Musical Growth

This term in our music class, we are required to learn how to play an instrument. We are given the choice between the ukulele, recorder, or the piano. I have chosen to learn how to play the ukulele. Partly because I already own a ukulele, I do not have access to a piano, and I did not feel like subjecting my family to listening to me play hot cross buns repeatedly on the recorder for the next coming months (no offense to the talented recorder players out there).

I have never learned how to play an instrument before-especially not self-directed, through the use of tutorials. I know that I will have to work hard to remain motivated and to maintain a consistent practice schedule over the coming weeks. I have outlined a plan that will help me stay on top of my musicianship goals, with the ultimate goal of being able to play 5 chords (C, G, Em, Am, and F), as well as 2 different strumming patterns. Following this I will be able to play two songs on the ukulele- ‘The Good Morning Song,’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’, which I will demonstrate at the end of term.

Where to Begin?

I started by accessing the Music Play Online website which is an incredible resource that outlines (through videos and tutorials) the various steps of learning how to play the ukulele. I often find that starting anything can be the hardest step but the tutorials on this site are very user friendly and informative. I started by learning the various parts of the ukulele and  learning how to number my fingers and the strings. Following this I learned how to tune my ukulele (which was WAY off tune from years of children playing with it). Although the online tuning resources are helpful, I ended up buying a ukulele tuner online (for under $20) and it was totally worth it.

I have also started watching YouTube tutorials on beginner ukulele skills. I stumbled across this series, 10 Day Ukulele Kickstart from a guy who has a webpage called and I am finding his instructional style is really working for me. He takes the learning process very slowly, and provides a lot of positive reassurance to new learners. I have worked through his first 3 videos and am already feeling more comfortable and confident with my musical growth.

Up Next…

My goals for the next coming weeks are to: practice the ukulele for at least 30 mins/week, watch various tutorials on strumming patterns and chords, and to learn how to play a few simple songs. I have been enjoying learning more about the ukulele, practicing some chords, and building up my finger callouses. Wish me luck!