Home > The West Music Blog > Starting a Ukulele Program in Your Classroom: Part 4 of 6
West Music Blog

The West Music Blog

Starting a Ukulele Program in Your Classroom: Part 4 of 6
By Sam Marchuk
1/25/2018 4:21:00 PM

Starting a Ukulele Program in Your Classroom Part 4 of 6: Which Curriculum/Method Should I Use?


Essential Elements for Ukulele Series

by Marty Gross

essential elements

Hal Leonard applies the same concepts featured in their proven Essential Elements series for the ukulele. This method begins with basic chords and strumming patterns for immediate student gratification. Note reading, theory, and some advanced techniques are introduced later to round out the essentials of playing. There is a large selection of recognizable folk and popular songs too, such as Home on the Range, Hound Dog, La Bamba, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Rainbow Connection, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and much more! This method also includes an access code for audio files in place of a CD. Can be used as a resource to brush up your skills, to have as a reference for their classroom, or for each student to use for practice.
Book 2 is also available with more advanced strumming options and fingerpicking techniques.

Easy Ukulele Songs Series

by Denise Gagné

easy ukulele songs
This collection is part of a series of easy songs for ukulele will have students singing and playing the ukulele in the first lesson! The focus is learning songs to sing and strum. The first 15 songs are one-chord songs, followed by 15 easy two-chord songs. The last 2 songs use three chords. The enhanced CD also has projectable PDFs with links to easy pop songs on YouTube that use the same chords, as well as recordings of all songs. The 860395 Easy Ukulele Songs Teacher’s Guide is 48 pages and includes reproducible lyrics pages and enhanced CD. Student books are also available. Advance to the next title in the series 864302 More Easy Ukulele Songs for even more one, two, and three-chord songs:

Strum It Up (21 Soprano Ukulele Pieces in Orff Style)

by Sandy Lantz and Gretchen Wahlberg

strum it up book

This new method integrates ukuleles with other classroom instruments and has full Orff-style orchestrations for your Orff music classes. Students will learn chord progressions, vocabulary, and how to accompany songs and melodies. The unique timbre of the ukulele supports the child's singing voice and allows students to hear and sing harmony accurately.
A FREE security code for online PDF files is included, along with lyric sheets (reproducible for student books, or for SMART board applications, videos, and other resource materials. Movement/dance suggestions, Polynesian instrumental suggestions, Hawaiian Language guide, and Ukulele strumming techniques are also included.

Strum, Strike, Sing, & Play: Artfully Adding Ukulele to the General Music Classroom

by Kate Hagen & Sarah Fairfield
strum strike sing and play

This ensemble-based publication introduces students to the ukulele as a versatile instrument capable of spanning multiple musical genres. The ensembles are appropriate for day to day teaching as well as performances. The lessons represent a "seed" of an idea with the intention that educators will cultivate the repertoire to fit their environment. Each lesson can be adapted, changed, or molded to fit your students' needs. Includes digital access to visuals.

Ukulele in the Classroom Series

by James Hill and J. Chalmers Doane

ukuleles in the classroom
This classroom method series is a more in-depth and sequential study and begins with ear training, note reading, rhythm, scale, strumming exercises, and over two dozen vocal and instrumental arrangements. Includes traditional English, French, Chinese, Hawaiian, African, Chilean, and Canadian songs, as well as arrangements of works by Brahms, Benedict, and Holst.
Individual student books and an advanced Book 2 are available. The series also offers additional supplemental ensemble repertoire books for planning performances:

The Complete Ukulele Course for Kids DVD

By Ralph Shaw

the complete ukulele dvd
As an educator through DVD videos, Ralph Shaw has helped many people of all ages improve their ukulele skill. Ralph starts with a lesson on tuning the ukulele and then guides the student through carefully prepared lessons that cover: playing four chords in the key of C, strumming/rhythm techniques, changing keys, playing 4/4 & 3/4 time, and understanding simple transposition. Students from the Wondertree Learning Centre will demonstrate the songs so you can play along!
Includes 15 kid-friendly songs such as He's Got the Whole World in His Hands, When the Saints Go Marching In, Frere Jacques, This Little Light of Mine, Grandfather's Clock, and more!


With so many options you can find the best method to best suit the needs of your students, classroom teaching style, and objectives. For more ideas, contact an educational consultant at 800-397-9379 to see how we can help bring ukulele to YOUR classroom!

About the Author

Sam MarchukSam Marchuk is an Education Consultant for West Music specializing in folk instruments and curriculum for the elementary classroom. He has been playing ukulele since 1998 and is an avid collector of vintage and contemporary ukulele models.

As an Education Consultant, Sam assists with the selection and acquisition of instruments and curriculum with teachers across the U.S. He enjoys matching up players of all skill levels and classroom teachers with the right ukulele to fit their personality, style, and budget.

Sam has demonstrated the potential of the of the ukulele at numerous state and national music education conferences, helped with the startup of ukulele programs across the U.S., and has taught beginning ukulele at the annual Strathmore Ukulele and Guitar Summit in Rockville, MD.


Tags: ukulele, music education, classroom
Categories: Music, Books & Resources, Music Education
Bookmark and Share


No Comments have been submitted.

Write your own comment
  Your name (required):  
  Your email address (required):  
  Your website address (optional):  
  Submit a Picture No larger than 250kb (optional):  
  Submit a video via URL (optional):  
  Your comments (required):  
Text From Image:
Band & Orchestra (99)
Classroom Furniture & Equipment (11)
Company Culture (70)
Conservatory (356)
Contests (14)
Drums & Percussion (27)
Extraordinary Associate of the Month (53)
Guitars & Folk (36)
Kids & Movement (25)
Live Sound, Recording & Software (6)
Mariachi (11)
Music Advocacy (57)
Music, Books & Resources (59)
Music Education (103)
Music Therapy (56)
Orff (15)
Pianos, Digital Pianos & Keyboards (23)
Press Releases (19)
Recorders (16)
West Music Cedar Falls (74)
West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion (113)
West Music Coralville (153)
West Music Decorah (5)
West Music Des Moines Piano Gallery (59)
West Music Dubuque (1)
West Music Quad Cities (79)
Recent Posts
The Basics of Melody
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
The Basics of Rhythm
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Falls March 2018 Musician of the Month: Bo Wayson
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Coralville March 2018 Musician of the Month: Prabhas Gupta
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Coralville Teacher Feature: Chuck Michaelson
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Falls February 2018 Musician of the Month: AJ Fitzgerald
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Starting a Ukulele Program in Your Classroom: Part 4 of 6
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Extraordinary Associate of the Month: Patrick Downing
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Be the Ultimate Band or Orchestra Parent in 5 Easy Steps!
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Rapids January 2018 Musician of the Month: Skylar Dudley
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Request a catalog to be delivered to your door
McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams