Uke School - Uke's Cool @ Uke School!
What is Uke School?
It's quite simple really - we 'adopt' a school, gift a class set of ukuleles, tuners and materials and watch the smiley faces as the whole school community - pupils, teachers and parents - learns to strum and sing with Ukulele Workshops in Scotland.
The school, parents and the LEA don't pay a penny. Uke Schools are funded by money raised through workshops, lessons and equipment sales. We do not receive funding from any other source. Each Uke School is seen as a special, quality, long-term project - something really worth spending time and energy on - so we normally work with just one school at a time.
Our current Uke School is Colvend Primary in Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland. The school's headteacher Mrs Gair has generously allocated 40 minutes of school time each week to Uke School. This is wonderful as the pupils see Uke School as a normal part of their school life and not an add-on activity that comes and goes. Mrs Gair gives up non-contact time to strum and sing alongside the children and Miss Brydson, a new member of staff, takes part with great enthusiasm too.
We are really proud to be the first organisation to bring ukulele to primary schools in Dumfries and Galloway. We started in the academic year 2010 - 2011 and our first 'gig' was at the 2011 Leavers' Ceremony. Our next performance was at the Harvest Service in the Autumn Term, 2011 and we enjoyed strumming and singing Christmas songs after the Carol Service at the close of our first ukulele year.
Congratulations to all our Uke-Schoolers on winning the Ukulele Category in the Dumfries and District Music Festival, March, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Colvend Primary Uke School is the first of its kind in Dumfries and Galloway and one of only two permanent primary school ukulele orchestras in Scotland, although there are a few temporary projects which come and go. The other long-standing primary school ukulele initiative is at Luing Primary School in Argyll and Bute. The group is known as Ukulele Luing.
Here are some pictures of Colvend Uke School in action: