We love teaching this fun-to-play instrument to students of all ages! The uke is not just for Hawaiian music - nowadays you can hear people playing ukulele in many musical genres like pop and classical thanks to modern players like Jake Shimabukuro.
The ukulele dates from the 19th century as a Hawaiian adaptation of the Portuguese "machete," a small guitar-like instrument introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants. It gained great popularity in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread around the globe.
Ukuleles have 4 strings (as opposed to the 6 strings of a standard guitar), and the tone and volume of the instrument varies with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.
The ukulele is popular for all ages, but it's an especially great starter instrument for kids looking to eventually play the guitar. However, the uke is a legitimate instrument in its own right, as you have popular contemporary players constantly redefining the instrument and what we come to expect from the ukulele.
We have ukulele students of all ages and levels at Paper Moon. Don't be fooled by the instrument's small size - you can do a lot with the uke and learn a lot about music in the process!