by Teresa Jennings

If your ukulele students can play a C chord and an F chord, they can play this tune! As suggested on the music, the strumming they do can be super simple or complex, depending on the skill level of your players. You can also mix it up, letting different players do what is comfortable for them.

The real charm of this little song is the vocal part. There is only one word throughout, so memorizing is not a problem there. (Okay, two words if you count the "ooh" at the end...) And the Hawaiian pronunciation of ukulele adds to the fun: oo-koo-lay-lay. Be sure to have your students sing with pure vowel sounds so you're not hearing "eeyoo" or "layee," etc. Less movement of the mouth and lips during vowels will help with this.

There are three vocal parts, all of them simple and repetitive, literally. They can come and go as we have indicated, or you can adapt them as needed. Though you don't have to have parts two and three to do the song successfully, they are very neat and happy sounding. Even if you only have one or two kids (older kids, teacher, parent, helper) doing those parts, it will audibly be worth the effort.

The recorded tracks add to the enjoyment of the tune as it shifts back and forth from shuffle to hip hop groove. This is amplified during the section at measure 17 when the rhythm section suddenly stops the third time through revealing the vocals and ukuleles for a few moments.

There are four clicks (drumsticks) prior to the song so that ukulele players can enter in the first measure. These clicks could be continued similarly within the tune with rhythm sticks, claves, or drumsticks if you want to add some percussion, too. Keep the beat steady as we did on the recording. This reinforcement will also help the ukulele players.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.