First off, the packaging/formating and cartoons of Alfred’s Kid’s Ukulele Course 1 will appeal to kids, they are cute. That said, I’ve seen, and reviewed, other books that were all fun and show, yet poorly thought out when it came to content. This book uses a sound (ha ha) approach.
- This method takes a ‘strum first’ approach (as opposed to picking melodies), and because of that the CD is absolutely essential for the child to get the most out of it; the learner becomes an accompanist for the melodic picking on the CD. In the first section 4 chords are introduced, one at a time and reinforced with songs.
- A little more than halfway through we switch over to melodic picking, one note learned at a time. One thing I like about this section is that it still mixes in strums with the melodies so that we continue to reinforce the chords with the melodies. I haven’t seen much of this in other methods.
I’ve taken one star off my Amazon review because the ukulele on the CD isn’t always played perfectly in tune (or perfectly in time), though I doubt that this will bother most students.
I have played through a lot of ukulele methods, looking at techniques and ideas for my own students. This method has a lot going for it for young players.