Grant in Action: Ukuleles

by Shawna Chigro-Rogers

“When I say ‘uku’ you say ‘leles! ‘Uku!’ ‘Leles!’ ‘Uku!’ ‘Leles!’ ”

Ukuleles grant
“Ukes” in the classroom. What an incredible addition to the music curriculum. All third and fourth graders used the ukes during music class the last five weeks of school. Mrs. Wetmore’s class welcomed Jake Hoffman from 317 Main for the uke portion of their music classes. Jake has been a great resource on how to build from the most basic concepts to a place where the children are making amazing music. Some children were ready to play 3 and 4 chord songs independently by the end of the school year. Others worked in small groups to divide the chord changes among friends. Playing popular songs they know from the radio was a huge motivator to learn the “axis of awesome” chords – chords that make up most of the pop songs written in the last 60 years. Jake would like to come back in the fall when Dr. Michele Kaschub conducts her workshop with fourth graders around using the ukes as a tool for songwriting. Erica Troy looks forward to building on these basics in the fall with the incoming fourth graders, and starting the next group of third graders on their ukulele adventure.

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