Breakout Magic! (Part 2) - How To Use Breakout Rooms

pedagogy corner Mar 17, 2021


Last month we got the conversation started around using breakout rooms in our virtual classroom platforms. This month, we have a few more ideas that you can test out with your students. Let's jump right in!

This post was written by Cynthia Kinnunen, a music educator in Guelph, Ontario and part of Uketropolis, online ukulele lessons for all.

Team or Partner Challenges


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Who’s ready for ukulele fun with the New Ukulele Funbook!

pedagogy corner Mar 02, 2021


James Hill interviews Ukulele Funbook author Zsolt Schäfer on the Uketropolis Podcast: click here to listen!

We’ve all been working hard to manage through this pandemic. As a teacher and a parent, I have found myself challenged regularly to keep my students and my own kids learning and growing. Now might be just the right time for a little creative break and we’ve...

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How To Use Breakout Rooms With Online Teaching - Breakout Magic! (Part 1)

pedagogy corner Feb 18, 2021

Music teachers have always been innovative. Now that we’ve been thrown online for much of the past year, we’ve been trying to figure out how to create opportunities for musical engagement with our students in virtual settings.

One opportunity that has emerged – and continues to evolve – is breakout rooms. These are possible in several conferencing platforms being...

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Teaching Ukuelele Jazz Chord Progressions

pedagogy corner Dec 21, 2020

Jazz ukulele might feel out-of-reach for many students, especially those who are just starting out, perhaps with an online beginner's course for ukulele. But is there a way for us to enjoy the magic of ukulele jazz chord progressions without turning our fingers into a Twister game? The answer is YES with the magical G minor (Gm) chord!

When we discover an easy lesson that has...

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Let’s Sing It Loud! (Or Soft!)

pedagogy corner Nov 11, 2020

Whether we’re trying to get a room full of 11-year-olds to belt out Rocky Mountain, or coax a group of adults to join in with Up Above My Head, some of the same activities and approaches can help! 

Our students have no problem strumming and picking but how can we encourage our more reluctant students to let loose and sing?

There were some great ideas discussed in...

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Podcast #10 - Suspense

podcast Nov 06, 2020

The feeling of... suspense.

It's early in the morning on November 4th, the day after the U.S. election. And there's a feeling of suspense in the air all over the world. Here in Nova Scotia, Canada, we feel it too. What is that feeling of suspense? When do we feel that in music? And how does the ukulele bring out these emotions?
In this episode:
  • What is a sus chord?
  • A chord-melody...
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Podcast #9 - Eve Goldberg Interview

podcast Oct 28, 2020

The first Uketropolis interview! Meet Eve Goldberg, musician, activist, teacher and songwriter. Find out more at

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Calming Ukulele Songs To Soothe And Heal

pedagogy corner Oct 19, 2020

A selection of calming ukulele songs designed to soothe and relax! We all know that music has a lot of power. It can influence our mood, our mental health, our physical well-being, improve brain function, strengthen motor skills… the list goes on and on. As teachers and leaders, we see these benefits in our ukulele lessons and communities every day.

By Cynthia Kinnunen

These days,...

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Podcast #5 - Searching for the key

podcast Sep 30, 2020

1) Why rolling a chord can save your bacon. 2) Why The Ukulele Way is colour-coded and what the colours mean. 3) How to "sleuth out" the key of a melody when you only have the notes to work with.

James P. on "Lesson 5: Streets of Laredo"
My pinky finger is a little slow to get to that B-flat chord!

James Hill replies "Lesson 5: Streets of Laredo
Not to worry, James... it will...
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Podcast #4 - Practise with your eyes closed. Seriously.

podcast Sep 22, 2020

1) If you're busy learning the ukulele online then this is why you should practise with your eyes closed. 2) Simple music theory that can really help. 3) The two ways – yes, there are only two – to create chord-melody arrangements.

Barbara on "Lesson 5: Carnival of Venice (Interlaced)"
When playing a song like this, I often find myself playing one string off on my right...
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