Since the sound of the ukulele and the Hawaiian beach goes hand in hand so well, many people think that ukulele originated from Hawaii. Historically, that’s only half true. Once upon a time when the Portuguese immigrants came to the island back in 1879, they brought along some of their native musical instruments. One of them is a four-stringed guitar, braguina.
There are different stories of where ukulele got its name from. One tale is when Joao Fernandes, who just came from Madeira island, Portugal, played the braguina with such speed and impressed the Hawaiians. The Islanders then nicknamed Fernandes as “ukulele”, which means jumping flea.
Ukulele for Kids
There are a number of reasons why a ukulele is a great starting musical instrument for children. First of all, it’s small. Kids can’t wrap their hands around a guitar. A ukulele, on the other hand, is small enough for kids to hold it properly. They’re lightweight too. So if your kids want to bring a ukulele to school, they can do that easily.
Compared to a guitar, a ukulele is a much affordable option too. Toy ukuleles under $30 are abundant. For music learning, however, we recommend a real ukulele. Do note that it will set you back around $50 or more.
“Why do I want to spend that much?”
At that price, you can get a nice ukulele made of wood instead of plastic. The sound quality between the two is like heaven and earth. A ukulele made of wood has richer tonal characteristics compared to a ukulele made of plastic.
If you still think $50 for a children ukulele is too expensive, it’s OK to get a more affordable one. Just remember to replace the strings that come with it with higher-quality ukulele strings.
Another reason to pick a ukulele for your kids is that by playing ukuleles, children learn about tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony, and beat. Since a ukulele is easy to play and fun, learning just feels like fun times. Many songs and melodies can get your kids excited when they play them on the ukulele.
Playing ukulele also helps kids improve their eye-hand coordination. Should your kids are interested in playing guitars, the basic skills they acquire from playing ukulele can be carried over.
“Do I have to get my kid a music teacher?”
If you can afford one, having a music teacher showing your children how to play the instruments correctly is the way to go. However, if a music teacher is out of your budget, there are many videos on YouTube showing how to play ukulele for kids. That works too.