Guitar/Ukulele for General Music
May 13, 2015 at 8:45 am #54680
I recently accepted a position for the upcoming school year. I’ve been a Band teacher for about 5 years, and while this position is technically for Band, it includes teaching a few sections of General Music (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade). I’m rebuilding my piano chops to get ready, but I thought it might be good to have another accompanying instrument to use in the classroom. I was thinking I should practice some guitar, but a friend (who currently teaches band) mentioned that she’s used baritone ukulele in General Music with good results and it’s easier to handle than guitar. I have to admit that I’ve wanted to buy a ukulele for a while (a bit of a hipster) but the sopranos I’ve tried have seemed too small for my big fingers. I have a gift card burning a hole in my pocket and I’d like to buy an instrument so I can start practicing. My question is two-fold:
1) Which instrument would I get the most mileage out of in a General Music Classroom: Guitar or Baritone Ukulele? Or are they about the same?
2) What are some brand/model recommendations for someone who wants an affordable instrument that will be good enough quality for the classroom, but will not be used for performing?
Any help is much appreciated!May 19, 2015 at 8:43 pm #55106
Thank you for posting this question here on this site and forum! You pose some really good questions. I, personally, have used the guitar a lot in the general music classroom. It’s a pretty full sound, and the students are more “used” to the guitar than a ukulele. That said, I think the baritone would also work well, but you might want to consider trying out the guitar first before adding this in. Have you considered adding ukuleles for the entire class (i.e., students learn to play them)? This is also a good route to go for the elementary-aged children, and is a successful and engaging way to play instruments in the classroom.
As far as brands are concerned, there are a a number you can choose from. I’ve always liked Yamaha.
Good luck with your new role!
Erin ZaffiniMay 20, 2015 at 9:53 am #55132
Thanks for your response. I appreciate hearing your perspective on this since I have limited experience in general music. I don’t know if the school I’ll be at already has ukuleles in the music classroom, and I don’t anticipate adding them right away. My main concern is in using a guitar or baritone ukulele to accompany singing, where the issue is the ease of a baritone ukulele versus the versatility and sound of a guitar. The way I’m reading your response is that a guitar might be the safer bet. Thanks again for your response! Does anyone else have the same or a differing opinion?
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