RGT Ukulele Exams Update

rgt ukuleleAlthough they were only launched in September at the RGT conference, and the first entry deadline was soon after on October 1st, the RGT ukulele exams have already attracted surprising numbers of entrants from all over the UK, from as far south as Devon and as far north as Aberdeen.

Not to mention overseas entries, with Malaysia leading the way in the ukulele popularity stakes.

Plus, in addition to ukulele grade exams, there have been plenty of entrants for the ukulele filmed and recorded Performance Awards.


Uke Popularity


I suppose we shouldn’t be so surprised at the fast pace with which these exams have taken off, given that they are the first ever series of fully-accredited Ofqual-regulated exams in ukulele playing and that the ukulele is growing so rapidly in popularity.

For example, according to Music Trades magazine, over the last nine months, ukulele imports to the U.S. have gone up 45% to 632,119 units, and bear in mind that this figure doesn’t include all the ukes that are made in the U.S.

Ukes now account for 19% of U.S. guitar imports on a per unit basis.

It’s a similar story in the U.K., where a survey of music stores by the Musical Instrument Retail Conference (MIRC) found that the ukulele was the instrument that had grown most in popularity.

The Daily Telegraph reported a MIRC spokesperson as saying: “The ukulele is a phenomenon.

Retailers are reporting massive sales. They’re easy to get hold of, cheap to buy and more straightforward to learn than a lot of instruments.”

There are estimated to be well over 100 ukulele clubs across Britain, these cater primarily for adults and making yourself known to any uke clubs close to you could offer the opportunity to gain many potential students.

In addition, many primary schools have abandoned the recorder in favour of the ukulele as the first instrument that children learn to play – presenting ukulele teachers with opportunities to teach either in schools or to offer out of school lessons.


Teaching Uke


Given all of the above, there’s no doubting that if you want to increase your roster of students, adding ukulele to the styles you offer would almost certainly have the most beneficial outcome.

And although the ukulele has its own techniques and styles, because it has so much in common with the guitar, it’s relatively easy, with a little effort and research, for guitar teachers to transfer their existing guitar playing skills to the ukulele, at least for the early stages of uke playing.

The RGT ukulele exams start at a very elementary Initial Stage level, which any guitar teacher should be easily able to master and teach in a very short time, and therefore provide the ideal framework on which to base your uke lessons.

Using the exams also means that you can offer students the opportunity to gain an accredited qualification as a result of their ukulele studies with you.

If you do decide to teach ukulele, don’t forget to update your teaching profile on the RGT website – otherwise prospective students won’t realise that you now offer ukulele lessons.

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