Why Teach Ukulele in School?

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