Uke can Too! 

Ukelele and Music Workshop Series

Workshop One: 

1st half: Introduction to Music in ECE for infants, toddlers and the young child and situating it as ‘praxis’ where the child is an active  contributor, able to make connections and building learner agency. (Roy, Baker, & Hamilton, 2015).  The elements and principles  of music will be explored as it relates to the early childhood communities in which we teach and how we can start reflecting on and  documenting this in more meaningful ways. No formal lecture but discussions and circle conversations and provocations and examples will be shared each week.  

2nd half: Ukulele introduced. 

Each teacher will learn to tune their own uke and be encouraged to buy their own electronic tuner which will be introduced the first evening. Some basic chords will be taught, chord sheets handed out and some song sheets given out including some of Nicky’s own songs. Basic strumming techniques will be taught. 

Teachers will be tasked with a follow up activity/experience/reflective piece of writing in the centre during the next week and provocations will be offered  each week to guide the journey towards deepening musical encounters with children with the addition of the ukulele. Teachers will share any learning stories that relate to the sharing of music with or without the ukulele. 

Workshop Two:

1st half: Consider the settings in your centre where music will be shared and how these enthral, and capture children’s attention, engagement and encourage them to take their own leads; look at percussion instruments, (some ideas for making own instruments with natural  and other easy to find materials) creating a music culture within your centre, and ideas for promoting  children as ‘listening, moving, singing, and playing beings’ with the ukulele as inspiration for teachers.

2nd Half: Playing the ukulele , new chords, and re visiting songs taught and introducing new ones will be the focus.  Teachers will be tasked with a follow up activity/ experience/ reflective  piece of writing and encouraged to share a music session in the centre using the ukulele and reflecting on children’s contributions and engagement. 

Workshop Three:

1st half: Teachers will explore the context of socio- cultural theory as it relates to  their curriculum and a musical culture within the centre. The role of the teacher and the mana of children as budding musicians already able to create music with body percussion, voice, movement etc will also be considered. Consider music traditions as they relate to special events; ie Matariki, Poroporoaki, and  links to Te Whāriki, ( MOE, 2017). Sharing a learning story or reflection related to individual or groups of children and your ukulele playing as a feature. Add these to your folder.  

2nd Half:  Tuning your own uke, playing the ukulele, re visiting songs we have loved and introducing new songs. Writing your own song/verse for the uke that we can put chords to. 

Practice, Practice- lets make an ELP Uke group and meet up!

To bring to each workshop:

  • Own ukelele- or can borrow one from ELP- Only 4 available so please note 1st in 1st serve so enquire when booking otherwise please look to source a Makala- entry level ukulele from all good music shops ($63 approx or can spend more to get a better one)- do not bring or purchase a toy uke or one from a retail non music shop as these will not be able to be tuned correctly.  Please note left hand uses can be purchased as well.
  • Plate of finger food to share for supper- Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate and or Juice will be provided.
  • Soft clear leaf folder with plastic sleeves to start adding to with new songs and waiata taught. Pen and notebook to write notes. Highlighter pen. 

Examples of books for teachers learning the uke will be available to look at then you can purchase yourself depending on what one you like from a music store. The Rock Shop in Takapuna- Anzac Street recommended for the purchase of ukes and books with music for the uke. 

These workshops will be inclusive, and guidance and support offered in a very warm and empowering environment. There is no such thing as a non musical person, as we all enjoy and participate and respond to music in our lives daily and Nicky will guarantee you to be playing some familiar and well loved  ECE songs plus some new ones by the end of the  3 week workshop with some basic chords and strumming techniques explained and demonstrated. We will have a short break each week (15 mins) to have some supper and enjoy meeting other teachers and share experiences and our inspiration for learning the ukulele and deepening our own musical knowledge, confidence and leadership.