Which  Musical Instrument Should I Choose?

Which Musical Instrument Should I Choose?

 

“I love music and I’ve always wanted to play a musical instrument.

There are so many choices. Which musical instrument is best for me? How do I choose one?”

“As a kid, my family moved a lot, so I never was in one place long enough to do the whole “band” or “piano lesson” thing. Now I want to learn music. But I have no idea how to choose an instrument.”

I hear comments like these often from people who want to play a musical instrument. In this post I’ll answer your questions and give you some good ways to go about choosing an instrument.

It is never too late to choose a musical instrument. And don’t worry if you pick one and then move on to another. Whatever you learn about music on one instrument transfers to the next. You’ll build knowledge about music that will help you learn whichever instrument you decide to stick with.

If you like music and you have an organized approach to learning, you will be successful. And,  you don’t need to read notes to play an instrument. It helps, but you can learn to play first and then decide later if you want to read notes. I’ll give more information about learning to read music notes in the 2nd article of this series.

Listen to a lot of instruments and see which ones you like best.

It’s a good idea to listen and familiarize yourself with different kinds of instruments. Try listening to a variety of styles of music to expose yourself to a lot of different types of instruments. You can listen to musical instruments on Youtube. Green Bean’s Music has a nice series that plays short samples of each instrument. 

group of musical instruments
Woman with piano

Think about the following things…

What kinds of sounds do you like?

Do you like loud sounds? Or, do soft sounds give you comfort? Are you happy hearing the low, deep sounds like a roaring lion? Or maybe you prefer high sounds such as twittering birds? Think about which instrument sends tingles up and down your spine. You will be successful with an instrument that “speaks” to you.

What kind of music do you like?

Folk music? Indian ragas? Rock and roll? Hip-hop? Ragtime? Blues? Classical? Think of your favorite songs and which instruments are in those songs. This will help you decide what you want to play.

Do you like electric or acoustic music?

The kind of music you like will help you decide what instrument you want to play. An electric instrument can be played silently with headphones, which can be a big benefit if you are sharing space with others. And even if you prefer acoustic music, many instruments such as keyboards and guitars are also available with electric versions.

How much space do you have in your home for a musical instrument?

Is space an issue? Would a grand piano take up your entire living room? Do you want an instrument that is portable?

How do you feel about playing with others?

Do you want to be part of a band, orchestra or music club? Think about the instruments you can play with other people. Or, do you want to make music by yourself?

Girl playing violin

How much are you willing to spend?

Do you need to follow a budget? Are you in the market for something decent for under $200? Or, can you spend several thousand dollars on your new hobby?

Which instruments fit you physically?

Are you a large or small person? Do you have big or small hands? Being able to comfortably hold an instrument will make it a lot easier to play it once you have it.

Narrow down your choice of instrument

Once, you’ve thought about the above issues, decide what instrument family you like. The instrument families are: strings, keyboard, brass and woodwind, and percussion. Common stringed instruments are violin, guitar, bass, ukulele. Whereas common keyboard instruments are piano and organ. Common percussion instruments include all types of drums. And common brass and woodwind instruments are flute, clarinet, and trumpet.

So, let’s say you’ve narrowed your choices down to stringed instruments

You love guitar and the soulful sound of the violin. You think it’s really cool the way the bass provides the foundation for the song. So now it’s time to pick out a stringed instrument.

Here are some issues with these musical instruments

Guitar – Big with 6 strings. Chords are hard to change and the strings hurt your fingers.

Violin – Produces a beautiful sound when played by an expert, but it can squeak and scratches when played by a beginner. It’s hard to get the right notes because there are no frets. The bow is really difficult to manage. It’s EXPENSIVE.

Bass – Huge! An acoustic bass can take up a lot of space in your house. And if you want to take your bass with you to a group jam, you might need to get a larger car to carry it in.

But I don’t read notes!

Never fear, you can learn to play an instrument first. Check out the second post in this series to find out more about how reading notes fits in with learning an instrument. 

