EDTC 300 · Learning Project

Week One – Come On, Uke Can Do It!

Welcome to the beginning of my learning project! I have decided to embark on a journey to learn how to play the ukulele.

Photo Credit: wuestenigel Flickr via Compfight cc

When I was little I used to play piano, but it definitely was not something that I enjoyed and I quit when I was very young. Then I turned toward tenor drumming, which is a type of drum found in a pipe band. Although I no longer compete in tenor drumming, I am still teaching this instrument to younger students through the Conservatory of Performing Arts. In high school I was a part of the Senior Choir, and would occasionally play percussion for our performances. Now that I am no longer playing any instrument or singing, I want to reignite my passion for music by learning to play the ukulele using only online resources!

Here are a few, of many, reasons why I thought that I should learn to play the ukulele:

  1. I have two perfectly good ukulele’s lying around in my house that are begging to be played!
  2. I have extremely small hands, which would work perfectly with this mini-guitar-like instrument.
  3. I love the sound of the ukulele.
  4. Playing this instrument would allow me to combine my love of singing (even though I am not very good at singing) with a musical instrument.
  5. I can take this instrument anywhere with me because it is so small.
  6. Learning this instrument is something that I am genuinely interested in and passionate about, which makes me motivated to record my learning process with you!

I have tinkered with playing ukulele previously, and I am familiar with a few basic chords. Since I can play generic chords, my goal for this project is to learn a few songs and be able to perform them with very few mistakes. I am going to ambitiously say that I am going to learn one song per week! This will turn out to be five songs total. We will see if I can accomplish this goal or not! I have been collecting a list of a few songs I am hoping to learn if I can find helpful corresponding resources to teach me these specific songs. This is not the definite list of the songs, only a few that I am considering:

My general plan to tackle each individual song is to:

  1. Find sheet music for the specific song.
  2. Learn the strumming pattern.
  3. Learn the chords.
  4. Practice the transitions from chord to chord.
  5. Combine the strumming pattern and chords line by line.
  6. Play the song as a whole.
  7. Add in the singing.
  8. Practice, practice, practice!

Hopefully by the end of this project I have learned to play five songs on the ukulele! Not only is this project teaching me how to play the ukulele, but it is also forcing me to go out of my comfort zone and sing. That being said, my main focus is to learn the ukulele. Maybe my next project will be to learn how to sing using online resources!

I hope you will follow along with my ukulele journey. Feel free to comment any songs that you think I should consider learning! Thanks for reading!


5 thoughts on “Week One – Come On, Uke Can Do It!

  1. Hey Brenna! Reading about your ideas for your learning project really excites me. I, too, am passionate about music and singing so I can relate with you on that level. Playing the ukulele is so interesting and it’s cool that you randomly had two sitting at home. I hope you are able to learn and we can see you play a song. Also – I LOVE your song choices. ‘I See Fire’ by Ed Sheeran is one of my favorites!


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