Update 3/23/09: We’re on Spark!

The Ukulele Project was launched after we got a note from Tom in Canada asking for help in finding some ukuleles for his students.

Tom wrote:

I’m starting as a teacher for grades 3-4, in a school on a First Nations Reserve in the far north of Ontario. It is a fly-in community with only about 300 residents.

We got him in contact with Moe’s Music and now that the kids have ukuleles they need some instruction. Tom mentioned the kids might like getting a DVD with Dear Old Dad and I teaching some basic ukulele skills, and we could do something like that, but then it hit me that there was a bit more to teach than the basics of playing the ukulele. We could expand the project to give the kids a glimpse into how music can bring people around the world together, and at the same time give folk musicians the opportunity to develop their teaching skills. Not only that, we could end up creating a resource students of all ages could use to start making music.

With that in mind I have decided to treat this as a collaborative project. I have written out a lesson plan and I am inviting musicians everywhere to choose a lesson and send in video covering the subject.

Update 3/8/09: Tom sent us some pictures from Ogoki!

Initial Lesson Plan:

Second Lesson Plan:

T o take part in the project, contact me at ask.patrick@gmail.com, choose a lesson and film a short video workshop.

For example, let’s say you choose to cover the C Chord. All you would have to do is introduce yourself  (“Hi. I’m Patrick from Crisfield, Maryland and I am here to show you how to make a C chord“) and walk the viewer through the steps of making a C chord on the ukulele.

Once you have filmed your workshop, upload the video file in the highest quality format you can to the Internet Archive.

To join the Internet Archive :

  • Go to http://www.archive.org/
  • In the upper right hand corner you will find the following: “Anonymous User (login or join us)”.
  • Click on “join us”.
  • Fill out the form. Click “Get library Card” when finished.

Files stored on the Internet Archive are publicly available under a Creative Commons license. You can read about how Creative Commons works by visiting http://creativecommons.org.

To upload a file to the Internet Archive:

  • Log in to your account.
  • In the menu across the top of your browser click on “contributions”.
  • Click on “Create and upload a new movie, audio recording, live concert recording, or book”.
  • Enter a title for your upload and click on the button marked, “Next”.
  • On the next page, fill in the form (name your project after the chapter you are covering – for example, “C Chord”) and click on the button marked, “Upload Files”.

After uploading, archive.org will automatically generate a page where people can download and view your file. Send an email to ask.patrick@gmail.com with your Internet Archive link.

Once we have the initial lessons I will burn a DVD and send it out to Tom and we will also make a directory so folks can burn their own copy.

Once we have the basic material covered we can expand the project to cover more intermediate and advanced techniques.

17 Responses to “The Ukulele Project”

  1. Logan Says:

    I’ll jump on the grenade and take tuning and holding. Unless someone else really wants it.

  2. Patrick from Michigan Says:

    I’ll take the quarter note strum lesson, might as well keep the order.

  3. Carlos Says:

    I’m going to work on Chord F & Chord C.


  4. Andy UK Says:

    I’ll have a go at Tiptoe in the next couple of days – Andy

  5. Andy UK Says:

    Thanks Tim – sorry about the lack of whistle but I didn’t know how to work it into the lesson – Enjoyed yours too…beautiful setting!! – cheers – Andy

  6. Andy UK Says:

    Its really good to put some faces to names on here! – Andy

  7. aka Stanley T. Bigglesworth Says:

    Hey thanks again everyone! I’m downloading Logan’s, Tim’s, and Andy’s videos as we speak and I’ll be using them in our next few Ukulele Club meetings!

    Tom in Ogoki

  8. Manuel Says:

    I recently bought a woodtop banjo with non-bluegrass purposes in mind. I am so stoked to find your website(s). Thanks for putting it out there.

    I’ll be ordering way more stuff than I can possibly put to use with my limited talent, but it all sounds essential and irresistible.

    For a ukulele twist, check out L.A.’s own Janet Klein’s youTube postings: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=janet+klein+ukulele&aq=1&oq=janet+klei

  9. Patrick from Michigan Says:

    I loaded up the Quarter Note Lesson.



  10. aka Stanley T. Bigglesworth Says:

    An update:
    We’ve been playing along with some of the videos contributed here in our last few Ukulele Club sessions.
    The kids think it’s just amazing to be getting these little lessons from all over the world.
    Carlos, I love the little circular markers you place under the strings on your uke to show the chord fingerings!
    Tim, what a beautiful location; thanks for sharing the view, not to mention your lesson on playing and singing Skip To My Lou. Also, I’m pleased to report that I have one student who I think is just about ready to move on to the eighth note strumming pattern; thanks for your help!
    Thanks again to everyone who has contributed!

    Tom in Ogoki

  11. [...] Ukulele Project is the brain child of Pat Costello. He’s asking for help creating various ukulele instruction [...]

  12. [...] and Patrick Costello organize The Ukulele Project to make instructional videos for Tom White’s ukulele club Ogoki Post, [...]

  13. Berni Harley Says:

    I have learned more in one afternoon on your site than I have in the 2 years since I first got my ukelele.
    Thanks so much!
    Tim, are you teaching in South Korea? My daughters and I spent July and August 2008 teaching in Anyang City near Seoul. We loved it!

  14. [...] Another gem from the Spark podcast. Listen to this 3 minute story about the Ukulele Project. [...]

  15. kevin cofod Says:

    Patrick, I recently got a new Grizzley catalog and they have a mahagony uke kit for 22.00. I was thinking of getting a few and putting them together. Could I donate them to the uke project for anyone who needs an instrument?
    Crosby and I had a real good time last weekend. Thank you to you and your Dad for making us feel very welcome even though we are non banjo players! I can appreciate my father’s increased enjoyment in music since he became involved with your blogs, lessons and friendship.
    Thanks again,

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