Man playing string bass
woman playing ukulele

 

7 reasons why ukulele might be the right musical instrument for you

  1. The ukulele is smaller than the guitar. It has only 4 strings, rather than 6. This means the chord shapes are easier than on guitar. Also, ukulele strings are nylon so they don’t hurt your fingers, unlike metal guitar strings.
  2. There is no bow, so you don’t have the awful screeching sound that comes with beginners on the violin. And there are frets, so you know where to put your fingers. In fact, the ukulele sounds pleasant when you strum it.
  3. You can take a ukulele anywhere. It’s accessible and portable.
  4. The ukulele is acoustic, so you don’t have to worry about it being too loud for your neighbors.
  5. You can get a decent ukulele for under $200, so it is an affordable instrument. Once you have your first ukulele, you can learn to play and decide if you like it or not. For the cost of a ukulele, an instruction book and an online course, you can be off and running without breaking the bank.
  6.  The ukulele comes in many sizes, so you can find one to fit you. You can even get small, colorful ones for your kids so they can play too.
  7. Since ukuleles are quiet, you can play them with other people. It’s not like the guitar – a room full of guitars would be overwhelming. People play ukuleles in clubs and sing along.

Are you struggling with strumming?

With our book and course, you’ll become a fluent 3-chord strummer.

Get your copy now!

What are the next steps?

Read the next post in our series about learning to play a musical instrument without reading notes.

If you’re sent on ukulele, decide what size of ukulele works for you. You can read more about ukulele sizes here. 

Decide whether you would rather have private lessons or learn from a book or online course.

If you decide to get started by yourself with a book, you might enjoy our reviews of the most popular ukulele books here. 

 

I Don’t Read Notes. Can I Learn a Musical Instrument?

I Don’t Read Notes. Can I Learn a Musical Instrument?

Lots of people ask “I don’t read notes. Can I learn a musical instrument?” We’re here to reassure you. You definitely can learn a musical instrument without reading notes. That’s because knowing how to play music does not mean you need to read music notes.

In fact, playing without sheet music is called ‘playing by ear’. Musical notes are like letters or syllables in speech. Melodies are built out of notes just as words are built out of letters. Think about learning to talk. Once you knew your syllables and letters, you probably never thought of them again while talking. You just think about what you want to say. And you didn’t learn to talk by learning to read first.

We humans played music for centuries before the current music writing system existed. The oldest musical instruments are bone flutes that are between 40,000 and 60,000 years old. But written music as we know it today was developed and refined by European church musicians in the middle ages.

dog with music notes
They didn't read notes

There are many famous musicians who didn’t read music. Here are three: Paul McCartney, songwriter Irving Berlin, and opera star Luciano Pavarotti. While these folks didn’t read notes, they all were successful in a variety of musical styles.

Speaking of styles, there are many musical genres that have a learning by ear approach. (See below for more about other styles of notation). In rock, hiphop, and blues no one plays from sheet music. Many folk genres around the world also rely mainly on playing and teaching by ear.

Even some classical musicians are taught without notes using the well-known Suzuki approach. This method includes printed sheet music books but there are also recordings. Children are expected to learn to play their pieces by ear with the help of parents and teachers.

 

Why would I want to learn to read notes?

You may be wondering why anyone would go to the trouble to learn to read musical notes. Well, there are a lot of useful things that musical notation does for you, the music student.

Being able to read musical notes is as useful to a musician as reading words is to you in your daily life. Forget about writing the next great novel. Imagine how difficult it would be to not be able to write a shopping list or read a text message from your friend.

If you are able to read music notes means that you can learn a song without having heard it before. If you can write musical notes, you can jot down ideas you have for a new song. then you can share them with others who read notes. – your teacher, your music club mates, or perhaps the band you’re starting in the garage.

And reading notes means that you can create, record, or learn more complicated music. That’s why students of genres like jazz and classical often invest the time to learn to read music notes.

woman with music notes on old piano

How do music notes work?

Musical notation developed over centuries. Which means that it is complicated and sometimes confusing. But, if you are learning a fretted instrument like ukulele or guitar, you’re in luck! These instruments have several different types of notation available. That means if you are a person who says “I don’t read notes” they are some of the easiest instruments to learn.

Here they are in order from least to most difficult.

Lyrics and Chords

Lyric and chord sheets have the words written out like a poem with chord symbols written above the words. Sometimes the chord symbol is a letter and sometimes it is a chord stamp. A chord stamp is an image that looks like graph paper with dots on it. Chord stamps are used for ukulele and guitar players as a diagram of how to play a chord.

