Having a fabulous really well thought out program only works when supported by teachers who understand our vision and love working with kids.
We scour Melbourne for really great music teachers who fit our requirements – the sort of people we want to have working with us and teaching your kids.
We train our teachers in the Uke4Kids approach, building on the creativity, personality and professionalism our teachers bring to their teaching role. This dynamic combination offers our kids and parents an exceptional learning experience.
Yanai Morris – Principal, Director and Teacher for The Uke Group
From an early age, music was more important to me than many other things. Now that I’m older there are many things just as important and more important, but musical experiences are still a vital part of my life and important for my wellbeing.
As I grew up I was fortunate to learn a lot about music through learning a variety of instruments including guitar, trumpet, piano, drums and singing. I learnt to read music, understand theory and learn by ear. I listened to a wide variety of music – pop, metal, alternative, classical and jazz. I also loved experimenting with music, improvising and writing songs. I studied music up to VCE and completed tertiary courses too.
I started teaching music while living in the Otway region for four years and finding a high need for music education out there. Without any previous experience I taught classroom music, directed school ensembles and bands and taught guitar and drums.
After moving back to Melbourne, Dassana and I met Dean Denham, the founder of the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective who suggested I teach ukulele in primary schools. At the time hardly anyone was doing this. A cheap uke only cost $25 so I bought one and Mike Jackson’s “Uke’n Play Ukulele” book, picked up the basics in a few minutes and thought, “What a great, fun instrument to teach kids.” Dassana and I saw the potential for creating a music program that would make learning an instrument more accessible to kids and families on many different levels and that was the birth of Uke4Kids.
We’ve now been teaching and running this organisation for 7 years. In that time I have had many inspirational ideas about how to teach better and make music easier and more fun to learn. I love bringing new ideas for improving our program to our other teachers and also using their feedback to make improvements. I hope to one day have this constantly improving program available to many students all over the world.
Brett Dellavedova – Uke4Kids Teacher
The ukulele has been around for a long time in the history of popular music and it’s nice to see it getting renewed interest among adults and kids who, in many cases, haven’t played a musical instrument before.
I have been a guitar player and performer for 20 years and a classroom music teacher at a primary level for the last 10 years and have seen the impact of ukulele lessons first hand as Uke4Kids began teaching at Preston West Primary in about 2009. The classes were very popular and quickly became a great vehicle for students with some singing and musical ability to learn fun songs and perform them at school and community events, as well as a confidence building alternative for those who had not had much musical experience before.
I have taken some time off teaching classroom music this year and am glad to have an opportunity to work with the Uke4kids team teaching the ukulele and learning some new skills along the way.