The New Zealand Ukulele Trust ! !!

Thinking of starting a group at your school?
Invite students of a targeted age group to sign up for ukulele
e.g. Year 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 or year 9-10.
Start with ukuleles tuned and ready to go – NZ Ukulele
recommends the most common tuning of G C E A.
Sing and pluck: Giraffes Can Eat Anything (more useful that
My Dog Has Fleas as it names the open strings).
Strum some easy one or two chord songs to get everyone
playing and singing. C requires one finger on one fret – super
Identify the more rhythmic strummers and scatter them in
your group. Two enthusiastic out of time strummers sitting
together can create a lot of havoc!
Start with Down / Down / Down / Down with a relaxed wrist
and fingers. Strum with you thumb.
Play one-chord songs such as Frere Jacques, Row Your Boat
and We Will Rock You.
Move on to two chord songs: Ma is White (Maori colours song),
I Have a Dream (ABBA).
Split the students into two groups. One plays C, one plays G7.
This gets them underway quickly; they keep their fingers in
one chord position for the entire song and only play when it is
their turn. Repeat and have them swap the chord. Repeat
again and swap half way through. Try this when ready with
three chords.
Teach the C / G / a minor / F chord sequence and you will
have an endless supply of popular four chord songs to sing and
play providing lots of opportunities for repetition!
For students who need extension – add a vocal harmony
and/or an instrumental picking part e.g. intro, riff, outro.
Teach chords in different positions.
Have a couple of concert or tenor ukuleles in your ensemble if
you can to add some warmer tones. A simple bass line is
always a bonus. Add some percussion and you’re a band!
The New Zealand Ukulele Trust
Who are we? We are a small group of
passionate music educators working
What do we do? We are dedicated to
ensuring every child in New Zealand has the
chance to benefit from the many proven
advantages of learning an instrument.
Learning an instrument in childhood is an
indicator of success in life.
Why? With no dedicated funding for music
programmes at primary level we have a
generation of kiwi children who could
potentially miss out on opportunities to
become engaged with music. We are trying to
make sure this doesn’t happen.
How? By teaching anyone in the school
community to lead a group, providing
instruments to low decile schools, running
workshops and providing resources and
performance opportunities. We produce a
songbook each year for schools registering
for our massed ukulele orchestra, the
Kiwileles. It has a range of graded and
appropriate songs, is multicultural and is
often used for school singing. Our main event
is the annual NZ Ukulele Festival, a free
community event. The big attraction is the
performance by our huge massed ukulele
orchestra-the fabulous Kiwileles.
We believe that all children, no matter what
their circumstances, deserve to experience
the joy and benefits of a life enriched with
If you would like to be involved we’d love to
hear from you! You can follow us on
Facebook and Twitter too…
Most of all - don’t forget to sing…and you won’t
be able to stop yourself from smiling when you
play the ukulele!
The Kiwileles shared the billing with national and international artists playing a For