James gave introductory ukulele workshops to all the students in grades 4 to 6. He also played a concert for the entire school, including parents and community members. Students had the opportunity to explore the instrument and learn a few basics in a workshop format on instruments provided by the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB). The workshops and concert were the kickoff for the Madoc Township Public School ukulele program.
"The students were clearly excited about learning music with the ukulele," said James. "I strongly feel that a ukulele program would benefit the school; it’s an inexpensive way of providing students with a comprehensive, hands-on introduction to music."
Teacher Deb Chatreau, saw James at the Blue Skies Festival last summer and was impressed not only with his virtuosity but also with his wealth of knowledge and obvious ability as a teacher. Deb thought he had a relaxed and gentle style that would work well with the students. She couldn’t think of a better way to teach musical literacy and was excited James visited the school.
This opportunity was funded to a great extent by an organization called Blue Skies in the Community, an outreach program of the Blue Skies Music Festival, whose mandate is to provided musical opportunities in rural schools. HPEDSB, in addition to providing the instruments, also assisted in paying the artist’s fees.
James mentioned that at Madoc Township Public School "there’s a healthy level of support among staff members for a ukulele program."
James Hill who has appeared frequently at festivals across Canada and around the world shared his knowledge and skill both as a performer and a music educator to Madoc Township Public School. For more information about James Hill, visit www.ukulelejames.com
For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 800-267-4350, extension 2354, [email protected]