5th Grade Piano & Ukelele
Our building does not actually own pianos or ukuleles, however our fellow NKCPS music teachers are extremely generous and helpful and have allowed us to borrow their instruments. The 2017-18 school year is the first year I have introduced piano and ukulele. The program is still in its experimental phase to see what works best for NKES musicians.
If your child has excitedly shared the things that we are learning about and you would like to look into adding these musical opportunities at home, here are some helpful hints.
- We are using both the Alfred's Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Complete Level 1 by Palmer (for the older beginner) and the Bastien Piano Basics: Primer Level
- You do not need a real piano. A basic keyboard for a beginner will surface. Casio and Yamaha are my personal preferred brands as they seem to be consistently good quality. Below you can find the amazon link to the brand and model we are using at school. (Make sure to check if your keyboard comes with ac/dc adapter, you may have to purchase one separately.) They will usually cost $50-150. Also keep an eye out at yard sales and thrift stores.
- * real pianos will need to be tuned and shipping can be difficult and expensive. Even if you find a great deal or have a neighbor or family member offer you one for free, make sure that you are willing to maintain it. Repairs can also be expensive.
- If your child becomes more serious and decides to take piano lessons, consider a full size 88 key keyboard. Also look for touch sensitive keys that will allow your child to play loud and soft based on how hard they press. They typically run $150+ for new.
- A basic ukulele is also appropriate for beginners. Look for ones that have good reviews and look more like an instrument than a toy. You can usually find a good deal on one packaged with a book, case, extra strings, etc. Decent beginner ones will cost $50-100.
- We are not using a ukulele book just individual songs. There are many follow along videos on youtube for your child to teach themselves new chords and new songs. Please browse with your child when looking for new appropriate videos.