Uke U. (not a Music Together® offering) is a Hawaii-themed, mommy-and-me beginner ukulele program developed by my friend and colleague Jackie Freimor of Starlight Starbright Music in Westchester in 2013. The class is for children 3 to 6 years of age with an adult caregiver.
The ukulele is becoming an increasingly popular instrument among young people. Partly because it is a fun and easy instrument to play. It is small enough for a child to hold and play a few chords with the help of an adult. Many ukulele's come in different colors and sizes. You can play alot of songs just by learning a few chords. The older children in this class may well learn to play a few chords on the instrument but since most children in this age group are usually not developmentally ready for instrument lessons. The class, then, is really for you--the adult. The idea is that your child will get an introduction to the instrument while you learn how to play so that you may guide your child when they are developmentally ready for more formal instruction. Uke U. was created this way because that's how she learned to play guitar when she was 6 years old--from her mother, who was herself learning to play guitar.
So what happens in this class?
Each class is typically divided into three segments of formal instruction geared toward adults. Some children will strum along, others may color in the activity pages in the ukulele workbooks or keep the beat on drums, egg shakers or rhythm sticks while the adults sing and play. We also dance to Hawaiian and other beach music.
Classes are 45 minutes long and meet once weekly for 8 weeks. Included in the tuition are a soprano ukulele each for the child and his or her caregiver, a ukulele music workbook for the adult, and an activity book for the child; each additional registered child receives a ukulele and an activity book as well. Each family receives an electronic tuner.