Why the Ukulele?
You may have noticed there is an increasing interest in the ukulele with popular songs, commercials and even kids shows theme songs. So why, the ukulele?
The size of the ukulele makes it a great portable instrument that can be played in a relaxed position.
The strings are softer (nylon strings) so you don't have the pain from the metal strings of a guitar.
It's small so it can be stored under your seat on the plane so it is a perfect instrument for travel.
Its much cheaper than a guitar. Its also easy to play if you are familiar with the guitar because many of the chord shapes are exactly the same.
The above reasons are why the ukulele is my "go to" instrument for students as young as 3 and students with special needs. It's the fastest way to feeling like a rock star. Just pickin and grinnin.
Perfect for small hands and beginners
The small size of the ukulele makes it a perfect fit for our youngest students. Students as young as 3 can feel comfortable holding the soprano ukulele and building a C chord (one fingered chord). Progress is slower for the 3-4 year olds because their main focus is remembering to put the right finger down in the third fret and pressing hard enough to have a "mark." They get a kick out of showing me their mark and we make a big deal about it. They can only play one chord for months, but that gives the teacher ample time to teach folk songs like, "It's Raining, It's Pouring," "Merry had a little lamb," "Row Your boat" and many more. These folk songs are integral to a young mind as it is typically based off of the Pentatonic scale, which is the basis of most folk songs from any other country. It's pretty much the universal ABC's.
As the students get older in age they can start to learn more complicated chords involving 2-4 fingers. The great thing is that most of the chords are transferable to guitar so if the student begins with the ukulele and learns the G chord, they can use the same chord shape on the bottom 4 strings of the guitar and it would be a D chord!