1- Does my student need to bring a ukulele to class?
Yes, unfortunately we do not have ukuleles that you can borrow or rent (yet!). I only have one extra ukulele that I bring to class in case one student forgets to bring it, but I strongly encourage parents to remind their kids to bring their ukuleles the day of the class each week.
2 -What ukulele can I buy?
There are many brands and types of ukuleles. The good thing is that they can be very inexpensive and still sound reasonably well without being a toy. Prices could range from $30 to $1000 or more but obviously you do not need anything fancy or expensive. From my experience, I've found that Mahalo (for small children) and Makala are good and inexpensive (around $40-$80). Do not spend more than $150. Other good and popular brands are Cordoba (this is the one I use), Kala, Donner, Lanikai and Luna. Be careful with cheap ukuleles! They're often toys, not musical instruments; they can be very hard or impossible to tune, and your child won't be able to play in tune, so they're a waste of money. Even if there's only one string that cannot be tuned, then do not buy it.
Ukuleles come in different sizes. From smallest to biggest they are called: Soprano (most common), Concert, Tenor and Baritone. The tuning in the first three is: g, C, E, A (Sol, Do, Mi, La). The baritone has a different tuning. Your kid needs to have a Soprano or a Concert one. If your kid is tall or has big hands you can get a Tenor.
3-Where can I buy a ukulele?
There are several places in Santa Barbara: Instrumental Music in 3328 State Street; Jensen Guitar and Music in 2830 De La Vina; and Nick Rail Music in 2801 De La Vina Street. They are all very good and close to each other. I have a great profesional relationship with the people in Instrumental Music, especially with Maggie (Manager): she's super kind, knowledgeable and helpful with any questions you may have. They offer my students 10% discount in any ukulele. Just tell them you were referred by Jackie. Of course, you can also buy online (Amazon for example), but it's better if the student physically holds the actual instrument and tries it before buying--and you'll be supporting a local business :-)
4-Does the student need to practice at home?
It is not mandatory, but as we all know, it is always advisable to practice as much as possible when learning a new skill--especially a musical instrument--in order to progress faster. Your kid will be more satisfied, and so will you :-)
5-My kid would like to take the after-school ukulele class but he/she can't (schedule conflict, etc.) Do you teach private lessons?
Yes, for children and adults, individually and in groups. Contact me at: