FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. How do I register for Uschool?

Registration in Uschool is only available in schools which currently offer our program. If our program is offered at your child’s school, you will have received a flyer from the Principal. If we do not currently offer the program at your school and you are interested in finding out whether we can in the future, email us at info@uschool.ca with your child’s school’s details and we’ll get in touch with the Principal. Hopefully we’ll be able to offer the program to your school soon!

2. Can my child use a ukulele that we already have?

Yes you can but only after you have checked it out with Melanie. You need to email her the brand and the size of your instrument. Some instruments are not suitable and can cause students a lot of frustration because they do not play in tune, have warped or compromised fingerboards etc. We check out all instruments ahead of time to ensure that every student has a good working instrument for best results. You will also need to obtain a low 4th string. (explained in Ques. # 5 )

 3. What instruments do you recommend if we want to buy our own ukulele and not order one with the class order?

We recommend ordering with the class because we have sourced the best instruments for the best price in Canada (empiremusic.ca)They are not fancy but they sound great and are the best value for the money. If you want to spend more than $70 and shop for your own instrument we recommend soprano size for gr 4, 5 and 6, and concert size for older students. We have had great success with KALA and Makala brand ukes.

 Anything less than $70 is not worth spending money on for use in this program. Please contact Melanie by email for further questions or recommendations. We can help you make a great purchase. You will also need to obtain a low 4th string.

4. If my instrument is approved by Melanie, do we pay only the class fees?

Yes. If you have your own approved instrument and you’ve already received instructions about how to obtain a low 4th string you can proceed to registration and pay only class fees by eTransfer or by cheque.

5. How do I obtain a low 4th string?

To obtain a low 4th string you can go to The Twelfth Fret, Long and McQuade, or Remenyi House of Music, in Toronto, or, in Nova Scotia, The Folklore Centre, Halifax, or Mingo Music, Truro.

Tell them you need a low 4th string for the educational ukulele program at Uschool. Melanie Doane’s uke program. If the music stores are not up on the various tunings, you need to be very clear with them. If in doubt you can ask to purchase a single D’Addario Pro Arte classical nylon core guitar string, NYL026W gauge .026 “

6. Why do I have to obtain a low 4th string before the first class in October?

We use Canadian tuning which has a low 4th string giving us more range and more opportunity for scale work, bass lines and overall increase in musical opportunity. Your child must have this string on their instrument in time for the first lesson in order to participate.

7. What is Canadian Tuning and why are we using it in the Uschool program?

The low 4th string tuning was established during the 1960’s and 70’s in Canadian schools, predominantly in the Halifax School Board. It predates the internet and although implemented by some Hawaiian school boards, not as widely used throughout the United States.

8. What classroom is my child’s lesson going to be held in? 

Classrooms will be assigned in September and posted for parents on uschool.ca/class-schedule. Please print up your registration messages when you complete your child’s registration forms.

 9. When do classes start?

Classes start in the first week of October. Check uschool.ca/class-schedule in September for details.

10. When do classes end?

Classes are officially over when we have Uke Day in June. End dates vary due to school holidays, school concerts and the day of the week your child’s class is held. Your child’s uke program will have 30 classes and will include various performances and Uke Day.

 What materials does my child need for class?

Your child will be given a new folder on the first day of class. This folder needs to be brought to class every week and parents need to check this folder each week for practice instructions. If the folder gets lost, email melanie@uschool.ca right away so she can get you the materials that you need.

11. What if my child breaks a string or has a broken ukulele?

Strings are readily available at most music stores. Some music stores will do repairs for you however, some fixes may cost more than the price of the instrument. If you are unsure, please email melanie@uschool.ca.

12. What is Uke Day?

Uke Day is a musical celebraton at the end of the school year when all of the uschool students from across the city gather to play music and have a huge jam session, learn some new tunes, hear some special performances and perform together before the summer break.

Visit: www.uschool.ca/media for videos of past Uke Day celebrations.

13. Can my child participate in the Uschool program after they leave their elementary school?

Uschool classes are offered up to grade 12. Email melanie@uschool.ca directly for information on all of the “B” groups and the “A” group (middle and high-school) offered.

 14. Where does this program come from?

The Ukulele in the Classroom method was created by J. Chalmers Doane and implemented in school boards across Canada throughout the 1970’s 80’s and 90’s 

A reissuing of the method books by Chalmers Doane and virtuoso James Hill has created a new interest in the program all over the world. Toronto’s Uschool program has over 900 participants in weekly classes.