Reading lyric and chord sheets is a type of music reading. The great thing about them is that you don’t have to read formal music notation. They can work well if you know how the melody of the song goes.

The downside is that you have to know the song to be able to play it from lyrics and chords. That’s because just looking at the lyrics and chord stamps does not tell you how the melody and rhythm of the song go. So, if you don’t know the song, you have to learn how it goes by listening to it, often many times. This can take a long time.

And sometimes the chord symbols are not correctly placed, so you have to be able to hear when to change the chord. Finally, before you can use lyrics and chords you have to already know how to play chords and keep a steady strum going.

Ukulele tablature

Tablature (tab for short)

Tab is a sort of road map that shows you where the notes are on your instrument. There is tab for guitar, ukulele, wind instruments and even piano. Tab is not that hard to learn to read and is very useful for guitar and ukulele. Read our post about how to read tab here.

In the image of “Yankee Doodle” to the left, the tab is the bottom set of lines with the numbers on it. The top set of lines with black and white circles is standard music notation.

A big downside to tab is that it is specific to one instrument. So if you write something in ukulele tab and hand it to a clarinet player, you will only get a confused look. Another issue is that it is not that easy to notate the rhythm of the song in tab. Read more about tab notation and rhythm here.

Standard Music Notes

Standard musical notation is universal for all instruments. It is a diagram of the sounds that should be played. The notation shows whether the sounds should be high or low which musicians call ‘pitch’. It also how long or short in time the sounds should be, which musicians call ‘duration’ or ‘rhythm’.

Learning to read standard music notes takes the longest time because it shows the most information. We can pick up a sheet music written in standard notation hundreds of years ago and know how to play it. Melody, harmony, rhythm, articulation and expression are all clearly notated. So, this kind of notation is the most powerful, but also the most complicated. You can learn what you need of this type of notation as you go.

Music notation developed over time and has many odd things that take a while to learn. It is complex so that it can express complex ideas. There is a lot of visual information on a piece of sheet music and it can take a while to get used to decoding it. Once you understand what sounds are being called for, you also have to learn how to play them on your instrument.

On the bright side, if you learn to write music notes on the staff, you will be able to communicate with other players. You can hand your music to someone else who reads music and they will be able to play it on their instrument.

Should I learn notes at the same time as I learn my instrument?

Learn a musical instrument faster by not learning notes first

Get off to a faster start by focusing on playing

Most people who begin to learn a musical instrument are surprised at how difficult it is. So it’s best to start with an approach where you can feel successful early on. Your early successes will motivate you to continue playing. That’s why we recommend not worrying too much about reading notes at the beginning of your journey.

New research shows that multitasking is actually less efficient than doing one thing at a time. The brain can only handle so many new skills at once. Learning the coordination of how to play an instrument is plenty to focus on at first.

To play any musical instrument you will need to coordinate body parts in new ways. For example, you’ll need to sync breath, mouth, tongue and finger movements to play a wind instrument.

To play guitar or ukulele, you’ll need to coordinate your hands to do two different things at the same time. You might also need to add singing to the mix. Plus remembering the words. To add in learning music notation can create an overload which will slow down your progress.

So, here’s the answer to the question “I don’t read notes. Can I learn a musical instrument?”: Yes, but timing is very important.

When is the best time to start learning to read notes?

When people can recognize what song you’re playing, you’re ready to begin learning to read music.

An added benefit: developing your ear

Think of the way children learn a language. They listen, then they speak, and only much later learn to read. They learn to speak by first listening carefully. If you learn your instrument this way, you will learn to listen carefully too. Since music is all about sound, it’s always a good idea to develop your listening skills.

All the above notation systems as valid, depending on what you’re trying to do. So, yes learn to read music if you would like. Once you’ve learned to read notation, you’ll be able to learn new songs more accurately and quickly. And you’ll be able to play music with others which is one of the great joys in most musicians’ lives.

Let us hear from you

Where are you in your musical journey? Have you learned to read music notation? Do you feel it helped or slowed your progress? Let us know in the comments below.

Are you struggling with strumming?

With our book and course, you’ll become a fluent 3-chord strummer.

Get your copy now!

