J. Chalmers Doane based his classroom pedagogy on the teachings of Dr. George Bornoff, Boston University, where he studied. The goal is to produce musicians through a classroom instrumental program on par with established classical string, wind and choral training methods.
As they advance through the program, students are presented with increasingly challenging material (theory and exercises) with corresponding complexity of repertoire. It is a sequential, performance-based method through which students explore elements of music including:
- Fundamental technique (position, posture, tone)
- Ear training and sight reading
- Picking and strumming (Melody, harmony and rhythm)
- Arranging (Form, tempo and dynamics)
- Singing and playing
- Playing (solo and ensemble)
By the end of their 3rd year, students possess a strong foundation in all aspects of music literacy which can be applied to any musical avenue they wish to pursue. They will also have gained confidence by performing in a range of live and recorded settings.
The ukulele is an ideal vehicle for all aspects of music education. Its versatile qualities include:
- Portability and affordability
- The ability to play melody, harmony and rhythm
- The ability to be played while singing
- Adaptability to any style of music from classical and jazz through popular and world music
The possibilities on this small instrument are endless. Perhaps most important, is that learning and playing the ukulele is really, really fun!