Tips for Tuning: Educator's Edition

This one's for you music educators. Tuning a new ukulele is one thing, but an entire class set is another. Add in a group of excited kids who want to strum their hearts out and any teacher will be challenged. As all music educators know, tuning can make or break the enjoyment of playing a stringed instrument. Here are some tuning tips that will make your fall a little more fun. 

Tune a new ukulele every day.

New ukuleles take at least a week of tuning and playing every day before the strings stretch and “settle in”. They require a little extra attention. Even if you aren’t teaching every day we recommend tuning your class set as if you are. Doing this will ensure the ukuleles hold a tune for the duration of your class and it will speed up the “settling in” process!

Use Clip-On Tuners.

Tuning by ear is a great skill to have, but it’s not practical in a large group of children who are all talking and playing. If you are able, set your students up with clip-on tuners for their ukuleles. They will pick up the vibration of the individual ukulele so all instruments can be tuned at once. If your school doesn’t have enough tuners for each student, set them up in small groups. The students can help each other learn! 

My dog has fleas.

A great way to teach your students to tune by and match pitch is with a familiar melody. The ukulele is tuned G-C-E-A. Below is the notation. If you sing this enough, they will get the pitches in their head and you can tune as a group. Use a piano or amplify your ukulele so the group can hear the correct pitch. Although this method is most appropriate for older students, it is never too early to teach intonation and tuning by ear. 

ukulele tuning

Show a video! 

Take a break from teaching and let Uku help out! If you are using our curriculum, the Happy Helpful Guide to the Ukulele, you know that tuning is Step 3. We all learn differently and videos are a great way to supplement your instruction. We wanted to ensure our Guide was accessible all around, so we created videos for each step! Check out Step 3 of the Guide on YouTube, taught by the very talented virtual ukulele teacher Bernadette Teaches Music. 

We hope these tuning tricks carry you through the Halloween season and beyond! Uku’s Education Team is always here to help answer questions about the Happy Helpful Guide, teaching tuning, or setting up your classroom with Beginner Kits. Send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!

The post "Tips for Tuning: Educator's Edition" was first published on Uku Ukuleles.

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