One day while teaching at at a local music shop, I noticed a mother and her young daughter trying to decide which ukulele they should purchase. The mother was holding an Ohana ukulele, while her daughter was holding a Luna ukulele with a honu (sea turtle) imprint around the sound hole. The sales man came; the ukulele with the honu was hung back in it's place and the Ohana was taken to the counter for purchase.
Now, these ukuleles were comparable in price and they both play nicely. Perhaps, one cost a little more...I dunno. What I do know is this: Choosing an instrument is exciting, and having the right one can inspire learning!
When shopping for an ukulele with your child, be ready to guide them to quality instruments and then...let them choose. I'm not saying to buy the top brand instrument, but, rather, I am suggesting you guide them away from poor quality ukulele's that will go out of tune easily, and may not play well or sound good. When you are at the store, encourage your child to play the different ukuleles and then use guiding questions. Ask them which ukulele sounds better, which one feels better to play, and then ask them which one they like best.
I want to return to that scenario I mentioned earlier. The mother of this little girl looked at me, as if to say, "What should I do?" It was at that moment that I smiled from afar and discreetly nodded towards ukulele her daughter wanted. This is the awesome part: That woman smiled back and let her daughter choose the Luna with the honu on it! The exchange between the two of them at the moment was priceless! You should have seen it! The little girls' eyes lit up as her mother bought her the ukulele of her choice. This parent had the opportunity to say yes, and she took it!
I am certain that this little girl loved her ukulele, and that in of itself can inspire someone to play. Believe me. I see it happen all the time with adults. But thatʻs another story and . . . that is price tag of a whole other level.