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Ministry of Education.
Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore tō tātou waka e ū ki uta

"The Ukulele Maker", Junior Journal 58, level 2, 2019

01 June 2019

first two pages of ukulele journal article

Dave Gilberd is a luthier, a maker of stringed instruments. This report describes how Dave makes a ukulele.

You can find the article and the teaching notes here:

"The Ukulele Maker", Junior Journal 58, level 2, 2019

Other useful resources

  • Taonga Pūoro – In this article and audio Riki Bennett talks about taonga pūoro – Māori musical instruments – how they are made and the beautiful sounds that they make.
  • The Alexander Piano – This is an article about the world's largest grand piano. It was built by a 15-year-old boy at Alpine Farm in South Canterbury.
  • The Sshhmute – A practice mute for brass instruments – This article is about Trevor Bremner and the successful practice mute he designed.

Discussion questions

  • What is the purpose of the musical instruments that Dave and others have made?

Identify the sorts of things that musical instrument makers do as part of their technological practice:

  • What are they making and why?
  • How do they plan what to do?
  • What resources do they need?
  • How do they make the instrument?
  • How do they evaluate the instrument?

Name some of the materials that musical instrument makers use. Think about these materials in terms of:

  • Performance properties such as thermal and electrical conductivity, water resistance, texture, flexibility, and colour. What are some of the performance properties of the materials?
  • Manipulation such as shaping, joining, and finishing. How have the materials been manipulated to make a musical instrument?

Indicators of progression for discussion starters

Component Indicator Level
Characteristics of technology
  • identify that technology involves people designing and making technological outcomes for an identified purpose
  • identify that technological practice involves knowing what you are making and why, planning what to do and what resources are needed, and making and evaluating an outcome
Technological products
  • identify materials that technological products are made from
  • identify performance properties of common materials
  • identify how the materials have been manipulated to make the product


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