At my school, we have the fortunate problem of too many students interested in music. But there is not enough teachers to give them the time they need. I teach ukulele to my 4th and 5th grade general music students, but I also teach beginning, intermediate and middle school orchestra to over 170 students.
Adding Orchestra Students to Ukulele Class is Win-Win
Recently, I added string basses to my ukulele class. Because our introductory ukulele songs use only one chord, I can teach the bass players to pluck that one root note for the entire song. It keeps the rest of the class on beat with their ukuleles and makes the class sound like a rock or country band, because everyone is singing as well as playing instruments. The orchestra students get extra practice on their instruments. They learn the difference between an F natural and an F sharp right away. The orchestra students get extra opportunities to practice and feel proud of themselves in front of their peers. It’s a win-win situation for all!
I am also planning to develop more detailed lesson plans for teachers with a teacher manual and student books, that will also outline extensions of this material for students in the band and orchestra.