Hooray for the ukulele!The ukulele seems, more than just about any instrument, to have been designed to strum and accompany singing. I am hoping that this page will become a destination for library children’s services folks who might be interested in learning the ukulele for singing with younger children in story programs. You can come here and get songs and uke information.

Little by little, I’m posting my repertoire of easy-to-play songs to this blog. I’m beginning with the idea that all you need are three chords on a C-tuned uke to play a great many songs suitable for storytimes – C, F, and G7. (In time, I want to add to those chords, but these three are the best to start with.)

Here’s my original piece about the ukulele in the library storytime.

and here’s Ukulele Tonya’s Beginner’s Pages, a PDF document with information on how to tune a uke, plus a list of all the basic chords you’ll need, along with a few basic songs.

And here’s the 1917 NY Times story of Fannie, the chimp who loved playing the uke!

Another post on the uke from August 2008: “Hooray for the ukulele”

Here are the songs that I like to sing in library programs, so far:

“Down by the Bay”

“Six Little Ducks”

“Aiken Drum”

“Old MacDonald” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

“Wheels on the Bus”

“Illy Ally O”

“The More We Get Together”

The Twinkle, Twinkle Medley – “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “ABC,” and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep”

A goofy holiday song: “Jungle Bells

“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”

“This Little Light of Mine”

“‘Ba-ROOMP’ said the Little Green Frog”

“There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly”

“She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain”

“Five Little Ducks”

“The Bear Went Over the Mountain”

I am also happy to answer your questions if you want to send them. More coming!


3 Responses to “Ukulele page”

  1. I’d really like to learn the ukelele, but whenever my daughter sees me playing her instrument, she takes it away from me. Crivens! Fortunately, I can put my capo on the 5th fret of my guitar and play the first four strings (EBGD) to get the uke tuning.

  2. Dear Walter Minkel:

    I enjoy your blog and wished your comment on Christopher Kiess’ article would have gone further.

    One fellow librarian, now retired as I am, feels that too many of our public librarians are content to remain in their offices… while clerks service their readers.

    As a recent author (Austin Public has 2 copies of ORPHANS’ NINE COMMANDMENTS. TCU PRESS. ’07. Reviewed in SLJ, Dec. 1, 2007.)
    Outside of this one positive review … few libraries include the book on their web sites … yet the publisher continues to receive appreciative notes from readers who purchase the book.

    Harold Billings, retired Director, Univ Tx Libraries writes: “As readable as a colorful novel, this (as Larry McMurtry says) is an important book, the story of a boy who overcomes his bad angels to achieve success as Director of the San Francisco Public Library.”

    I wish you would read the book and write a brief review on your web site.


    William R. Holman
    12205 Mustang Chase
    Austin, Tx. 78727

  3. Great ideas! I use my ukulele in all my teacher trainings- I make up songs about the teachers in addition to teaching them songs to sing with children.
    Warmly, Linda
    The Babies Can’t Wait Lady

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