HOw to hold the ukulele
BEGINNER LEVEL: REST ON YOUR LEG
HOW TO HOLD THE UKULELE
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL: HOLD AT YOUR CHEST
This is the names of each open string and the number of the string we will refer to when learning new chords.
Ukulele Tuning / Notation Explained
BELOW ARE THE FIRST 4 BASIC CHORDS YOU WILL LEARN TO PLAY ON THE UKULELES. THE COLOR CODED DOTS MATCH THE DOTS ON THE FRETBOARD OF THE UKULELES WE HAVE IN OUR MAKERSPACE. THE NUMBERS ON THE DOTS TELL YOU WHICH FINGER TO PLACE ON WHICH STRING. LOOK AT THE NUMBERED FINGERS FOR YOUR LEFT HAND PLACEMENT ON THE FRETBOARD. YOUR RIGHT HAND (POINTER FINGER) WILL STRUM THE STRINGS BETWEEN THE SOUND HOLE AND THE FRETBOARD.
How To Play The C Chord
Use your third (ring) finger on your left hand and place it just above the 3rd Fret and press down on the fretboard. The other 3 strings are "open." STRUM all 4 strings from 'Top to Bottom'.
How BMS Reading Ukes Got Started...
Staff Writer, The Shelby Star
What started as a way for Jeanna Bryson to practice her hobby in the Burns Middle School library has now grown into something all students can enjoy.
On Thursday, Bryson received 30 concert ukuleles, four guitars, gig bags for each instrument and packs of extra strings.
All of the items came to the school courtesy of the Guitar Center Music Foundation, a music charity that aims to expand and encourage music education. The foundation donated the items to the school after Bryson, a technology facilitator based in the BMS media center, made a long shot post on the Facebook page of a popular guitar brand.
“This all advanced very quickly. I did not expect any of it,” said Bryson after unpacking some of the instruments on Thursday.
Carrots on strings
Last fall, Bryson began learning to play the ukulele in her spare time. She started bringing her instrument to school to play in the library during her breaks, and some students quickly took a liking to the instrument.
“A couple of the kids were like is that a guitar, and I said no it’s a ukulele. It’s a little bit easier to learn than guitar,” she said. “When I had the ukulele out one day, I asked one of the students what would they think if I were to get a few ukuleles for the maker space. They were like, ‘I would meet my (accelerated reader) goal really early, and every time the class came in here I’d play ukulele every time.’
Accelerated Reader is a program that requires students to read books during the year then pass basic comprehension tests on what they read. Successful tests grant points, which are accumulated through the year. All students have point goals they need to meet each semester.
Every few weeks students head to the media center to read books or take tests for books they already finished. Students who meet their point goals get to spend time in the school library doing a variety of activities using STEM kits and other tools.
“Middle school is all about putting carrots on sticks,” said Bryson. “For a lot of them, reading is a chore and for a lot of them reading is hard, and it’s not their favorite thing to do. We try to entice them to want to read so when they come in with their class and see so-and-so get to play in maker space they know next time they come in with class, if they met their AR goals, you get to play. You don’t have to sit here and read.”
After being told that the chance to learn ukulele would be a good motivator for some students, Bryson worked to find instruments. Two weeks ago she created a page on Donors Choose, a crowdfunding site for educators, asking for $600 to buy 10 ukuleles for the school. After sharing the page on the school Facebook page and on her own personal profile, Bryson decided to share the page on the Mitchell Guitars Facebook page.
“I had my fingers crossed maybe someone would donate to it,” she said.
The post instead got seen by a representative of the company, who messaged her about her idea and needs, then passed her information on to the Guitar Center foundation.
One phone call later Bryson was told that not only would she be getting the full 30 instruments she asked for, but the foundation would also donate two classical guitars and two acoustic guitars to the school orchestra program.
The ukuleles will stay in the school library as an option for students to play during their AR blocks. Each will be paired with printouts of some easy-to-play chords and simple songs for them to play while they are in the library.
“This is such a great thing to do. It really opens up opportunities for kids to get into get into music,” said Kadence Watts, a student who was excited to see some of the instruments.
“I’ve always wanted to learn to play but never had the chance,” said student Ethan Hutchins, who already met his AR goals for this year. “This will definitely push me harder to get my points sooner next year.”