Math 1 – Rhythm as fractions

Learn C Major and A minor

WEEK 3

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

WEEK 4

Strum and count 1/8 notes 5-8

History 2 – Instrumentalist history

Play F Major

Learn G Major and E7

WEEK 5

Strum and count 1/8 notes 9-12

Social Studies-

Music’s role in World Events

Play G Major and E7

Learn Major Chords

WEEK 6

Strum and count 1/8 notes 13-16. Introduce 1/16 notes.

Math 2 – More fractions

Play Major Chords

Learn minor Chords

WEEK 7

Strum and count 1/16 notes 1-4

Science – Dual sound waves

Play minor Chords

Learn 7th Chords

WEEK 8

Strum and count 1/16 notes 5-8

English – Lyrics as poetry

Play 7th Chords

Learn sus 4 Chords

WEEK 9

Strum and count 1/16 notes 9-12

Geography – Location and found sounds

Play sus 4 Chords

Learn sus 2 Chords

WEEK 10

Strum and count 1/16 notes 13-16. Introduce dotted rhythms.

Math 3 – Uneven fractions

Play sus 2 Chords

Learn mi7 Chords

WEEK 11

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

WEEK 12

Strum and count dotted rhythms 5-8

English – Lyric analysis

Play mi6 Chords

Learn MA7 Chords

WEEK 13

Strum and count dotted rhythms 9-12

Science - Multiple

sound waves

Play MA7 Chords

WEEK 14

Strum and count dotted rhythms 13-16

Geography – How music changes from North to South

Review


        - Interaction:

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.


        - Assessment:

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.

Additional Information

Class size 3-5 students
Supplies Students will need to purchase the following items

     - Materials: 

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


Dave Christensen

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.

Reviews


There have been no reviews submitted yet.

Want to learn more about this course?
Contact instructor
Ready to enroll?