In my everyday job as a school teacher I enjoy using technology to support kids learning. The technology is much better when it’s free too! I like to use Wordle to produce some interesting word art. Below is an example, using words from ukulele 4 kids.
The Kapiti Primary School Senior Ukulele group perform Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles. Take a look and leave a positive comment.
Ukulele 4 Kids filmed James Hill sharing how to play the ukulele with chopsticks whilst in Porirua, New Zealand on the 13 March 2012, as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.
James Hill & Anne Davison performed Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean whilst in Porirua, New Zealand on the 13 March 2012, as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival. In this video James talks about the different parts of how he plays the song on the ukulele, and is accompanied by Anne Davison on the cello. They do a great job together!
If you seen James play this before you’d be forgiven for thinking he may be using loops, but I can tell you from sat in the front row he plays all the different parts. Thanks to both of you for playing here in New Zealand.
The kids in my class at school thought it was great, and can’t wait to see the video I took where he uses chopsticks to play the ukulele – WOW!
Learn the three basic chords C, F and G7 and 25 songs with ‘Uke’n Play Ukulele for Kids’ by Mike Jackson. This is a super little book to help kids (of all ages) learn how to play ukulele.
The book uses a simple method of adding coloured stickers to the fretboard to allow quick identification of where to place your fingers to play a chord.
With a little assistance from an older person kids as young as five will find it a helpful resource. There is also a play-along CD that comes with the book that allows you to feel the beat and improve your technique. Continue Reading
I recently came across a super resource called ‘Uncle Rod’s, Ukulele Boot Camp,’ that I feel would improve the skills of all kids playing the ukulele, whatever their level of playing. The resource’s focus is for ukulele players to learn the basic skills required to allow you to use the ukulele to make music. This method does NOT require you to read music or to learn Music Theory. The resource focuses on learning chords by name & forming them accurately then moving from chord to chord smoothly while strumming the strings in time with the music.
There are two main parts to the resource.
- Learning about Chord Diagrams and
- Using Practice Sheets
The section on learning about chord diagrams and using the practice sheets is clear and easy to understand. The five practice sheets in the key of C, F, G, A & D are clearly laid out and easy to follow.
Uncle Rod (Rod Higuchi) has kindly given permission to ukulele 4 kids to use his wonderful resource, and host a copy for you to download and use.
In summary, the Ukulele Boot Camp is a simple, challenging idea that will definitely improve your ukulele playing no matter what your level of experience. I’ll be using it to help me teach kids to play the ukulele.
I’d like to start by saying thank you to all the visitors to ukulele4kids.com, there were several thousand. This large number of visitors is great, considering the website only went live in October. The large number of visitors is also very motivating to continue developing the site. I’ve many new ideas to add to the site in 2012 to help it keep growing, and continue to encourage kids of all ages to start or continue playing the ukulele. You may have missed some of the posts, but there are several ways you can keep up to date with the posts of ukulele4kids.com. You could look through the archives, subscribe via email on our home page, follow us through Facebook, or keep up to date via Twitter. Below are the five most viewed posts of ukulele4kids.com during 2011, with Rudolph taking out the number one spot.
Haere Mai (welcome) to 2012 from Ukulele 4 Kids from New Zealand. Find the chords & lyrics for ‘Haere Mai’ here. There are a five chords, but it is easy to play. The chords are A, C, D, D7, G.
To get an idea of how the song sounds take a look at the video in this post.
To view our other videos visit our YouTube channel ukulele 4 kids.
View our other song chords page.
I hope you enjoy playing it and have a successful 2012 for strumming your ukulele!
Recently I was looking for ukulele images and instead came across ukulele personas for Firefox Internet browsers. A Firefox persona customizes your Internet browser at the top as in the picture below.
It doesn’t affect its performance in anyway, just makes it more interesting and specific to your interest of playing the ukulele.
The instructions to change your Firefox persona are easy to follow to . Try this link to view available Firefox Personas.
If you have the right software you can even create your own persona. I don’t, so I couldn’t tell you how to create them.
So go ahead and personalise your Internet browser. I’d be impressed and happy if someone made a funky Firefox persona for ukulele4kids.com now there is a challenge – any one up to it?
What do you get a ukulele player for Christmas that isn’t a ukulele? Answer – a download of ‘Song-sheet Generator’. It’s closely related to the program Chord Pro. I recently came across this super FREE little program that allows you to write down your songs, add chord diagrams, and produce songbooks. It’s available for download for both PC and Mac computers, and makes use of programs like notepad (PC) and TextEdit (Mac) both programs usually come free with your computer.
Song-sheet Generator’s main focus is the guitar but it also offers the facility to add chords for the ukulele too. It has a lot of chord shapes for the guitar already formatted, but for the ukulele you have to custom create your own. It’s not difficult to do, allowing you to create alternative fingering diagrams too. There is a online help guide, but I found it more helpful to copy it into a Word document to print. You can highlight the chorus in songs, and add the chord diagrams to a song-sheet. You can produce your song-sheet in a variety of ways, for instance, plain text or HTML files.
Here are a couple of examples of song sheets made using song-sheet generator:
- Is it worth downloading? – YES
- Is it easy to use? – YES
- Can kids use it? – YES
- Is it free? – YES (But consider paying a small donation)
- Where do I find out more about it? – By clicking here.
Enjoy your Christmas and may Santa and Rudolph bring you the new ukulele you have on your list.