What we’re up to:


Lessons and weekly expectations.

From this page you can access refresher and review lessons, and materials we’ll also cover in the group. To get access to forums and friends from Wednesday night sessions, please log in.

Tuesday, June 13
This week we’ll establish some guidelines and show you how to hold the ukulele. We’ll begin learning the names of its different parts, the numbering of the strings and the fingers of the fretting hand.

Expected outcome

  • From today going forward, if I say something like, “Put your third finger on the third string, third fret” you’ll know exactly what to do.

To do

Tuesday, June 20
This week we’ll learn a strengthening exercise and at least 2 or 3 chords!

Expected outcome

  • Finger strength exercise
  • Chords & Scales
    1. C
    2. F
    3. GMaj7
    4. Am7
    5. CMaj7
    6. C Major pentatonic (5-note) scale across strings 13
Tuesday, June 27
This week Rosy will show you how she begins writing melodies and lyrics. We’ll learn enough theory so you know why a 7th is called a 7th, and we’ll find 7th versions for the chords we already know (C7 – F7 – G7). We’ll learn a French song, “Zou Bi Zou,” using the chords we learned last week. And we’ll keep practising!

Expected outcome

  • Chords
    1. C Major scale ‘degrees’ (concept) [video]
    2. We’ll count ‘degrees’ to find the 1st, 4th and 5th degrees from C, F and G.
    3. C minor Pentatonic (pattern in 3rd position)
    4. C7 – F7 – G7
    5. F7 – Bb7 – C7
    6. G7 – C7 – D7
Tuesday, July 4
Rosy showed us how she begins getting ideas for writing melodies and lyrics. Now you try it!
Tuesday, July 11
Sliding two-string Blues in D

We’ll finally hear the Robert Johnson myth, and talk about his life and the times, and how little we actually know about most of that. With those thoughts in mind, we’ll also try to finish our first song.

Tuesday, July 18
We’ll started with a song-writing warm-up, intended to get you thinking more deeply about what you want to write, and why you might want to write in the first place. We’ll look at some photos of faces of indigenous people from around the world, and relate to those people’s expressions, clothes and surroundings to our own. We’ll imagine what made those people look happy, sad or proud. We’ll make up stories, then launch into our own lyrics with new ideas based on the stories we made up.

You should now be able to play C, C7 and F without lifting the 1st finger… “rolling” between strings 1 and 2 (the trickiest part!)
Keep practising the change from G7 to C sliding, not lifting finger 3. Listen, hum along, and use your ears. You’ve already come a long way in just a few weeks!

Tuesday, July 25
Today we practised and revised. Rosy helped the kids filter stuff in and out, and made a “hook” most of us were still singing out loud and in our heads at the end of the session, putting away our ukuleles!

Monday, July 31
We’ll really finish the happy song, and try to lined up some soloists. We’ll practice. We’ll brainstorm themes of sadness for our next song.

See you all Monday, July 31!

Tuesday, August 8 CLOSED — NO SESSION
See you all Tuesday, August 15!
Keep practising and try to keep your ukulele in tune. This online tuner there requires Flash, but it might work for you. If you have trouble or just want to say hi, log in and try using the forums. If you still can’t log in, you can also reach us by using the contact form.
Tuesday, August 15
We practised the 16-bar cycle. Rosy helped us find a melody, and we worked on the lyrics.On August 21 We’ll talk about recording and practise. If there’s time we may be able to watch Lincoln Centre Jazz.

See you all Wednesday, August 10!

Tuesday, August 22
We practise both tunes and watched Does it Swing? An Introduction to Swing Jazz for Young People part 1 from Jazz at Lincoln Center. We heard more about the Blues’ roots in slavery, how improvisers “improve” on melodies, and we saw that our happy tune is exactly the same form as Thelonius Monk’s Blue Monk!August 17 is the last session before we record. We’ll talk about what to expect and practice some more.

We’ll be in touch with parents and guardians to remind you where and how to get to the Culminating Festival.

See you all Monday, August 27!

Tuesday, August 28
Recording with computers.

TBD Culminating festival
Perform for our parents, caregivers and friends!