What are the Best Christmas Gifts for Ukulele Players?

What are the Best Christmas Gifts for Ukulele Players?

So, you’re wondering what are the best Christmas gifts for the ukulele player in your life? Here  are 30 ideas  for things your loved one might be excited to find under the tree. We’ve listed the approximate price to make it easy to stay within your budget.

FYI Ukulele Sisters gets a small commission for purchases made through links in this post. The commission doesn’t affect the price you pay.

Practical Ukulele Christmas Gifts

Here are some suggestions to help your loved one be more comfortable and sound better as they make music.

1. Music Stand - $25

A sturdy, high quality music stand is a great place to store music. And it’s a lot more fun to play ukulele if books and music sheets are not falling on the ground all the time.

2. Clip-on Tuner - $15

A clip -on tuner makes it a snap to get a ukulele tuned up and ready to rock out. Snark Tuner is the go-to brand for clip on tuners.

3. Capo - $10

Ukulele capos make it possible to adapt sheet music to different keys. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means. You can learn more about it with our post about using a capo.

4. Ukulele Strap - $10 - 20

Slip into something more comfortable with a ukulele strap. Having a strap to hold up the ukulele makes it much easier to play the ukulele.

There are two kinds. One of them goes over your head and does not require an end button. The advantage is that you don’t need to take your ukulele to the shop to get an end button added. The disadvantage is that you still have to keep a hand on your ukulele to make sure you don’t drop it.

The other kind of strap needs a button installed onto the ukulele. The strap is then attached to the button which means you can use your hands to do something else and not drop your ukulele. The downside is that you might need the help of a music store to get a button added to your ukulele. And some people don’t like how the buttons look.

Oldtime Music has published a nice review of the top 7 ukulele straps. 

5. Chord Chart - $10

A ukulele chord chart to post in your practice space will make it easier to quickly find the chord shape you need at the right moment. We like this laminated ukulele chord chart.

6. Felt Picks $10 - $15

If your ukulele player does not like using their fingers to strum and is worried about damaging their uke, a felt pick could be the answer. This combo pack of a capo and felt picks is a great deal.

7. Humidifier - $15

Ukulele humidifier. Many ukuleles are made of wood, which prefers a modest and constant humidity level. If you live in a dry climate or have a lot of drying indoor heat in the winter, a ukulele humidifier is a MUST. Unless you really like buying ukuleles…

8. Ukulele Stand - $25

Ukulele stand: Having your ukulele out of its case and ready to grab for a quick practice session is makes it much easier to fit music into your daily life. This zebra wood stand is good looking and a good price too. 

9. Wall Mount - $15

A wall mount also makes it easy easy to grab a ukulele, but it also turns your musical instrument collection into a decorative statement.

10. New Strings - $10 - 15

Strings wear out over time and need to be replaced. Having a spare set is a great idea. Aquila is a standard string type that lots of folks use. Be sure you get the set of strings that matches the size of ukulele belonging to your musician.

Soprano strings

Concert strings

Tenor strings

Baritone strings

Fun Ukulele Christmas Gifts

Enough with practicality! What about some playful, fun gifts for ukulele players?

Ukulele Christmas ornament – there are a lot of cute ones out there. We liked the strumming Santa and the blown glass ukulele with flowers.

11. Ukulele Christmas Ornaments - $10 - $15

There are a lot of cute ones out there. We liked the strumming Santa and the blown glass ukulele with flowers.

12. Hawaian Shirt - $35 - $50

13. Lei - $15 - 75

And what is the perfect accessory for your Hawaiian shirt? Why a lei, of course. If you’re going with fresh flowers, your local florist might be able to deliver something or get in touch with the Hawaiian Lei Company

 

14. Ukulele T shirt - $15 - $25

If your loved one isn’t much for collared shirts, how about a Ukulele T shirt? Our favorite is the one with cats found here. There are also fun “ukulele girl” shirts out there.

15. Mug - $15 - $20

If a shirt isn’t in the budget, how about a mug with ukulele chord stamps or fun sayings.

16. Socks - $15 - $20

Ukulele socks are another affordable choice. From colorful to neutral there are a lot of choices.

17. Hat - $15 - $20

If your loved one likes to cover his noggin there are a lot of cute choices available. We liked this neutral one and this more colorful one too.

