138: Four weeks of Ukulele Planning

This is what I have sketched out for myself for the first four weeks of Wider Opportunities Ukulele lessons.

I’ll be teaching several keystage 2 (age 7-11) classes in two different schools.

SESSION 1

Intro – expectations, ground rules etc – listening, no plinking when I’m talking!

Warmupconcentration game 1st level, everyone say everyone’s name going round circle

Songs Row row row your boat, star light, star bright, I went to the animal fair ,

Ukulelehow to hold it (flat against stomach, not like a frying pan, insist on playing it “normally”, no special treatment for left-handers, check that everyone has got their left hand organised properly ( thumb round the back, fingers under the neck)

Name and learn strings; G C E A, make up phrases like Good Children Eat Apples etc and sing them while playing each string

 Strumming – decide if you are using thumb or 1st finger (I use 1st Finger). Listen and copy. Sing concentration strumming open strings. Sing star light strumming open strings

 

SESSION 2

Intro – remind expectations, ground rules etc

Warmup – concentration game level 1, and level 2 children individually say own name and neighbour’s name

Songs Row row row your boat, star light, star bright, I went to the animal fair, Rain on the Green Grass (starting on C)

Ukulele – revise how to hold it and string names

Strumming – decide if you are using thumb or 1st finger (I use 1st Finger). Listen and copy. Sing  star light strumming open strings

Teach C chord – “easy peasy threesy C” “It’s as easy as 1 – place first finger on A string, 2 place second finger on A string, 3 place third finger on A string” Stress A string to help learn names of strings

Sing Row Row, Rain on the green grass, and Animal fair strumming in time with C chord

 

SESSION 3

Warmup – concentration game level 2, and level 3 – the real game

Songs Row row row your boat, star light, star bright, I went to the animal fair, Rain  

Ukulele – revise how to hold, and string names

Strumming – Revise C chord – “easy peasy threesy C” “It’s as easy as 1 – place first finger on A string, 2 place second finger on A string, 3 place third finger on A string”

Sing Row Row, Rain, and Animal fair strumming in time with C chord

Teach Am chord (preparation for F chord); Finger 2 on G string – the top string, the one that’s nearest your nose. Chant “Finger 2, not near your toes, but up near your nose on the G string”

Sing and strum Star light alternating C and A; first divide class into two groups, one place C chord, other plays Am, taking turns. Swap groups. Then practice switching between chord Am and C (new chord  to “easy-peasy threesy C”) by setting up an Am, then chant “move your fingers, play a C!”

Try other way round; set up C, “move your fingers, play Aminor”.  Children should be moving their fingers as they say it, ready to play the chord when you say.

 

SESSION 4

Warmup- SONG AND RHYTHM ACTIVITY Bee Bee, Bumble Bee (C, Am) pass shaker while singing,, person who is “out” plays a rhythm on a shaker,

ACTION SONG My Hat it has three corners (F and C )

Songs-  When I was one I had some fun (FFFFCCF every line) Rain on the green grass in F

Ukulele –Revise strings; G C E A

Teach how to read chord charts. Draw chart on whiteboard, hold ukulele beside picture, show how they relate to each other. Draw C chord and Am chord charts. Revise C and Am chords, revise switching between them. Sing and strum Starlight Starbright, sing and strum Bee Bee Bumble Bee

Show chart for F chord

Teach F chord; Finger 1 on A, then finger 2 like the Am chord. Chant, slowly, “One” (place finger 1 on A,) “move your finger” (place finger 2 on G, “TWO!” (strum). Speed up chant, until fingers are nearly going down together

Strum an F chord on first beat of each line Rain on the green grass F major,

Sing and strum “When I was one I had some fun” – divide class into 2, some playing the F chords, some playing the C chords. Teach swapping same way that you did last week. Sing again, see if any of the class can manage to swap from F to C (easy) and C to F (harder)

 After four sessions, the groups will have made different levels of progress depending on age (some classes will be 7-year-olds, others may be 10-11 year-olds. They will also have had very different previous musical experience. My target is that they should be comfortable with Am, C and F chord by the end of the first term. I’ll also work on composing some kind of Christmas carol using the C pentatonic scale which they can perform, accompanying themselves with C and Am chords.  

Most of the songs and activities have already been posted up on the Jungle in previous years, if you don’t already know them. I haven’t included any “listening to music” in these sessions. That’s because I reckon the children will be impatient to be able to do something with the ukuleles to begin with. Later on, I’ll factor in some “listening and responding” activities.  Concentration one line

This entry was posted in Class Teaching, The organised teacher, Ukulele and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.