Educational Outreach at Uku Global

At Uku Global we are not only passionate about our instruments, but also our outreach programs for music educators. Our #1 goal is to spread joy, happiness, and give back to the community. We hope that through our work with music education programs we can take steps towards that goal every day.

It is imperative that all children have access to music education, regardless of the circumstances they were born into. Music in our schools has diminished in recent years, and as a result access to learning music has decreased as well. It is often seen as a luxury subject in schools, and as a result, may be the first to go with budget cuts. Uku Global is eager to work with the music education community as we adapt and work with these challenges.

What We Know

  • We know that participation in music education programs is correlated with higher scores on standardized tests.

In 2010, a study conducted by Peter Miksza found that high school students who participated music ensembles scored higher on standardized math tests. Additionally, these students were more committed to school work, their attendance was more consistent, and they showed greater interest in “correcting social inequalities” (Miksza, 2010). It is important to note that the majority of students in this study were from rural or suburban schools. We know that access to music education programs is higher in these more affluent areas, so, what about lower-income schools? How can they reap these same benefits?

  • We know that students from low-income areas have greater self-esteem in the academic setting after participating in school-based music programs.

Another study conducted by Jihae Shin examines the social emotional benefits of school-based music workshops in low-income schools. The I Am a Dreamer (IDMP) music program was presented to low-income middle school students with the goal of increasing their self-esteem and self-efficacy in the non-music, academic setting. The IDMP program facilitated a variety of music activities including: playing instruments, singing, improvisation, jamming, and rhythmic exploration. At the conclusion of the program the students were interviewed and parents took a survey to determine the results. In the surveys, it was found that parents felt that their child’s participation in IDMP positively influenced their self-esteem.

Whether it be academic performance or self-esteem, it is evident that music in our schools positively impacts the social-emotional lives of our children. Although the aforementioned studies depict very different uses of music in the school setting, the common denominator is that access to music programming facilitates positive outcomes for the students.

What We Do

It is known that English learners and low-income students in America are significantly underrepresented in music education programs (Elpus & Abril, 2011). Through Uku Global’s educational programing, we aim to close this gap and give back to all communities.

Uku Global is excited to offer discount instruments and bulk pricing packages for music education programs. We want to work with schools and enable them with all the benefits a ukulele has to offer. Our education program is designed to offer schools ukuleles they can afford, one-stop start-up kits for new programs, as well as educational-aid and playing guides.

If you are interested in learning more about our educational programming and opportunities, check out the education portion of our website. There is a contact form on there, and we would love to hear from you! https://ukuglobal.com/education/

Ukuleles offer a multitude of musical opportunities, to name a few:

  • It is an incredibly social instrument, as one can play and sing, or speak at the same time.
  • It is small and it is affordable compared to more traditional band instruments.
  • As a teenager or young adult, the ukulele might be more motivating to learn as it is an instrument that can be played with friends.
  • The ukulele is naturally conducive to songwriting and emotional expression.
  • A student who wants to learn to read traditional music notation can also do that on the ukulele.
  • It can be played solo or in a group.

The possibilities for this instrument are endless! Thank you for taking the time to read about music education and Uku Global. We are passionate about this work and hope that with each ukulele we can bring a little more joy, happiness, and community into this world.

References

Elpus, K., & Abril, C. R. (2011). High school music ensemble students in the United States: A demographic profile. Journal of Research in Music Education59(2), 128-145.

Miksza, P. (2010). Investigating relationships between participation in high school music ensembles and extra-musical outcomes: An analysis of the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 using a bioecological development model. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 7-25.

Shin, J. (2011). An investigation of participation in weekly music workshops and its relationship to academic self-concept and self-esteem of middle school students in low-income communities. Contributions to Music Education, 29-42.

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