Children from our ukulele clubs helped raise £275 for cancer charity The Big C at our Christmas performance at The Forum.
Good work everyone! There are lots more photos here.
Our first children's uke fest
Our first Children's Ukulele Festival took place on 2nd Feb - and what a wonderful day it was!
Around 90 young uke players aged between six and nine from seven Norfolk schools came to The Garage in Norwich to celebrate World Play Your Ukulele Day with workshops, sharings and a performance by The Banana Ukulele Band.
The schools which took part were Avenue Junior, Little Melton Primary, Mulbarton Infant, Mulbarton Junior, Newton Flotman Primary, West Earlham Infant and Recreation Road Infant.
The children are all learning ukulele in school, either as a whole class or in our lunchtime and after school clubs. The aim of the day was to inspire, motivate and celebrate their achievements.
They attended workshops with tutors Gemma Cullingford, Ian Brownlie, Alan Southgate, Kim Moore and Rachael Morrison. Some of the teachers and support staff learned how to play ukulele in 45 minutes with Clara Wiseman.
Students from Little Melton Primary and Mulbarton Junior worked towards their Arts Award Discover.
The festival was produced by ILOVEUKE, hosted by The Garage and funded by Youth Music.
Thank you to The Garage team, the schools and, most of all, the young uke players for taking part. It was a really special day, and we very much hope to do it again next year!
Photos © Teele Killing
The children were split into three groups for workshops. Gemma's group created a film soundtrack, Ian's group composed a soundscape for a story and Kim's group prepared a fun performance of choreographed songs.
After our workshops we met in theatre to share what we'd learned.
There were also smaller group performances from Avenues Junior and Newton Flotman Primary and Ian led a song called Ukulele Lady which we all played together - about 100 of us all together!
The Banana Ukulele Band
After lunch we were treated to a brilliant performance from The Banana Ukulele Band. They were really fun and after the show they came back for a Q & A session so we could find out about professional musicians and their work.
We were featured on Mustard TV and in the Evening News and EDP
Gemma made a video montage to remember our amazing fun-filled day!
Feedback from schools
"Our children were alight with joy about the event. They loved every second and have been totally inspired."
Sunday December 4th
Millennium Plain (Outside the Forum), Norwich
The Big C have asked ILOVEUKE if we would like to entertain the public with our ukulele students on Sunday 4th December.
We thought it was a great opportunity to show off what we have been learning this term to you, the public and also each other, whilst helping to raise some money for charity at the same time.
Clara and Gemma have been working with each school group on a song or two to perform on the day. The plan is to have a few smaller group performances, and then have everyone play all together at the same time at the end. Sounds like chaos, you're right!!
So that the children can practice at home, Gemma has made a tutorial for the 'Finale' for your child to practice along to at home. The song is Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, and you can find the video on the bottom of this blog. They won't need music for this.
All your child should need to bring is their ukulele. We will endeavour to tune all the ukes before we play.
Who knows what the weather will be like, so please dress your child accordingly. Playing in gloves is almost impossible, but if they have fingerless gloves, it could be a good time to use them.
Christmas inspired clothes are welcome but feeling warm and comfortable is of most importance!
Although we will try to provide some amplification, the ukes are very quiet instruments (especially when competing with outside noise), so we do ask that the audience is as quiet as possible, especially when the smaller groups are playing as it can be hard to hear them.
Please turn up at 12.45 to give us time to tune all the ukes.
A rough itinerary for the day is as follows (some performances may not go ahead if attendance is low for the smaller groups)
Go Tell Aunt Nancy (duet - Amelie and Lois)
Auld Lang Syne (duet - Amelie and Lois)
Count on Me - Little Melton
8 days a week ( Georgia, Vicky, Gil & Ted)
Strumming Ukulele (Rec Rd, Eaton 2pm group)
We wish you a Merry Christmas (Avenues Tuesday, Eaton 1.30pm group)
Silent Night (Avenues Tuesday, Eaton 1.30 group, Avenues Thursday)
Ukulele for Christmas (Hempnall, Little Melton, Mulbarton Infant, Mulbarton Jnr, Woodside)
We ask that parents stay with the group throughout the session, unless agreed with us in advance.
We look forward to seeing you there! Watch this space for pics from the day!!
Last week Gemma posted a blog about the awesome projects she completed with her groups last year, and her plans for the new school year. It was wonderful to hear the students' recordings and I was very impressed with the arrangements and level they've achieved.
So, not to be outdone, I thought I'd blog too!
Most of my groups had a go at songwriting. This is a great way of getting mixed age and ability groups working together. Using chords which beginners can quickly master - C, Am, and F - the children came up with a basic chord progression and added their own individual parts. We worked on the lyrics as a group.
Little Melton beginners wrote a song called I Love Doughnuts - great fun! We performed it to the school in assembly at the end of term.
Hempnall beginners wrote I Go Down a River, which they also performed in assembly. Browick Road Primary wrote Nature Song and the Food Song, which worked so well that I taught it to my other schools, who made up their own verses.
I like burgers covered in sauce
Sausage and chips of course
Little Melton Uke Club performed their songs on the band stand at South Norfolk on Show. Performance opportunities are important because they give us a goal to work towards and a great sense of achievement at the end.
So what are we working on this year?
Little Melton improvers will be working on our own arrangement of Count On Me by Bruno Mars and writing a rap song. Little Melton Beginners, Mulbarton Infants, Browick Road Primary, Hempnall and Woodside Infants will be learning the popular Disney song Someone to Lava and Blast Off. As always we'll be doing lots of work on playing in time together and exploring different sounds and strums.
Also this term we've introduced the Music Monsters for years 1 and 2. Now, although you can't see them, the Music Monsters have very sensitive ears. They love to hear students making beautiful music together and listening nicely, but if it gets too noisy they have to go back in their box, so each student is responsible for keeping their monster happy. This idea I 'borrowed' from one of my one-to-one students Shaun, who is a primary school teacher, so thank you Shaun!
I guess we better do the Monster Mash sometime this year too then!
Children’s Ukulele Festival
Thursday 2 February 2017
ILOVEUKE has teamed up with The Garage to offer Norfolk’s first Children’s Ukulele Festival, an event for primary school students in years 1 to 3 who are learning to play the uke.
This fun-filled day will take place at The Garage in Norwich on Thursday 2 February 2017 (World Play Your Ukulele Day) from 10am to 2pm.
Activities will include music-making workshops, performances from students, a large group strum-along and a participatory performance from The Ukulele Banana Band in the theatre. There will even be a 45-minute ‘crash-course’ in playing the ukulele for teachers and support staff.
The aim of the festival is to inspire, motivate and celebrate the achievements of children who attend Uke Clubs or are learning ukulele in school.
For some schools, where desirable, there will be an opportunity to gain Arts Award Discover.
The event is funded by The National Foundation for Youth Music and will be free to attend. Schools will be asked to provide their own transport, and children will need a packed lunch.
Places are limited to 90 children. We expect it to be popular, so places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
If you would like your ukulele students to take part please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your places. Numbers can be finalised at the beginning of January.