Middle School General Music: Ukulele & Guitar

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialists

The middle school general music classroom can be an exciting (and/or terrifying) place! Throughout this coming school year, we’ll be sharing with you some valuable resources to help you develop enthusiasm and skills in your middle school musicians! Today, here are some great new options for teaching guitar and ukulele:

leon-510991Ukulele Jukebox by Tom Anderson
Drop in a nickel for hours of music-making fun! From one chord and a downstroke strum to switching from chord-to-chord using a pop shuffle, your students will explore the exciting world of playing the ukulele. This straight-ahead instrument provides the perfect introduction to playing harmony, singing with others and feeling the infectious rhythms of different styles of music. Chord frames, pictures of finger placement and notation are used throughout the song collection in a step-by-step, sequential fashion for building instrument-playing knowledge. Suggested strums are demonstrated with helpful audio examples. Pitched classroom instruments parts are also included for additional harmonic support. Everyone gets in the act! You also receive digital access to performance/accompaniment audio recordings plus PDFs of singer and instrument parts for projection and reproducible options. Well-known songs are the pathway to play these fun accompaniments. Get those ukuleles in your hands, plug in the jukebox and keep on jammin’! Songs include: Hey Lolly Lolly, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, Jammin’ Bells, This Train/The Crawdad Song, Rockin’ Robin, C.C. Rider, and more! Suggested for grades 4-8.

leon-00862639-fEssential Elements for Guitar
Take your guitar teaching to a new level! Hal Leonard’s top-selling comprehensive method for band and strings is now also available for guitar. With the time-tested classroom teaching methods of Will Schmid and Bob Morris and popular songs in a variety of styles, Essential Elements for Guitar is sure to become a staple of guitar teachers’ instruction – and get beginning guitar students off to a great start.

This method has been designed to meet the National Standards for Music Education, with features such as cross-curricular activities, quizzes, multicultural songs, basic improvisation and more. Available in both Level 1 and Level 2 books, and with LOTS of supplemental resources including flashcards, warm-ups, and song collections covering composers and artists from J.S. Bach to Disney Songs and Jimi Hendrix, and everyone in between!

leon-00116015-fEssential Elements for Ukulele
Playing the ukulele is an enjoyable, easy, and inexpensive way to get involved in music. It provides a way to learn musical concepts and skills that can apply to any instrument you decide to study. Moreover, it will give you a great opportunity to share the joy of making music with other people. This book will help to provide you with the basic skills and musical background you need to get started. The online audio contains demonstrations of all the songs and examples available for download or streaming using the access code printed inside the book. This carefully crafted method emphasizes chord strumming skills; teaching students HOW to practice; note reading exercises; “chord challenges” to learn how to figure out chord progressions; tab reading; and more.

Level 1 includes nearly 30 familiar songs that students can play while still learning, including: All My Loving, Home on the Range, Hound Dog, Jambalaya (On the Bayou), La Bamba, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Rainbow Connection, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and more! Level 2 is also available for continued musical development, and we expect additional supplemental resources to become available in the future, too!

Find more valuable resources for your music classroom on our website, or contact us for more recommendations! And don’t forget – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.


Categories: Classroom General Music, Guitar Music, Middle School General Music, Music Education, New Publications, Staff Picks, Teacher Materials

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