How do I establish a Ukulele program with little to no budget?
As I was being toured around my placement school music room, I discovered there were an abundance of ukuleles on a shelf. When I inquired about the ukuleles, I was told that they have yet to be used in the music room and had been in the cupboard for several years. I asked if I could take a look at them and see what shape they were in. Upon acceptance of my inquiry, I opened the first few cases and realized that they needed a lot of TLC…but I was up for the challenge. I decided to use this project as my Professional Inquiry Project. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to set up a Ukulele curriculum for the music program at my placement school.
During the summer, before my practicum, I took all the ukuleles home to work on and fix. This was a time-consuming project, as I discovered that you cannot rush the repair process. I was successful in repairing thirty plus ukuleles, and managed to have all but one (beyond repair) fixed to the point where they could keep tune.
Creating my own program and unit, I included a repair manual with instructions and pictures to follow. I put together a Ukulele Student Handbook to guide my students through the process of learning the instrument, as well as an accompanying teacher manual that includes my lesson plans.
Through reflecting on every lesson I learned what worked for the age group I was teaching, what methods facilitated the most learning, and the step-by-step process of teaching each concept. While this project was difficult and took a lot of time to produce, I learned a lot from the opportunity. I was successful in giving these instruments a second chance to sing.
Sarah-May Morton has a Bachelor of Music degree. She is in the process of completing her PSIII in an elementary music classroom in rural Olds, Alberta. Her love of music and passion for learning is evident in her teaching.