Monday 14 November 2016

Monday 14th November - Ukulele Lesson

I have a ukulele class on Monday afternoons.

No, let's rephrase that - I teach a ukulele class on Monday afternoons.

That's still not quite right - I stand in front of a pack of seven-year-olds, all armed with ukuleles and excited and "on the brink" of chaos, on Monday afternoons.

This week, we tackled Jingle Bells. We learned the C chord way back in September "put your finger on the red spot on your ukulele"). We've been tinkering with the F chord ("move your fingers to the blue spots") with limited success since the beginning of October. Today, I introduced G7  - awed pause - there are No Spots on the uke for G7 so you actually have to pay attention, read the chord chart and follow the instructions. There's novel for you, boyo.

To actually launch the ukulele/song event that is Jingle Bells, I let the children self-select into different groups, ending up with four unequal cohorts;

the large group, who are in charge of playing the C chord (the only one they can do),

the smaller group of hardy souls who play the F chord (for "Oh what fun it is to ride in a"),

a few brave souls who are keen to have a go at the G7 chord ("one horse open sleigh, Hey!").

In front of all of them are two wide eyed lads, bouncing with excitement, eager, concentrating hard, watching me as though their life depends on it, who are the "switchers", playing all the right chords (maybe) at all the right times (possibly). The look on their little faces when they managed to get all the chord right it why I love teaching. Actually, the look on all the children's faces when they manage what it was they set out to do ( I mean playing the music, not the larking about bit) is why I love teaching.

Even so, the concert in two weeks time should be an interesting sonic experience for the audience.

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