I’m afraid that summer 2019 term ukulele classes are on a break due to health reasons. I hope very much to be launching a new timetable of classes soon – to be the first to find out more, you can sign up for the ukulele group newsletter here – and as soon as dates for new tasters and classes are released I’ll be in touch. I’m hoping this will be after the May half term, but will keep this updated.
We offer two different sorts of ukulele classes, run by Becky Dixon, director of Beanstalk Arts
After school classes: Are drop off sessions for children in reception, year one and year two
Preschooler classes ‘The Strummers’: Are sessions for 3.5 year olds and above to attend alongside a parent or carer.
In all classes, our focus is on rhythm, pitch, composition, improvisation and enjoyment, with lots of movement, singing and games! After school classes will move at a slightly faster rate than the preschooler classes and learn slightly more chords, but the aim of these classes is that through using the ukulele (and also listening to other instruments) this is an early step in the journey of learning and enjoying music. In preschooler classes, grown ups will participate alongside their kids (I’ll have spare ukuleles available for grown ups). We hope that the classes form a great foundation for learning other instruments (or more formal ukulele classes) further down the line! Between classes, there will be videos online to play along to and as reminders of what we’ve done so far (and to keep parents in the carers in the loop as to what we’re up to in the drop off classes!).
If you have questions, please email Becky and firstname.lastname@example.org – you’re welcome to come and sit in to see a current class to find out if this is the sort of thing you’d be interested in joining
What Ukulele should I buy?
For classes whilst we have some ukuleles available, we’d recommend that children do have an instrument of their own to play at home too. To start your ukulele journey, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a fancy instrument to learn the basics, particularly as a young starter’s instrument tends to get a fair bit of bashing about! A soprano ukulele will do the job nicely (although if you’d like a larger instrument for a grown up, a concert or a tenor will have the same tuning but slightly bigger size and sound). In previous terms, lots of beginners have started on a mahalo 2500 (around £20 – amazon link here). My favourite starter instrument is a ‘makala dolphin’ which feels a bit sturdier (around £40 – amazon link here). Most music shops have a good selection- locally South London Music sell them and have knowledgable staff who can give you advise, if you fancy a trip to a specialist shop, the Duke or Uke in East London has a brilliant and huge range, and they’ll be able to give you lots of advice!
Bear in mind that new ukuleles tend to lose their tuning very quickly at first, and take a while to settle – by no means essential, you may wish to invest in an electronic tuner like this. But there are also apps you can use on your phone!