19. Fun Ukulele Case - $25

Sheet Music is Always a Great Christmas Gift

Of course, we are authors so we are biased. But most players will always be happy to have new tunes to try. Do your best to buy something at the right difficulty level and when in doubt it’s best to get something easier rather than harder. It’s not so fun to get a new book and not be able to play any of the songs in it. 

20. 21 Songs in 6 Days: Learn Ukulele the Easy Way - $15

by Rebecca Bogart and Jenny Peters. This book is for someone who has never played ukulele before. It covers five basic chords (C, C7, F, G7 and Am) and three fundamental strumming patterns by working through the six days and 40-plus lesson videos.

21 Easy Ukulele Songs for Christmas ukulele book cover

21. 21 Easy Ukulele Songs for Christmas - $15

Also by Rebecca Bogart and Jenny Peters. This book features great sounding yet easy to play versions of classic carols. It’s intended for beginning ukulele players who have learned the C, F, and G7 chords and a few basic strums. Includes a free video course.

22. 21 More Songs in 6 Days - $20

by Rebecca Bogart and Jenny Peters. Your uke lover will learn the most important intermediate ukulele chords, how to fingerpick melodies and accompaniments, and new fancier strumming patterns. Plus, this book has an introduction to blues improvisation and basic music theory. 

23. Learn Easy Ukulele Chord Melody Today! Online course - $100

If your ukulele player has been complaining about wanting more variety in her playing, she might love the gift of our chord melody course. It’s only for sale through Dec. 15, but once purchased can be accessed any time.

25. Hymn Kits - $250

For those who love playing sacred music, our hymn kits will give them lots of tunes and skills for making great arrangements.

26. The Daily Ukulele - $30

by Jim and Liz Beloff. This fabulous book is full of good songs – most of the recent tunes are from the 60s and 70s. There is no lesson information, but if your uke lover knows five chords, they should be able to tackle some of the songs.

27. The Daily Ukulele Leap Year Edition - $35

by Jim Beloff. More fabulous songs from Jim. This second volume has more modern tunes by groups such as Black Keys and Green Day.

28. Easy Songs for Ukulele - $10

29. Fiddle Tunes for Ukulele - $15

Also by Lil’ Rev. Great little guide to old time familiar tunes arranged for ukulele.

30. Disney Hits for Ukulele - $15

23 songs included. This book is for someone who’s played for at least a couple years.

We hope you’ve found some gift ideas that will work for you in this post. If not, check out our shop for all Ukulele Sisters’ products. Or our recommended ukulele products page

Do you have a great idea we didn’t mention? Let us know about it in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy holidays!

You want to fill your home with Christmas cheer! You know a few chords and strumming patterns. And you’d like to play the melodies too.

Look no further. Our Christmas book offers all this and more!

Get your copy now!

Embrace the Joy of Music by Learning Ukulele

Embrace the Joy of Music by Learning Ukulele

Right now as many of us are sheltering in place, we have time on our hands. Several folks are learning something new. Many embrace the joy of music by learning the ukulele.

When you learn like a child, you can lose your inner critic. As adults we often berate ourselves when we don’t learn right away. We allow our expectations  to get in the way of learning. 

If you are willing to learn like a child, you will do something over and over again until you get it. Anyone who’s watched a baby learn to walk can see the determination of the baby in developing this skill. Well, that’s what learning ukulele can be like. You can become so absorbed in what you’re doing, that your mind becomes free of all the stresses around you.

 

Embrace Your Inner Child

I recently gave a lesson to someone who wanted to return to her ukulele. She described her day job as giving her inner PTSD.  She wanted to get away from that. And she felt that playing music would help her access her joy.

Laugh at Yourself

During the lesson many  things that went wrong from breaking a string to messing up reading lyrics in a song. My student was laughing at herself before long and had returned to the joy that children have when they are engaged with learning something new.

The Ukulele Is Soft, Gentle and Rewarding

At school, I teach children one of the hardest instruments around, the violin. However, the kids don’t get frustrated. When their sound is screeching and out of tune, they look at me and say, “Why is it doing that?” The child’s not causing the noise. Rather it’s the violin that is screechy. There is no inner criticism, simply an observation.

