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.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Crazy G

Okay, "Crazy G" has a 20s or 30s sound, but I can't seem to find out where it came from. I can't say I really did any exhaustive research - I tend to peter-out at about 5 minutes on most of my Google searches, so there may be some information.

Anyway, this is a quick tutorial I took on my iPhone of our own Mr. T. playing a snippet of Crazy G. I think kids would love to play it as it picks up the speed of a runaway train.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Starting Up at Cal-Mum

Well, the shipment of Kala Ukes came in at Bernunzio's Uptown Music in Rochester, NY. Over 40 ukuleles, tuners, and gig bags are in boxes pictured here in the back of our Band Director's car. As you might expect, the students have worked themselves into a frenzy over the delivery date. Today will be like Christmas in October for many kids.

This year will be the first year that students will work to achieve "levels" of mastery in the ukulele. It should be a fun way to get a little better on the uke while making it easier for me to see what students have progressed through the ranks.

The ranking system will be through songs that students have mastered. As they work through levels they will be given a ribbon to display on the head of their ukulele as a badge of honor, and a clear signal to me as to the level they are working on. With only 45 minutes to meet 40 kids once a week, it is a challenge to help struggling students while getting the better one s to take chances on tougher songs. We will see if this can mitigate some of the difficulties.