In Autumn 2019 I’m delighted to let you know that whilst Becky is still unable to lead many regular classes due to completing her programme of chemotherapy, the lovely Martha MacBean is laughing a new Friday afternoon term 1 after school class! For updates on other classes 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.
We offer two different sorts of ukulele classes, all with a philosophy of nurturing general musicianship and a love of music!
After school classes: Are drop off sessions for children in reception, year one and year two.
Booking now: Fridays with Martha:
Smallprint Books, Forest Hill: 4-4.40pm, drop off class for maximum of 7 children in reception, year one and year two. Children will require their own instruments and this is a 12 week course running from the 13th September until the 13th December. There is a two week break over the October half term, and the last class will be a relaxed open class for parents to listen to what the group has been doing! Cost of the course is £120 for the full term.
Preschooler classes ‘The Strummers’: Are sessions for 3.5 year olds and above to attend alongside a parent or carer. These classes are currently on a break whilst Becky completes her medical treatment, hoping to resume in January 2020.
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 email@example.com – 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!