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10 Responses to Contact Us

  1. Matthew says:

    […], this is brilliant! I certainly recognise most of the situations you describe.
    All the best

  2. Christopher says:

    What a fantastic initiative […]! Many congratulations on all your hard work. I notice you are hiding your Music Service connections from public notice… We are very proud to have you in our team but maybe you don’t want people knowing where you live… (Shame that the didgeridoo has defeated you – at least I can keep on using it along with the nose-flute as an exemplar instrument.) Bravissimo!

  3. Jade Patel says:

    Great Website!
    What an amazing resource for teachers and students alike!
    I am hooked on your regular posts by their wit and relatability- (is that a word?!).
    Keep up the good work!

    • Kirsten says:

      I’m really glad you have found the site to be worth following! I have a lot of fun putting the posts up – it is a bit harder in the holidays as most of the inspiration comes from the teaching that I do.

  4. Hello says:

    I am going to be running 2 ukulele clubs one with years 7 8 and 9 and one with keys stage 2. I am also going to be teaching year 6 Samba. I am a complete novice at both! I want to by some good books for both, is there anything you would recommend?

    BTW great website!

    Thanks Jenny

    • Kirsten says:

      thanks for your encouragement!

      For year 6 samba, I live and die by “The Beatlife Book” by Stuart Hardcastle and Chris Preston. If they are new to samba, then plenty of listen-and-copy type games, and “Don’t Clap This One Back” games and “Counting to Eight” exercises make a good introduction. Also, learn every new thing by speaking it, clapping it, and only then on instruments. Try playing WITHOUT beaters to learn instruments, then adding beaters once they can do it right. (Anything to keep the noise levels down)

      Ukulele -I haven’t found “the perfect book” – I’ve got ukulele from the beginning books 1 and 2, and the Hal Leonard “Ukulele for Kids” but most of the songs are golden oldies. If you find a better one, let me know! There are loads of sites which give chords for well-known pop songs. The trick is to find ones you can sing with (in order of easiness) C, C7, Am, Am7 which is open strings, F G7, Dm, G. Or compose your own 12 bar blues using C C C C F F C C G7 F C C

    • Kirsten says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Did I ever reply? I’ve rather lost track of time this year as home and family became more and more complicated.

      Anyway, I’ve got my head above water, so to speak. I hope your clubs went well. Perhaps you spotted that I started gathering up ukulele songs onto a page of their own.
      I’ve used “Ukulele for Kids” (a Hal Leonard publication) and “Ukulele from the beginning” book 1 and 2 for ukes. The main surprise was that some children were strumming their ukes with enough force to raise blisters on their thumbs – I must have skin like a rhino because I never had that problem even though I would be teaching three classes back-2-back three afternoons per week… The solution is to get them to buy the soft plectrums made for ukes (guitar ones are too stiff).

      For samba, I use “Beatlife” samba book. To begin with, I’ve found it good to use songs, like kumala vista and sambalele, or chants like “Grandma, grandma, sick in bed”. The ACblack book “Banana Splits”, or “Singing Sherlock” are resources you might already have. Leanr the song, then play the rhythms. To make it more challenging, allocate different lines of the song/chant to different groups.

      If you trawl through the site, you should be able to find other ideas that I have tried along the way. Hope this is helpful,


  5. Paul says:

    Fantastic resource. Will be visiting frequently.

    Any ideas for starting up a Rhythm club for special needs children would be v welcome.

    • Kirsten says:

      Hi Paul,
      I’ve been swamped by home and family “issues” since the beginning of term, but have got my act together again at long last! So, sorry to have been so silent for so long.
      I’ll give this some thought and get a post up on this topic over the Christmas break, ready for the new term.
      In the meantime, here’s a thought; I use several tracks from the AC Black Music Express Developing Skills book/CD for activities which have been a great success; notably the “Beat Patterns” track which features a “dedadeda” interrupt to the main groove. I let the children move (or play fairly quiet instruments) until the “hear the deda robot” at which point they must freeze until he has finished.

  6. R R-S says:


    Can you recommend any good books for teaching djembe?

    Thanks so much (great site).

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