“Ukulele 101” course is the foundational music course for all of the Brainjo Homeschool Music Academy.
In addition to learning the basics of how to play the ukulele (heretofore referred to as a “uke”), students will also learn how music works.
Together, this will provide them with an essential foundation of musical skills and knowledge, which they may use to continue to develop their skills on the ukulele, and to learn other instruments, should they choose to do so.
Q: Who is this course intended for (age, musical experience)?
A: The course is intended for children ages 9 – 18 (or beyond). The course assumes no prior musical knowledge or experience playing the ukulele.
While it has been designed to meet the needs for home schoolers (so that it may be used for course credit), it is suited for any child who wants to learn to play music.
Q: What if my child is under 10 years old?
A: The course is set up so that it can be taken independently. Children under the age of 10 can definitely learn to play, and will be able to perform the exercises; however, they may need a parent to watch the lesson videos with them, to help ensure they’ve comprehended the concepts and instructions.
Q: Will I receive anything after completing the course?
A: Yes! After finishing the course, students will receive a Certificate of Completion, which will be emailed to the address associated with the account.
The certificate will include the skills learned along with the number of hours spent, so that it may be used for documentation of a school music/arts credit.
Q: Can I sign up at any point?
A: Absolutely! The course will officially launch in early Sept. 2019; however, you may sign up at any point thereafter. The September date was chosen to accommodate those who are integrating the course into their homeschool curriculum, and are operating on a quarterly or semester based schedule.
But you can sign up at any point, and you will always have access to course materials thereafter, so can work through them at whatever pace works best.
Q: Why is the ukulele the ideal foundational instrument?
A: Having learned to play multiple instruments over the past two decades, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no better instrument to begin with than the ukulele.
There are multiple reasons why the uke makes the ideal first instrument for getting started.
5 Reasons Why The Uke Is The Perfect First Instrument:
REASON #1: It’s inexpensive.
You can get a high quality instrument for a low price, especially compared to other stringed instrument.
When you consider the incredible benefits of learning a musical instrument to the health and function of the brain, a ukulele provides one of the greatest returns on investment of anything you could buy.
REASON #2: It’s small and lightweight.
When learning a new instrument, especially your first one ever, you want as few barriers to learning as possible.
If you have a heavy, large, or expensive instrument, chances are it’s going to spend a lot of time hidden away inside a case. Simply getting started playing is an entire process.
The uke, being small, extremely light, and inexpensive, can be left out within easy reach, and easily grabbed whenever inspiration strikes.
REASON #3: No pain!
As anyone who’s tried learning guitar knows, getting started with fretting a stringed instrument can be a painful process. It can also require a fair amount of finger strength that must be developed.
By contrast, the ukulele is easy to fret, and a great way to build the finger strength that can then be put to use playing other stringed instrument.
REASON #4: It’s pretense-free!
Learning to play a musical instrument should feel like a trip to an amusement park, not a trip to the dentist.
Unlike certain instruments (I’m looking at you piano and violin…), the uke doesn’t have a rigid, formalized, often intimidating pedagogical system that’s also associated with a repertoire of songs kids have no interest in playing.
In other words, the uke doesn’t come with any baggage, or concerns about “doing it wrong.”
This is the way it should be with every instrument, so beginning with the ukulele will help ensure that their relationship with music gets off on the right foot.
Reason #5: You can start playing great music fast.
After learning just a few technical skills, you’ll be able to make great music on the uke.
Here’s a video of my daughter Jules playing the song “Riptide”:
Q: What kinds of materials are used to teach?
A: The course will use a combination of:
Primary course lesson videos to build essential knowledge and skills.
Supplemental written materials.
Periodic quizzes to ensure retention and understanding of the materials.
A: The course is based on The Brainjo Method, a neuroscience based approach to learning that incorporates the science of how the brain changes itself in order to learn new things. Using this method, thousands of students with no prior musical experience have learned how to play.
The method itself is incorporated into every aspect of the course design, including:
Content organization and sequence
Duration of lessons
In addition to learning how to play a musical instrument, students will also be learning how to learn, and will experience for themselves that learning is not about talent or aptitude, but rather about following a systematic approach that leverages the capacity to learn inside every brain.
To learn more about the theoretical principles behind The Brainjo Method, check out the “Laws of Brainjo” series of articles at lawsofbrainjo.com.
Q: How much time each week should the course take?
A: The primary video lessons will be between 5 and 15 minutes in length, and the quizzes (where applicable) should take between 10-15 minutes. For best results, students should practice the songs and exercises in the course 4-5 times per week, for at least 20 minutes.
In fact, one of the great things about taking a neuroscience based approach to learning is that it’s much more efficient!