So, I answer the question. I explain how they can fix it. The child says, “Oh, I see” and tries again.

We’re lucky that the ukulele is much more forgiving than the violin with its beautiful gentle sounds and soft strings. The ukulele will reward with all of its joy and gentleness.

Children are used to learning new things. They’re used to being beginners and trying until they get it.  Along the way, they experience joy in learning.

So now, in this time of sheltering in place, embrace your inner child, and try something new. Embrace the joy of music by learning ukulele. Pick the ukulele and learn how to play! You’ll be glad that you did.

 

Do you want to play hymns with confidence?

In our Hymn Kits you'll find something for varied learners, from beginners to a little more advanced.

Get your Hymn Kit today!

Bondi Ukulele – The Power of One Ukulele

Bondi Ukulele – The Power of One Ukulele

rythm and reason

We’ve partnered with Bondi Ukulele – to help support their Rhythm and Reason Initiative. We, the Ukulele Sisters, love music because we know what an important role it plays in society. We cannot imagine life without music. So we always make our best effort to promote it.

Rhythm and Reason Initiative

Bondi Ukulele is a unique company that makes and sells all things ukulele, from ukuleles to tuners and straps. We find the folks at Bondi Ukulele different from other ukulele companies in the following ways:

  • They make affordable instruments without compromising quality.
  • Most of their ukulele products come packed with all essential accessories so you don’t go looking for them elsewhere.
  • They hold your hand as you start the ukulele journey by providing support via videos, Skype lessons and learn-to-play books.
  • They have a genuine interest in giving back, especially through the Rhythm and Reason Initiative.

Bondi’s Rhythm and Reason Initiative is a program aimed at getting music into Cambodian schools by adapting and producing music that all kids can enjoy. Bondi empowers teachers with a ukulele, know-how, and ownership to ensure a self-sustaining educational program. For every Bondi ukulele sold, a percentage is contributed to putting a Cambodian school teacher through a special ukulele training course. Getting this training allows the teacher’s students to have music as part of their education.

Unveiling the Ultimate Bondi Ukulele Starter Kit

Jenny got her own Bondi Ukulele starter kit package. To give you a sneak peek of what to expect if you get your own, she posted the video below.

As you can see, the starter kit is just wonderful. It has all you need to get going in one package!

Play Your Part

We think the Rhythm and Reason Initiative is an awesome program. And we were eager to be part of it. (Full disclosure: We are receive a small commission from Bondi if you purchase your starter kit through the link. The commission does not affect the price you pay.)

So do you want a fantastic ukulele complete with all necessary accessories? Also, do you want to contribute to a worthy cause of bringing music to Cambodian classrooms? Look no further. Follow the link below and play your part.

Are you struggling with strumming?

With our book and course, you’ll become a fluent 3-chord strummer.

Get your copy now!

7 Reasons You Should Buy a Ukulele for Your Kid

7 Reasons You Should Buy a Ukulele for Your Kid

cute-kid listening to music

Music plays an important role in our culture. It is an essential part of every child’s development. Parents instinctively know this. From birth, they use music to soothe their kids, to engage with them and to express their love for them. That’s why we’ll be discussing 7 reasons you should buy a ukulele for your kid in this post.

7 REASONS YOU SHOULD BUY A UKULELE FOR YOUR KID

Here are 7 beneficial effects of music on a child’s development:

Facilitates Learning Other Subjects

There is strong research to suggest that studying music makes learning other subjects like math and science easier.

Making music involves more than the using the voice to sing or the fingers to play an instrument. That’s because a child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often at the same time. Learning this ‘brain coordination’ helps them make faster progress when learning other skills.

Improves Social Skills

When kids are learning music in a group setting, they get to interact with each other, help each other, and work together. This greatly improves their social skills.

Inspires Creativity

Music can inspire creativity. A lot of the activity needed to sing or play an instrument such as the ukulele requires some form of creativity or even improvisation. Children learn to tap into their inner creative spirit which can help them be creative in other areas of their lives.

Boosts Confidence

A lot of times kids will perform what they learned in front of their parents, teachers or classmates. Performing helps them develop confidence in front of others. And it’s also a great way to encourage kids to express themselves.

Also, learning music is hard.  When a child masters something that used to be difficult for them they feel more confident tackling a new challenge.

