Welcome to Ukulelear

Back in 2005 I brought a Roy Smeck ukulele to school. Kids were intrigued and wanted to try to play it themselves. The sound was pretty cool with just a few simple chords. Within a few weeks kids had bought their own Mahalo ukes and started to really enjoy playing.

Since that first ukulele group the Cal-Mum Uke club has had about forty students join-up every year. It has been a joy to teach in a school that is filled with the plinkety-plunk of the uke music.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Brown Ukulele

This poem was handed to me neatly folded just before lunch on Friday
without a word spoken - a gift. Working on poetry that
describes a place or thing, one student took the time to make
everything in school feel all the more special. I'm as flattered by these
words as anyone would be, but more than my flattery is my awe in the
deeper concepts of life that can be expressed in the words of one who
is only ten years old. The power of music and thought.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Poetry and Ukulele

In the waning days of the school year I have been invited to have my class work on a project that will combine student poetry with the accompaniment of ukulele music. If you are a teacher you may know what the end of a school year is like. I think of it as a runaway train heading down a steep mountain. There will be a wreck at the end, but the pieces will all be picked up and put in a box. When I open the box in September I will be mad at the "me" that threw it all in there in June.

Info about the poetry/ukulele project: http://buylocalbuildafuture.com/amylv/

The ukulele club will be playing the blues along with the band for our Spring Concert. I hope to have a decent recording to post here.

The Night Owls

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All of Me

The Boswell Sisters

Old songs are alive and well in my classroom as can be heard in this recording of "All of Me" by a couple of my students. The recording was made during snack time, in between math and reading.