Ukuleles, creativity and technology: three topics have never been hotter for K-12 music education! Ukuleles are a great tool for teaching harmonic function and accompaniment. In addition, they are great for little hands. Creativity tasks such as arranging, improvisation and composition allow students to take the knowledge you have presented and apply it. Creativity is an essential skill for students to develop as grow. Technology is not only at the frontier of all education, it also allows for students to choose their own educational pathway. This course is designed to help you learn some ukulele skills that can be brought to your students; present some possibilities for arranging, improvisation, and composition with the ukulele; and to translate these ideas to a virtual classroom that can be used right away with your students.
Required materials: A ukulele and headphones are required; a laptop or video camera is encouraged though not required.

Instructor: Robin Giebelhausen

Giebelhausen,_Robin_Headshot_Fa14Robin Giebelhausen is an assistant professor of music education at the University of New Mexico, where she teaches foundations and methods courses in elementary and secondary general music. She has a BME in music education from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (2004) and an MM from Northwestern University (2008). Currently; she is a PhD candidate at Michigan State University with a cognate in creativity. In addition, she serves as the chapter advisor to UNM’s collegiate NAfME chapter. She has completed levels training in Orff-Schulwerk, Kodály, Music Learning Theory. Professor Giebelhausen was a public school music teacher for six years in Libertyville, IL specializing in middle school general music and choir. She spent three years as the general music teacher (PreSchool-8th grade) and choral director in Grand Ledge, MI. She has research interests that include secondary general music, music technology, gender issues in music, and music composition pedagogy. She has publications in the Michigan Music Educator, GIA’s Musicianship: Composing in Band and Orchestra, and the Journal of Research in Music Education (in press). She maintains an active video blog through her YouTube channel ( covering topics related to music, education, and various other interests. She has presented at the Illinois Music Educators Conference, the Michigan Music Conference, the New Mexico Music Education Association Conference, the American String Teacher’s Association Conference, the New Directions in Music Conference in MI, and the Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium in FL. More information can be found at

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288