by Tamsyn

April 1, 2016

ukulele colors

Ukulele and Ukulele Lesson Giveaway

To celebrate our finished Ukulele course, we are giving away a Ukulele along with access to our Ukulele video lessons created by Brooke Palmer Music.  Enter the giveaway and learn more below.

This post contains affiliate links.  🙂

Find out more about the Ukulele the winner will receive on Amazon.  Giveaway ends Friday at midnight, April 8th.  Winner gets (1) Ukulele and will get to choose the color (not to exceed $40- the prices change based on color!)

Get the video course up to 75% off on our crowdfunding page.

How a king made the Ukulele famous

The Ukulele is a Hawaiian adaptation of various similar Portuguese instruments.  The uke was developed in the late 1880's, which means it is a relatively young stringed instrument.

King David Kalakaua of Hawaii was very concerned about the deterioration of Hawaiian culture as more and more missionaries and immigrants moved to the country.  Because the ukulele was developed in Hawaii and he was fond of the instrument, King Kalakaua promoted its use at formal and informal Hawaiian functions.  Everything from formal, royal events to hula dancing was accompanied in part by a ukulele.  In this he was successful- who doesn't imagine the tropical islands of Hawaii when they hear the Ukulele?

From Royal instrument to child's play

Ukulele giveaway ends 4/8

Although the Ukulele had grand beginnings and in still an instrument for serious musicians, J. Chalmers Doane, a Canadian educator, saw a different use for the instrument.  Because the Ukulele is small and simple in it's construction, the instrument could be purchased in bulk and distributed throughout the public school system at a fraction of the price of other instruments.  Because of Doane's efforts, more than 10,000 Canadian children learned to play the Ukulele during the 1960's.  The rippling effect of the Ukulele as a beginning child's instrument can still be seen today- many schools around the world incorporate ukulele lessons into their curriculum.

Because the Ukulele is so well suited for children to use, we wanted to include Ukulele lessons on our website.  Unfortunately, I do not play the Ukulele, but we were blessed to find a professional ukulele artist who was willing to collaborate with us.  Brooke Palmer has done an incredible job putting together a Ukulele course for children and I am excited that we can offer her lessons on our website.  While a person can play several thousand songs with only three chords, there is much more to playing the ukulele well.  Brooke teaches us different strumming techniques and plucking tips to give you a much fuller experience with your new instrument.  Watch a sample lesson below!

ukulele lessons

Find out more about the Ukulele Course here:

The hidden danger of buying online...

A note on the Ukulele I have chosen on Amazon:  The best way to pick out an instrument is to hear it in person and feel it.  This was not feasible with our giveaway.  I have found that with internet purchases, it's a bit like gambling- one might end up with a great instrument, and one might end up with a dud.  Odds are very much in the buyer's favor, but there is a risk.  I looked at several ukuleles online and the one I picked out has 4 stars overall with more than 600 reviews.  It seems to me like these are good odds.  There are a lot of very happy customers who have said that the ukulele they bought had a great sound, and who can resist the fun colors?

However, I would caution the winner, and anyone else buying online, that if the instrument doesn't stay in tune or has a bad sound, the child will not have the maturity to know that it's not THEIR fault that they can't make the instrument sound nice.  Kids aren't stupid- they know what a nice ukulele sounds like, and if theirs doesn't measure up, they'll know.  Some kids will know it's a bad instrument, but others will think that they simply are not good at music.  This goes for any cheap instrument you might be buying for your kid.  For example, NEVER buy recorders from the dollar store!  Just don't even go there.  Chances are you'll get a nice ukulele if you buy one online, but in case you don't, even if you can't buy another one, make sure you tell the kid that you're sorry you ended up with a bad instrument.  Blame any tingy or off-key sound on the instrument.  Make a big deal out of it.  Use the Uke as part of a costume.  Hang it on the wall- it's pretty and light.  Just don't encourage the child to plod along with a faulty instrument.

Having given that warning, again, chances are you'll end up with a great instrument.  You can buy 2-3 cheap instruments for the price of a more expensive one.  For that matter, you can sample 2-3 different kinds of instruments to give your child a taste of what is out there.  After the child has learned the basics and has shown a keen interest in the instrument, then you can upgrade to something better.  Be brave.  Take the risk.  Failure is an option, but success is more likely.

Have fun playing the Ukulele!

Giveaway Rules

About the author 

Tamsyn

My name is Tamsyn and I love music. I got my bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from USU. I spent many years teaching private piano lessons until I had children of my own. I have attended several children workshops on how to teach children music. I really like the Kodaly method, but have adapted a lot of different techniques for my own children.

