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.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Christmas Waltz" sung by Nellie McKay on Mad Men

On the Mad Men season 5 episode (May 20, 2012) called Christmas Waltz we are treated to a song made famous by Doris Day. During the credits, singer Nellie McKay's recording of "Christmas Waltz" plays soothingly as we are returned to reality. For those avid watchers of the show we are left wondering if Don Drapper has returned, and for those of us who are Mad Men and ukulele addicts this was a real bonus.

"I don’t know too much about Nellie McKay other than the fact that she’s amazing. I think I heard some buzzings about her in 2002 but it was mostly from women that touted her as some sort of girl power act and I wasn’t sure if I was invited to the party... I’ve made a promise to myself: Never, ever miss a Nellie McKay show. I recommend you follow suit"  By Jon, LA Snark

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cal-Mum Ukulele Club Spring Concert

Well, Tom Toyama found us a great little tune with "Count on Me" by Bruno Mars. It was such a catchy sweet tune that we all latched onto it and loved playing it. Tom's wife was in the audience and caught the concert on video. We will have to search again next year for another viral tune that will make kids want to practice, practice, practice...

Here is the ukulele club playing and singing along with our 4th and 5th grade chorus.
Never hurts to have a good drummer...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bruno Mars - Count on Me

Here's a fun song that our elementary school will be playing in our annual Spring Concert. This video has been a huge help for our ukulele kids while trying to practice the song.

The video can be found on YouTube at:

331 Guitar Club - a cool YouTube channel that can be used by ukulele players. 331 Guitar Club is a middle school guitar club in the Bronx. This site features moving chord charts that they use to learn and master new songs.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jason Mraz' "I'm Yours"

Here is a great little video showing how to play "I'm Yours" on the uke. Kids (and I) love to play this sweet little tune.