My kids usually take the summer off from their music lessons because they are not really around enough to practice their instruments. This summer, PickyKidPix practiced more than she’s ever had during the summer because she finds it frustrating to go backwards while on summer hiatus. For flute players, it’s important for them to blow their flute every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Two of my kids are fascinated by the ukelele. My son, who plays guitar, was inspired by musician Jake Shimabukuro that he showed the video to his guitar teacher, and watched Jake’s videos on technique that he can apply to guitar later on when he gets more advanced.
Grasshopper and Sensei is learning the ukelele on her own after coveting a beautiful handmade ukelele found at a shop on vacation two years ago. I figured that after one year of asking for it, she must be serious, so I bought it for her the following year we returned.
My husband played golf for the University of Hawaii so Hawaii has a special place in his heart and he is equally surprised to learn that the ukelele is not actually from Hawaii! Read more…
One of the great pleasures of blogging is meeting wonderful fellow bloggers like Debbie Clement, a teacher, musician, author/illustrator and performer. What doesn’t she do?!
In celebration of National Teachers’ Week which kicked off yesterday and National Teacher Day today, I wanted you to meet her! Her company, Rainbows Within Reach, is now launching it’s 18th year of children’s Arts programing.
With 11.7 million YouTube views, you must see this performance by Jake Shimabukuro, a ukulele virtuoso known for his complex finger work. Be sure to watch the last minute where Jake plays a pretty incredible sequence.
My husband gave found Jake on YouTube and my kids loved watching him play, especially my son who plays the guitar. My son then had his guitar teacher, a graduate student from the New England Conservatory, watch the video. His teacher had not heard of Jake but he was also impressed. He told us that Jake used Flamenco guitar techniques on the ukelele so, of course, my son wanted to try it himself.
The second video is instructional. Jake breaks down his fingering techniques. Though he’s very clear on how to do it and makes it look easy, it looks pretty difficult to emulate. Still, my son was inspired by Jake’s accessibility as a performer and watching him play makes my son play his guitar more. If Jake ever comes to Boston — he’s on tour now — we’d make a great effort to catch him.
What do you think of Jake? Did you ever imagine the ukelele could sound like that?
There are such a great array of musical toys for kids of all ages starting with infants who can get exposed to classical music through Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes. Toddlers enjoy hands on (and I mean Hands On) playing and manipulating instruments. Preschool kids can make their own band either with clever toys or with friends. There are even authentic wooden instruments for young elementary school kids to try out before they start lesons. Read more…
My girls’ wonderful flute teacher sent me this link and also weighs in as both a parent and teacher on how to get kids to practice their musical instrument. I don’t know about your experience, but I found that it’s the rare child who will practice his or her instrument consistently without constant prodding and nagging. My younger sister, who is now a piano teacher, studied classical at a rigorous studio that included monthly performances and many, many competitions. Despite this pressure to perform, she wasn’t a kid who liked to practice. I think the reasons are many: Read more…