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  1. I would love to win a ukulele as I have just started teaching this instrument to Reception – Year 6 students at my school. They are loving its diversity and the fact that you can play a song with only a few simple chords! I am currently using an old ukulele that is well loved, needs new strings and has been dropped one too many times by young children! 🙂

    1. Confession- I had to look up reception year 6 on the internet- it looks like this is the UK equivalent to 6th grade in the US? There’s always more to learn.
      Anyway, that’s so neat that you’re teaching the ukulele. Keep up the good work!

  2. We have one ukulele but would love another for our second child. There are free classes in the spring and early summer in our area.

  3. I never thought of the uke being a good first instrument before. I watched the video clips and got really excited! My oldest took a ukulele lesson a few summers ago and absolutely loved it! I loved how successful she felt in just 30 minutes!

    1. That’s neat! I never had considered it to be a first instrument either, but after following music educator blogs, I discovered how many public schools are teaching the kids to play the ukulele, even in kindergarten classes, so I was converted. The school has to have a budget in place to be able to do it, but it sure is neat when then do!

  4. My daughter started learning piano recently and can not get enough music in her life. Learning Ukulele would be so fun for her!

    1. How fun! As much as I love the piano, the ukulele is much more portable, so there are benefits to both. I also love how learning to accompany based on chords- grasping this concept really helps piano students.

  5. Oh that can be so true when buying online…I too try to look at the number of reviews of a product. Sometimes something looks great..and you get it and its cheap and not very good. This ukulele looks so fun for the kids and the colors are so fun!!! He has a friend that plays the ukulele and always talks about it and would love to learn!

  6. my husband and eldest son each have one and #2 is jealous! great activity for them to enjoy with their dad

  7. My daughter would love this. This would be great fun. She loves music. This would be fun to teach her and watch her learn to play.

  8. My son is very interested in music, he always wants to watch and listen when my husband plays his guitar. I know he would just be tickled if he had a Ukulele for himself and could learn to play! Then him and his dad can be in a “band”

  9. This is such a great giveaway. This would be amazing for my child. I think music opens up different channels in peoples brains and only positive things can come from it.

  10. I would love to use win this instrument and lessons for my pre-school. They would to play the Ukulele during music hour.

  11. My daughter loves using android tries to use daddy’s instruments but they are too large for her still. She would love her own ukulele and learn how to play it. 🙂

  12. My daughter’s school has been teaching them the basics to the ukulele and she has totally LOVED it! She has been asking to learn to play. This would be perfect for her.

  13. We took the boys to the local music shop in town to look at guitars and my youngest went straight to the bright Ukuleles and said he’d rather play that.

  14. Would love to win this for my kids. They love music and have been trying out different instruments over the years. My daughter is learning to play fiddle, and my son plays trombone in his high school band. i really think they would enjoy learning to play the Ukulele. thanks for the chance!

  15. I would love this for my daughter, and honestly myself too! I play violin and have been teaching the basics to my oldest two kids, my 7yo is kind of indifferent but my 5yo is totally into it. She took a free ukulele lesson at a local music shop and LOVED it but we couldn’t afford their lesson prices. This would mean so much to her, and to me!

  16. My boy would love to have his own Ukulele he’s always trying to play his dads guitar, I know this would encourage him to love music and play this and other instrutments with the right lessons and play along with his dad, I think that would be EPIC! Thank you.

  17. I took music lessons as a child and my music teacher was one of my greatest inspirers. I hope my Granddaughter will follow in my footsteps and love music as much as I do.

  18. I would love to win this for my son! He has never taken music lessons and has always shown an interest in the Ukulele from watching shows about Hawaii, so this would be a perfect way to begin!

  19. This is so cool. The ukulele is something I always wish I had learned! Now my daughter could teach me!

  20. I don’t have a child that I could share the ukulele or video lessons that you will be awarding to the winner of this giveaway with. Still, I think it is a great giveaway and I might be able to share the instrument and lessons with a younger cousin of mine, who seems to enjoy music a lot and would probably love to learn how to play the ukulele. Thanks for the fantastic opportunity to win!

  21. I have a little violinist, who adores her ukulele playing uncle. The only reason I haven’t gotten around to finding her an ukulele is time! She would love this.

  22. My nephew plays the ukulele and has been wanting to teach my kids how to play. Its a great beginning instrument for their small hands.

  23. I would love this! I teach music to the children in our church, and ukulele music would be awesome to add in!

  24. I tried but my daughter cant play it… she says that its her and I tried it out and its true. Anybody know where there are lessons for her?

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