Top 5 reasons why the ukulele is the ideal classroom instrument:
1. It's user-friendly
The ukulele has a gentle learning curve. With no prior experience or specialized skills, students can accomplish simple tasks on the ukulele in a matter of minutes, including:
- making a sound (with good tone)
- playing note(s)
- playing chord(s)
- self-accompaniment when singing
2. It's adaptable
As a small, light, portable and relatively quiet instrument, the ukulele can be taken and practiced almost anywhere. These same features also make it very manageable as a classroom instrument. It's also just as effective as a solo instrument as in a group, with other ukuleles or different instruments.
3. It's affordable
Decent starter ukuleles begin around $40, making it affordable for most students to own while in school (and beyond). This supports better learning in school as well as the development of lifelong music-making.
4. It's part of popular culture
Unlike many other classroom instruments, students are likely to have seen or heard the ukulele somewhere outside school. This can be a motivating factor and also helps connect learning in school to experiences in everyday life.
5. It's a teacher's dream!
The very structure of the ukulele makes it perfectly suited to the needs of music teachers:
- Capable of playing melody or harmony or rhythm, independently or simultaneously
- Allows for singing and playing at the same time
- All open strings pitched in the tessitura of children's voices
- 12 frets on soprano ukuleles, illustrating one octave of the chromatic scale
- Simple fingerings for playing in keys of C, F, and G (common for children's songs)
- Durable enough for years of normal wear and tear
- Incapable of loud or harsh tones