#1
I have recently been appointed to teach ukulele to children by my guitar teacher. I've never quite taught 6 year old children so any help on how do I approach on teaching them? How should I make them feel comfortable? And one of them has autism, so I've been doing lotsa research on these special children, but if anyone could chip in some ideas on approaching them, it'd be great haha.
MY GEAR
Ibanez SA160QM
Laney HCM10
Squier Bullet Strat
MXR Carbon Copy
Zoom Tri Metal
Modtone Flanger(mini)
EHX LPB-1
Korg Pitchblack
Timtone acoustic
#2
These little ones will be quite happy with single note stuff - Mary Had a Little Lamb and all that stuff. Keep it very simple at first, obviously - say, using two or three notes and build up from there. (well, even working up to that with one note at a time....)

Autistic kids are all very different - just like "regular" kids. You'll need to find out more about him than simply that he has autism. Some people with autism can't even speak or hold t heir head up very well. Others (more the Aspergers types - Aspergers being a subset of PDD) function perfectly well, except for a tendency to just be socially awkward. That's quite a range.

As a sweeping generalization, there are some "tendencies" of people with autism:
-very heightened sensory experiences - can find loud noises frightening, bright lights uncomfortable, etc.
-difficulty expressing themselves (often described as "a personality inside who can't get out")
-emotionally sensitive (get very distressed when others are crying, etc.) - can be quite empathetic
-may have a great memory, but find abstractions nearly impossible. (I taught an autistic boy a number of year ago, for instance, who knew his times tables better than anyone I have ever taught, but when asked to act like a bird, he completely shut down. He had to be shown how to pretend how to flap his wings.)

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#3
kids are people, too. pay attention, see how they respond to what you do. make it fun, and have fun. be sure to explain things. kids are sponges. if they don't know something, it's because they probably haven't been exposed to it, not because they're dumb. don't belittle or intimidate them. you're twice as big as them, and you'll just seem like a horrible monster. you want to be friends with them.

i've taught english to kids in other cultures, which means i had even less to go on than you. the one thing that was always true was that i couldn't go into a room with too many new preconceived plans, because they won't always react the way you want or expect them too. you really have to just stay present and go with what works. and a positive emotional outcome is a higher priority than a positive productive outcome. it doesn't matter if you can produce mozarts, if they're not happy, they won't come back.
Last edited by brothertupelo at Apr 10, 2011,
#4
The only thing I have to say is be nice.
A mistake may be made they don't have to be perfect.
And don't teach them theory or chords.
For the autistic kid it depends on what type he has.