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Zachary Winkworth


JMUke Experience Design


This activity is designed to teach basic chords in a way that is enjoyable and easy to understand.
The activity uses aspects such as visual aids, call and response, and creating fun and simple
chord patterns, in order to help individuals become more comfortable with some basic ukulele


This experience should be useful because it provides several different forms to help individuals
learn the basics of playing ukulele.


The students will learn how to play basic ukulele chords

The students will learn how to string together multiple chords and create a chord progression
The students will learn how to listen to a chord progression, and be able to repeat what was
The students will learn how to play ukulele in a group setting


Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work

Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work
Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work


Tablature of chords

Detailed process:

Give brief introduction. Introduce self, and briefly discuss the JMUke event.
o Begin by asking how many individuals have had experience playing ukulele before
Introduce the chords that will be learned (C, Am, F, G)
o Present visual aid, such as tablature for the chords
o Play each of the chords when introducing them, in order to show how the chord is
played, and what it sounds like
Focus on each chord separately, starting with C major
o Briefly explain the fingering again, and play so that students know what it sounds like
o Ask for students to try playing the chord, and repeat as many times as needed
o Do a basic call and response; the teacher will play a simple rhythm on the C major
chord, and then ask the students to repeat it back
Follow the same system with the next three chords, though adjusting time spent depending on
playing proficiency
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Work on switching between chords

o Briefly discuss and model the idea of switching between chords fluently
Discuss the importance of continuing strumming, even if it takes a bit longer to
switch finger position
Constant flow of sound
o Do a basic call and response
4 quarter notes on an Am chord, and then 4 more quarter notes on an F major
I chose switching between these two chords because there isnt too
much of a change with regards to finger position
Try alternative patterns and rhythms using those two chords in order to help
students become more comfortable with switching between the two chords
When students begin to respond more easily, mix in another chord into the
pattern without announcing it first, to see if the students will be able to catch
on and adapt
Ask what new chord was played in the last rep, and briefly discuss the chord
again as a refresher
Begin to mix in the third chord with the call and response, in order to familiarize
the students with playing three -chord patterns, rather than two
After several different call and response patterns, ask the students what they
thought about playing a three-chord pattern. Was it easy? Was it hard?
Finally incorporate the final chord, and repeat the process again.
o Once students feel comfortable with playing the different chords, demonstrate/discuss
a fairly easy chord pattern. Then, ask students to join and play the pattern together as a
The purpose of this is to give the group one final opportunity to become even
more comfortable with the chords, and play in a group setting before the jam
Have a brief discussion about what the group thought of the activity. Was it helpful? Did you
have fun and learn something new?


The assessment portion of the activity is completely informal. In order to assess group playing
proficiency, the call and response activity allows for the teacher to informally assess the
students understanding of the given chord progression
The discussion at the end of the activity is a way for the teacher to assess how much the
students were able to learn from the activity. It assesses both the students ability to
comprehend the topics that were discussed in the activity, as well as the validity of the activity
itself. Was it useful? Was the activity too easy? Too difficult?


The adaptations present within the activity includes instances in which concepts can be
modified in order to make it easier for more people. One of the main instances of this would be
discussing how there isnt necessarily a right or wrong way to play different chords. As long as it
Zachary Winkworth

is comfortable for the student, and they can easily switch between chords, there are not definite
finger placements. There may be a preferred method, but it can be altered.