Uke in school

  1. 8 years ago

    Attea Middle School sixth graders, all 600 of them, are making ukuleles. Once complete, students will paint the musical instruments, learn to play them and even venture out into the community to lead sing-alongs.
    Last year, a ukulele club started at Attea became so popular orchestra teacher Polly Yukevich said it needed to be expanded.
    Later this month, students will travel to retirement homes and other locations to perform, leading their audiences in song.
    Yukevich teamed up with Attea art teacher Sara Asplund and found ukulele kits that were both less expensive than purchasing individual ukuleles for students, and provided an added benefit of investment in the project.
    Yukevich and Asplund applied for and were awarded a $7,000 grant from the Glenview Education Foundation for the project.
    By putting together their own ukulele kits, Yukevich said students are more invested in learning to play and feel a deeper connection to the instrument. Students are also taking great care as they build their ukuleles because they know how it is built will affect the sound.
    Once built, students are painting the instruments. Yukevich said paintings are often made to the theme of a song. All the students will keep their instruments.
    Painting the plywood and mahogany ukuleles does not harm them and creates a slightly warmer tone than the instruments would have with a typical varnish finish, Yukevich said. Only the headboard and body are painted––fret boards are not.
    Why ukuleles? Yukevich said many students used to learn music on recorders, but rhetorically asked when the last time someone pulled a recorder out to play at a party.
    Ukuleles are small, easy to transport and easier than guitars for sixth graders with smaller hands to play, Yukevich said. The instrument is less intimidating than some for students providing “a low pressure fun” learning environment for kids that puts them on a path for a lifetime of music learning.

    Written by Tom Robb Updated june 13 2012

  2. thongar

    9 Sep 2012 Moderator

    There should be an option for both. Especially since both instruments are fairly easy to pick up, and fun to play. That's a fantastic project though!

  3. Lucky! I wish that I could have done something like that when I was in middle school.

  4. "thongar" There should be an option for both. Especially since both instruments are fairly easy to pick up, and fun to play. That's a fantastic project though!

    I'm with you. Give the option of wind vs string instrument. Maybe some kids will pick both!

    What a great program!

  5. I learned the recorder in school. But it was taught in a super simple ''Mary Had a Little Lamb'' way. I like recorders but i love ukes!

  6. 7 years ago

    "thongar" There should be an option for both. Especially since both instruments are fairly easy to pick up, and fun to play. That's a fantastic project though!

    that seems like such a good way to instill admiration on alot of things...have students make one. Bravo!

  7. my girlfriend works in a primary school, and they all learn to play the penny whistle :\ i think that the uke would be a better choice, i work in a high school, and one teacher has just bought a load of ukuleles, and her class all play them in tutor time before first lesson, they all come back at lunch and ask to play them then so she has started a little club, some sing some play the uke and they all love it
    i think that there should be more options for kids to be able to play instruments at school, its only people who either want to or are forced to by their parents that play, i would have had the option to have something like this available to me at school, as i was quite quiet and would have just sat there playing away, but until i had left school and had the freedom of my own money and my own space and time, i didnt know anything about music, or instruments, sure we played keyboard in music, and occasionally hit a drum, but these again were forced upon me!

    if we had them just laying around and had someone ask, would you like a go, or can i teach you anything, i think i would have been more open to trying these things!

    its a good idea, i wish our school would do something cross curricular like this as you could include different lessons in this, for example music, technology, art and ICT it could also include science aswell!

  8. 6 years ago

    We had recorders and they sucked.


  9. 5 years ago

    Recorders are nice, but the kids can sing while they play a uke. It opens more doors for writing/music crossovers - they can write lyrics for english class then set them to music with the ukulele.

  10. I had to learn the recorder for years. I hated the thing. Gave it up the day that I could. I would have loved to have learned ukulele.

    What a fantastic thing they are doing at Attea school. Well done.

  11. 9 months ago
    Deleted 7 months ago by UT
  12. Deleted 7 months ago by UT

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