Ukulele for Teaching Online – Improv, Songs & Best Ukuleles To Buy

Ukulele for Teaching Online – Improv, Songs & Best Ukuleles To Buy

Why Use Ukulele for Teaching?

The bright and happy sound of the Hawaiian instrument always grabs the student's attention.

It can also be used to get the student singing along with English songs as a warm-up activity, and is one of many online teaching tools.

So it is a fun, as well as an educational tool to regain the attention of the ESL student in various teach from home jobs.

Ukulele Improv Whilst Teaching

Ukulele improv is a fantastic skill for teaching English online for platforms like:

…and it's so easy to do!

But when you are starting out learning ukulele, you don't want to overload yourself with too many chords and songs. So here is a method I came up with to make your musical life as a teacher as easy as possible!

So what is the ukulele improv method for teaching English online?

You start by of course getting yourself a ukulele. So check out the best ukuleles to buy later on in this article.

Then you'll want to learn three chords – C F G.

You'll play these four chords in the sequence – C F G C.

90% of the time, this is all you'll need to play on the ukulele for improv…

…and you will rarely have any complaints from the students saying, ‘You're playing the same chord sequence over and over!'

So no need to worry!

ukulele for teaching

Example:

With ukulele improv, let's say your student is reading the courseware and they aren't engaged with it…

…You can bring out the ukulele!

For this example your class is focused on grammar. You are explaining verbs etc. You can make up a little song instead of explaining it the regular way:

A verb is a doing word,

An adjective describes the noun,

An adverb describes the verb,

We're quickly walking through a busy town.

So you see, this song describes what each one is and then it finishes with a sentence using each one as an example.

Or if you don't think you could think of something like this on the spot, then simply play the ukulele and sing the sentences of a the course material.

Or find a poem that you like and sing it whilst playing the ukulele!

Make sure to use lots of TPR to encourage the students to sing along.

It's all about making it a bit of fun and snapping the student out of their disengagement with the courseware.

Best Ukulele Songs To Play in Class

Top 5 Ukulele Songs To Play

1) Old MacDonald Had a Farm

There are two universal languages…music and animal noises.

This classic song combines both of them! Also don't underestimate how fun it is to moo like a cow or cluck chicken no matter what your age.

E-I-E-I-O (Bonus vowel practice as well!)

2)The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Why stop at the farm when there's a whole jungle out there?

This song always gets the kids laughing when you break out the ‘Wimoweh wimoweh' vocal section…and especially when you attempt the high note.

3) Wheels on the Bus

These two guys have really saved me a lot of time hunting down chords before a class. You can play so many songs with the two chords they teach you in this video.

‘Wheels on the Bus' is one of them, and it really is a great song because there are so many simple verses. It's always fun to say sound effects such as ‘Swish swish swish!'…and the kids enjoy it too.

Best Ukuleles To Buy? (Good Ukulele Brands)

ukulele for teaching

If you are looking for one of the best ukuleles to buy then you are at the right place. Finding a perfect one is not an easy task. These instruments are available in different types, materials, sizes as well as brands. Unlike guitars, finding the right ukulele for your need can be slightly tougher. So, here is a complete guide that will help you to know every detail about this instrument and how to find the best one.

Different Sizes Available

The Ukuleles are available in 4 different sizes. These are:

  1. Soprano
  2. Concert
  3. Tenor
  4. Baritone

Soprano

The Soprano is the smallest size. It is only 20 inches i.e. 50 cm in height. This type of ukulele is the most common type and most of the people use this one. It can produce the typical classic sound of ukulele.

Concert

The slightly bigger one than the Soprano is the Concert Ukulele which is 23 inches in height i.e. 53 cm. In this case the body is much bigger and the neck is longer with more space between the frets. So, it is much easier and better for handling. Just like Soprano, it can also produce the typical classical sound of the ukulele…but a bit louder than Soprano.

Tenor

The next size is the Tenor which is 26 inches in height i.e. 66 cm. The sound that is produced from this instrument is much deeper just like the classical guitar. Many professional ukulele players choose to play this size.

Baritone

The largest ukulele is the Baritone. It is 30 inches or 76 cm in height. Obviously, it produces the deepest tone and louder sound than that of the other ukulele sizes.

Best Materials for Ukulele

Whenever you are looking for a good quality ukulele, then you must look for the best quality wood by which the ukulele will be made up of. Different types of woods like mahogany, Koa, cedar and rosewoods are used for making ukuleles. Among these types of wood, the Koa is the most common type of wood that is used in most of the ukuleles made in Hawaii. It is quite sturdy and a great quality wood. It is mainly used on expensive ukuleles. The mahogany, on the other hand, is used for medium quality ukuleles. Undoubtedly, this wood is also great and sturdy too.

Which Brand To Buy?

When you are looking forward to buy the best ukulele, you must consider some of the best brands available. If you have no idea about the brands that are available in the market, then here are…

5 Good Ukulele Brands

1. Kala

ukulele for teaching

This is by far the most popular and best brand for ukulele. They have a great collection of this musical instrument. Whether you are looking something for a beginner or a professional, you will get everything under this brand. This brand used to manufacture the ukuleles in Hawaii. But now they manufacture the instruments in Vietnam with the Hawaiian woods. This brand offers great durability, sound as well as quality. If you are looking for something great for the beginners, this is the brand you must consider.

2. Lanikai

ukulele for teaching

This is one of the best Hawaiian Ukulele brands and is very popular. Apropos to their motto, ‘Makes me happy’, they make people happy with sweet and classic melody and sound it produces. This is an affordable brand with various types of products. You can choose one for your needs and requirements. Whether you need something for the entry-level or something for a professional need, they have everything for beginners as well as high-end products.

3. Mahalo

ukulele for teaching

Another experienced and versatile brand of ukulele is the Mahalo. It is one of the best and it has some amazing collections. This brand put a lot of efforts in producing some of the best ukuleles for the customers. This brand is ideal for the beginners. Hence, when someone is learning to play ukulele, they buy from this brand. It is the best brand with decent build quality and excellent craftsmanship. They offers basic ukuleles with good tone quality and very affordable products.

4. Hola!

ukulele for teaching

Hola is one of the good ukulele brands available in the market right now. It is gaining a lot of popularity lately because it offers high quality instruments for the entry-level players. It produces some of the best quality products with decent craftsmanship. They use high quality woods like mahogany and cedar to manufacture these ukuleles. They are highly affordable in price and comes with great tone quality.

5. Luna

ukulele for teaching

Luna is one of the well-known brands which comes with different types of ukuleles. It has a good reputation in the market with solid build. They provide great products with excellent craftsmanship. Compared to any entry-level ukulele manufacturer, they provide a good build quality. Their products also come with a nicer aesthetic detail. Though a bit pricey in nature, it is complete value for money. In terms of craftsmanship as well as tone, this ukulele is definitely a good option.

Choosing The Best

When it comes to choosing the best one for your need, you need to consider a lot of important factors. These are – build quality, tone quality, craftsmanship and balance of tone. If you are looking forward to buying the perfect ukulele that has all these factors and meets all your criteria, then the Kala Ukulele is the best brand. It has ukuleles with great build quality and good tone quality. Each and every product also has a perfect balance of tone.

Next Steps

Now you are equipped with a ukulele, ability to improvise, as well as some songs to play, now you can get paid to play! Explore a list of online teaching platforms below so you can begin teaching online whilst using your ukulele as an educational tool…

Find an Online Teaching Platform

Click below to see a list of online teaching platforms to help you start earning online by teaching kids or adults.

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