22nd September – Engine Engine Ukulele

I’m not scheduled to teach ukulele until next term, but a colleague is away and needs her classes covered. It’s a small class, primary-school-age students, and “I was just beginning to teach them to read tab”

I’ve discovered how to make Sibelius do ukulele tab notation (look through the instruments until you find Hawaiian guitar). Perfect.

Here come a series of old favourites, re-posted with TAB. This one is a very good one to start with.

Engine Engine ukulele








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2 Responses to 22nd September – Engine Engine Ukulele

  1. R RS says:

    Would you mind sending me the Sibelius files for your ukulele music? I’m teaching it in September and they’d be really useful. Do you start with chord and then move on to finger picking?

    Thanks so much


    • Kirsten says:

      Hi, I’ll have a go at sending you the sibelius files – which ones are you after? Are you teaching ukes for a term or a year or as a club? A classful of students (I’ve got a class of thirty year2/3 children next term!) or just a few? It makes a difference as to how quickly you can go.

      I start every lesson (primary age) with “My Dog Has Fleas” singing a number of really silly verses. Then we pick each string in turn and check that the ukes “sing” the same song to see if they are in tune. Anyone who thinks their uke is out of tune comes to me (or an adult helper, if they are able) to get it tuned. Eventually, the older children learn to tune their ukes themselves.
      After that I start with strumming. BE WARNED; they will strum their ukes with so much force that they get blisters on their thumbs. You can get uke plectrums (softer than guitar ones) or teach them, from the beginning, to strum gently. Also, don’t spend a whole lesson strumming but mix it with clapping rhythm cards, learning the next song, learning chants and raps (pulse and rhythm work – all relevant)

      Picking out tunes comes later with me – Rain on the Green Grass in C major is a good one to start with. Hope this helps, Kirsten

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