Ukulele Classes

Spring 2020 after school classes are well underway, but if you’d like to be the first to know about summer term classes, do  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 have just launched some new ‘preschooler playalong classes’ for preschoolers aged 3 and 4 to attend along with their parents – these will use all the familiar Beanstalk Arts stories but with much more practical interaction for children, including using ukuleles, chime bars and other musical instruments to compose, improvise and join in! 

After school classes: Are drop off sessions for children in reception, year one and year two. They are small group lessons with a maximum of 6 or 7 children in a group (depending on venue), and children will require their own ukulele. These are musicianship focussed lessons with lots of movement, singing, improvising and composition as well as learning some ukulele skills, with the aim of stimulating and encouraging a love of music making, and many skills covered in these classes will be useful building blocks for further future instrumental learning.

Booking now for Spring 2020:

Classes start Monday 13th January and run until Friday 3rd April – there are 11 lessons in this block with a week off for half term. Cost of the classes is £110 for the full term, payment can be in instalments or upfront. 

Mondays with Becky: Returners (for children who have previously learnt with Becky)

The Music Room, Sydenham (private address – near Sydenham library, please enquire for  details) – 4pm

Tuesdays with Becky: Term 1 for children in reception, year 1 and and year 2 – no previous experience necessary

The Music Room, Sydenham (private address – near Sydenham library, please enquire for  details) – 4pm

Fridays with Martha: Term 2 (for children who have already done a term 1 previously)

Smallprint Books, Forest Hill: 4-4.40pm, drop off class for maximum of 7 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. These classes are currently on a break whilst Becky completes her medical treatment, hoping to resume later in 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!).

Before you book...

If you have questions, please email Becky and – 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!