JHUI-trained Professional Ukulele Teachers
We are the Hunter’s leading Ukulele Educators, for both children and adults. We started teaching ukulele to adults in 2009, and to children in 2010. We now teach at seven different schools in the Lower Hunter, with some of our children even performing at the 2013 New Zealand Ukulele Festival!
Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart are the only Australians who are Level 3 Certified Ukulele Teachers in the internationally acclaimed James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) ukulele teacher training. Starting in 2011 Mark and Jane attended the JHUI Institutes in Vancouver and then completed 3 years of supervised study and assessment in formal ukulele education teacher training. JHUI is based upon the longstanding (40 years) and internationally respected Canadian ukulele curriculum as developed and promoted by Chalmers Doane and James Hill.
In July 2014 Mark and Jane both became Level 3 Certified JHUI teachers, and then became James’ Australian partners in establishing the JHUI-Australia Institute here in Newcastle, the first of which was held in November 2014.
What does this mean?
For forty years, the Canadian education system has championed the ukulele as the best introduction to music for children. They know that the research shows that musical literacy is enormously helpful in enhancing literacy and numeracy. Which is to say, music education is vital to a well rounded education.
We feel it important to plug into that knowledge pool (primarily through the Ukulele in the Classroom book series), but also to be flexible enough to adapt to the needs and desires of communities, individuals and situations.
Hence our teaching approach for children involves two strategies:
- A solid grounding in musical theory, courtesy of the ukulele and the Ukulele in the Classroom text.
- A fun approach that utilises contemporary repertoire to ensure that children are engaged in music making that is of their era and tastes, yet which is also a vehicle for teaching and consolidating instrumental (and voice) technique and music theory.
We are now in our fifth year of ukulele education of children in Newcastle and have a well structured program delivered by staff who are musically experienced and who all hold either a NSW Working with Children Check or current NSW Teachers’ Registration.
Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart (described above) lead the teaching of ukulele to children for The Sum of the Parts (music) in the Lower Hunter area. In addition to Mark and Jane, we engage the services of other experienced ukulele teachers, all of whom have recognised the joy and usefulness inherent in ukulele education.
Dianne Murray is a recently retired Primary School teacher who previously taught at Dudley Public School. Di still does some casual teaching, but is more interested in teaching ukulele to children. She has worked with The Sum of the Parts (music) for two years, and teaches ukulele independently at other local schools (including continuing at the very successful Dudley Public School Ukulele Program). Di is also the Coordinator of the children’s ukulele festivals at the 2012 and 2014 Newkulele Festivals here in Newcastle. She is also a teacher/leader at the Myall River Ukestra in Tea Gardens each week.
Di is a longstanding member of the Ukastle Ukestra and has performed at many ukulele festivals, including Hawaii and Melbourne (amongst others). She is also currently enrolled in Year One of Australia’s Inaugural James Hill Ukulele Initiative course.
Gail Walsh is a school teacher who started teaching with The Sum of the Parts (music) in 2014, as well as undertaking her own ukulele teaching at Charlestown Public School. Gail is also a stalwart performer with the Ukastle Ukestra, performing at numerous ukulele festivals including Melbourne and Brisbane (not to mention Newkulele).
Leigh I’Anson is a graduate of Newcastle Conservatorium of Music and is currently enrolled as a student teacher at Wesley Institute. He started working with The Sum of the Parts (music) in 2013, teaching ukulele at schools, with adults and in hospitals. Leigh is an extraordinarily talented musician and is the Musical Director at Crossroads Christian Outreach Church in Beresfield.
For Parents, Teachers and Principals who want ukulele in their school
We offer a flexible, pedagogically sound, child-centred music program.
We have developed a ukulele-focussed, accessible and entertaining, yet content-relevant music education program for schools. The ukulele is the best and most accessible instrument to teach and encourage melodic, chordal, rhythmic and vocal skills in students.
The Sum of the Parts (music) is keen to work with your school to develop a program that meets your needs and the needs of parents.
We can do this in a number of ways:
- Conduct fun and educational professional development sessions with your teachers.
- Provide you with appropriate resources to undertake the teaching yourself (including the provision of ukuleles and a full educational curriculum).
- Come into your school to provide ongoing ukulele education for your students (usually paid for by the parents at very reasonable cost).
If you are a parent (who likes to take an active role in shaping their child’s education), then talk to us about how we have helped other parents get ukulele into their schools
If you are a Principal or school leader, talk to us about how we can help improve your school’s musical education program.