Clowns ukulele lessons offer a great first step into music. Classes run for 20-30 minutes (depending on the group size) and have between one to four children per class. The lessons run over three terms. There are 10 lessons per term with the classes designed to be fun, relaxed and stimulating.
The main areas of focus in these classes are:
- Rhythm: Strumming in time and keeping a steady and consistent pace.
- Limb co-ordination: Working both hands whilst singing a song.
- Plectrum technique: How to hold a plectrum in a relaxed and co-ordinated way.
- Posture: This is vital for any instrument and is a transferable skill for later in life. Good posture helps build core strength, maintain good technique, keeps you relaxed and helps maintain focus.
- Basic harmony and music theory: We learn about reading music and following a chord chart, tempo (fast or slow), dynamics (loud and soft), basic notation such as crotchets, quavers and minims.
- Single note picking: Playing one string at a time and learning melodies to songs such as hot cross buns is a real co-ordination challenge for any age.
- Finger dexterity: Playing ukulele will help build strength and independence in the fingers. This is great if the child goes on to learn piano, guitar, violin, cello etc.
Throughout the year we will build up a list of songs we can play and will aim to perform them at our end of year performance where possible. Songs range from classic nursery rhymes like ‘Zoom zoom zoom’ to the children’s requests – songs from the film Frozen have always been a big hit in recent years.
We aim to cover a new song every fortnight in order to keep the lessons interesting. The more songs we work on, the easier the different chord positions become. Over the year we would hope to learn three to four different chords-C, F, G7 and A minor.
Another benefit of ukulele lessons is improving the children’s listening skills. Not only will they learn to listen to their friends and take turns playing songs, they will also become more accustomed to pitching their singing – all skills which lead to a growth in confidence. During ukulele lessons, we learn to work individually, in pairs and together as a group, all of which supports the development of the children’s focus, timing and social skills.