How To Motivate Music Students To Practise

pedagogy corner Sep 15, 2020
As ukulele teachers, how can we keep students engaged when they leave our classes and help motivate them to practice? 

You’re working harder than ever to bring learning to your students, whether in physical classrooms or online. You’re finding new ways to engage and interact with your students. But one challenge we all face is how to keep our students learning and practicing...

Read full post▸

Podcast #2 - You're going too fast!

podcast Sep 08, 2020

1) How can I follow along when you're playing too fast? 2) How are you strumming in Booster Uke? 3) What part of the finger is hitting the strings on the down strum?

John on "Lesson 3: The Jazzy Twins"
When you're playing Lil Liza jane fast it very hard to follow you specially when your learning those notes.

James answers:
Good point, John. You can slow down both the video and the...
Read full post▸

Podcast #1 - How do I know when I know it?

podcast Sep 01, 2020

In this episode: 1. How to know when it's time to move on to the next lesson. 2. Can a C chord be a C chord even when it doesn't look like a C chord? 3. How to navigate easily between all six levels of The Ukulele Way online.

JP asks:
Is it recommended to be able to play through at 100% speed repeatedly without mistakes before moving to the next lesson? Excited to learn more but don't...
Read full post▸

Welcome to the Uketropolis Podcast

podcast Aug 31, 2020

Welcome to Uketropolis, a podcast with real ukulele answers to real ukulele questions. I'm your host, James Hill, the founder of Uketropolis, the leading provider of online ukulele lessons. 

I'm a lifelong ukulele player, teacher and believer in the power of ukulele to make positive change in the world. I've written and co-written several ukulele courses including Booster...

Read full post▸

We'll get through this with music.

james' two cents Aug 26, 2020


It's a tough time to be a teacher. Nobody knows what the school year will bring. It could be in-person classes. It could be online lessons. It could be both. Only one thing is for certain: you don't have time to prepare for everything.

You need something that will pivot with you, whether you're in-class or online. Something that helps you give awesome lessons no matter what. Here's some...

Read full post▸

Popcorn Introductions And Other Classroom Intros

pedagogy corner Aug 10, 2020

As with in-person classes, helping our students feel welcome and confident in the virtual space is just as important.  Popcorn introductions are a fun way to introduce each student in a welcoming way!

By Cynthia Kinnunen - Author And Teacher At Uketropolis, the world's best online ukulele lessons!

By now, most of us are figuring out how to make teaching online work for us in...

Read full post▸

Life After "Oh! Susanna"

james' two cents Jun 26, 2020

Black lives matter.

On June 7th, 2020 I marched alongside friends and strangers through Truro, Nova Scotia, my 4-year-old son on my shoulders. We listened, we cheered, we cried and we vowed to do better. We promised to learn. We promised to take action.

So, what does "taking action" mean once the banners and bullhorns are put away? It means making a difference in your...

Read full post▸

Baritone Ukulele Tuning - An Alternate Tuning Method

james' two cents Jun 22, 2020


There are a lot of alternate ukulele tunings methods out there, specifically baritone ukulele tuning. So, I wanted to teach my favourite alternate tuning to you!

If video is more your thing, then you can watch our video on alternate ukulele tuning (for baritone) above. Or you can check out our online ukulele lessons at Uketropolis where we have jazz lessons, intermediate...

Read full post▸

Teaching complex chords on the ukulele

pedagogy corner Jun 16, 2020

Once students get a taste of new chord flavours, they will be wanting more! 

By Vinícius Vivas

Have you wondered about how to play and teach complex jazz chords on the ukulele? Or how to make simple chords sound even better?

Sometimes we fall into teaching chords in the same way that we learned them, even when there may be a better way. Perhaps we need to try less...

Read full post▸

Engaging students with composition

pedagogy corner May 18, 2020

We are always looking for new ideas to engage our students and what better way than to bring their own creativity into the mix by teaching them musical composition?

by Cynthia Kinnunen, a Music Educator from Guelph, Ontario who's part of Team Uketropolis, offering online ukulele lessons! 

Last month, music educator Angela Dwyer gave us some great ideas about introducing...

Read full post▸
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Stay in the Uke Loop!

Get monthly teaching tips, learning strategies and interesting interviews delivered right to your inbox.