We were delighted to be back taking ukulele lessons in St Margaret’s NS this year, as part of our primary school music lessons. Our fantastic tutor Karen took the classes each Wednesday, and the classes went on for 20 weeks.  Karen was teaching 3rd-6th class, and the students got great enjoyment from the classes!

The Ukulele

The ukulele is a small, guitar-like instrument.  Although it is today associated with Hawaii, the ukulele has its roots in Portugal. The tone and volume of this instrument vary with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. A classical guitar will give you a good sense of how a ukulele operates, though the ukulele, as well as being much smaller, has four strings rather than the guitar’s six strings. Ukuleles also are far quieter, and like the guitar they don’t have a deep tone. Similarly, banjos have 4 strings but they can also have 5 strings, and are distinct from ukuleles in their tone which is brighter than the mellow ukulele tone.

Primary School Music- What was covered in the classes?

Techniques covered this year included:

Chord patterns

Strumming techniques

Solid rhythm

Playing as a group/ensemble

Finger picking and

Tab reading

At the start of the year, the students focused on a few basic chords but within a short space of time the children were able to move on to more difficult music. Each class got to pick their choice of songs to perform, and Karen would then pick which songs were suitable from the list. Both class groups were able to play together, and the classes were absolutely delighted when the singing restrictions were lifted!

The students all agreed the tab reading was a little tricky in the beginning. They used the song Gangsta Paradise by Coolio for this- even though they thought the ‘tab’ made it sound a little too romantic!

The children’s favourite songs to play were:

Waka Waka by Shakira

Lost Boy by Ruth B and

Gangsta paradise by Coolio


For their last session the children had fun recording a few of the pieces they had learned. They will use this to demonstrate to the parents how their skills have come along over the last year.

Interested in booking a classroom music programme for 2022/23? Get in touch here.