My name is Caitlin, and I am the new Administrative Assistant here at The Kitchener Academy of Music. As a new employee, I get the pleasure of receiving music lessons from our wonderful staff here at TKAM, and I am going to bring you on my journey. My very first lesson at TKAM was with our teacher Elizabeth. My lesson with Elizabeth was for the ukulele, which was so exciting, I have always wanted to learn how to play one. Elizabeth started her lesson off by asking me three questions; she did this to get a feel for who I am as a student, what kind of teaching methods I learn best with and to get a feel for the goals I have in my musical journey with her. I thought this was extremely effective, as Elizabeth explained that no lesson between two students is the same, she likes to adjust her teaching methods to the way of learning that each student is most comfortable with, which I think is a great quality in a teacher!
Elizabeth started my lesson by teaching me the types of different Ukuleles. I learnt that there are three types: soprano, concert and tenor. The soprano is the smallest one and is the most common ukulele you will see. The concert is a little bit bigger with more deeper sounds, this is the ukulele Elizabeth has. As well, the tenor is the largest and creates a much larger tone than the other two, it is typically used by male and professional players as the frets tend to be larger than the other styles. She also explained the structure of the Ukulele itself, the body is the portion that is shaped like a small guitar, then you have the neck which contains the strings and frets. Frets are the notes, to play a note you typically place your finger(s) in between these frets on the string and strum. When you strum the strings create a vibration in the hole of the body, which is where the sound is created. The deeper the sound that is created the more vibration the strings will produce.
As well, Elizabeth taught me how to play finger twister, which helps get your hand used to being in awkward positions you could be in while strumming notes, while also stretching out my fingers and improving flexibility. After this, Elizabeth taught me how to tune a Ukulele using a website, which is really cool because I thought tuning was much more complicated than Elizabeth demonstrated. She taught me how to play the F and C chords, ending our lesson with the Banana Boat Song, allowing me to practice switching between chords and playing. I had a lot of fun with Elizabeth, and really enjoyed how interactive and engaging her lessons were. I cannot wait to work with her more at TKAM and get to know her!
If you’re interested in taking ukulele lessons, or any music lessons, contact us today! Right now you can sign up for Music Lessons at The Kitchener Academy of Music by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or giving us a call at (519) 893-2121. We can’t wait to hear from you!