Boosts Their IQ

photo showing the words be smart

Studies show that music study can boost a child’s IQ. Kids who took piano lessons consistently for one year saw an IQ bump as high as 3 points- this is according to Jessica Grahn, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Western Ontario.

Improves Memory

When your child plays the ukulele, they learn how to create, store and retrieve memories more efficiently. This is the equivalent of giving their memory a workout. And who couldn’t use a better memory?

Teaches Perseverance

No one can become a good musician in a day. At first the new skills your child needs to play ukulele will seem hard. But over time with regular practice they will become easy

The process of learning an instrument teaches kids to persevere and be patient. For many music students, especially those who are quick in school,  playing an instrument is the hardest thing they have ever tried. Through music study they learn the importance of daily effort and also how to manage frustration.

After they achieve their goal, say strumming to their favorite tune on the ukulele, they’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and achievement that will ripple through to their other activities.

WHY LEARN UKULELE?

So out of all the instruments, why the ukulele? There are numerous reasons why the ukulele is a perfect instrument for all ages and you can read our blog here to know all about that.

Today, we are interested in three characteristics that make it perfect for kids.

1. The ukulele is small and portable. A six-year-old child can easily hold a soprano ukulele without straining his or her hands. Kids can easily carry it on school trips and play it for their friends. Kids love the ‘baby guitar’.

2. Another thing that makes the ukulele perfect for your kid is that is easy to learn. The learning curve is not as steep as for the guitar or the piano

It is surprising how fast someone can move from “just starting”  to “sounding pretty good” with regular daily practice. This ensures that kids can quickly begin playing their favorite songs without needing to learn a lot of chords.

3. The ukulele is very affordable, especially compared to a piano.

HOW TO SHOP FOR A UKULELE

We’ve given you 7 reasons you should buy a ukulele for your kid. And also why you should choose the ukulele out of many musical instruments. So you might be wondering how to go about shopping for the ukulele. No worries, we made a couple of videos just for that purpose.

 

HOW TO CHOOSE WHAT SONGS YOUR KIDS SHOULD PLAY

A lot of the time, kids will begin ukulele lessons by learning to play a song. In order to help your child stay focused on learning an instrument, you need to help them pick the right songs to practice.

Here there are 3 general guidelines you can follow:

1. Choose a song that kids know and like

You need to capture your child’s interest.  If they are playing a song they know and like, they are more likely to be willing to work hard to learn it. They will definitely practice more because playing songs they like is exciting, satisfying and fun.

2. Start with songs that have few chords

If the learning curve if too steep, kids tend to back away from a challenge and label the activity as “too hard”.  It is therefore important at first that they stick to songs with only one or two chords. A harder song can always be modified to use fewer chords.

As their skills grow, they can start to play songs with more chords. Everyone learns faster by playing a greater number of easier songs building up gradually to more difficult ones.  Starting with too hard of a song can lead to an abrupt end to music learning!

3. Choose a meaningful song

Select a song that has a meaning and teaches something. Songs are part of our culture. Most songs communicate ideas and messages, some of which may not be beneficial to your child. Learn to listen carefully to the song lyrics.

Choose a song that teaches your kid about history, science, your values or faith or the like. This type of song will not only grow the child’s musical skills, it will also ensure that they learn something beyond music.

In case you didn’t know, we have a great collection of YouTube video tutorials covering popular hits. Your kid could easily follow along. To show you what we mean, below is a video tutorial for Country Roads by John Denver. 

 

Click the button below to subscribe to our YouTube channel and learn many more songs and great ukulele skills.

LET MUSIC HELP YOUR KIDS’ BRAINS

Music is a wonderful way for kids to have fun, learn, grow, and develop as human beings. Through music study, your kids will become faster learners, grow their social skills and be inspired to be creative. Studying music can also boost a child’s confidence, memory and patience.

The ukulele is a perfect instrument for children to learn music. Its small size and ease of learning make it an instant hit with the kids.

Carefully choose the songs your kids study. Look for songs your kids like that also communicate a beneficial message.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to the nearest store and buy your kid a ukulele. You can have fun watching them grow as they learn. Here’s our recommended ukuleles and accessories for kids

Happy strumming!

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