Interesting letter in this month's "Educate" Magazine - of interest to teachers/ex teachers:-
Why teach the ukulele rather than the recorder? (Educate, Nov/Dec, page 40).
Answer: ukuleles are unobtrusive instruments. 'Three chords and you have achieved the object.Tick!
If half the class is strumming on the wrong chord it will not spoil the effect.Tick! No melody involved, no skill involved on the part of the teacher, no music-reading involved.Tick
If you're attempting to teach the recorder there are issues of music reading and wrong notes. Recorders cannot be taught in a class situation, no matter how many people say they can. I am speaking as a music teacher of some 45 years' experience.
The music-lite ukulele deceives the children and their parents that they are having a musical education.
It doesn't furnish them with the skill of music reading or playing a melody. It doesn't equip them with the skills to try an orchestral musical instrument. It's a questionable venture. and I would say it is worthless.
But it ticks the box! Anyone can teach three chords and play along with a track. It is less noisy and cheaper than the “wider opportunity' or “first access' schemes promoted in some authorities, which involve rackety saxophones and trumpets en masse.
The recorder takes expertise and time. Too much to ask when the spectre of Ofsted and its cravings for instant, quantifiable results, hovers over us all. With the ukulele, it will look as all are achieving; this is a scandalous fiction.