Our attempt to get Sing-Ulele! started with homeschoolers in February failed to find sufficient interest. So this project has been tabled for now.

How to say Sing-Ulele! (sing-oo-LAY-lee)
  • Learn to sing a bunch of great folk songs.
  • Learn to strum along to those songs with simple ukulele chords.
  • Take the show on the road, where we’ll lead singalongs for assisted living facilities, for seniors who grew up singing these same songs, and would love to sing them again!

NOTICE: The Beginning Homeschool Troupe begins in the first week of February, and we do not have all the details worked out yet–how many separate classes we’ll have demand for, or when they’ll rehearse. So please read this page very carefully, and if you’re interested, contact Jack Pelham right away, letting him know your preferred day. Right now, Wednesday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 is the default target slot, but this can be changed if there’s enough demand—or a second class can be started separately.

Clements/Hollie Parsons Elementary Students in Copperas Cove, TX
The standard ukulele family

Sing-Ulele! is the general name for any of a number of singing/ukulele troupes we want to kick off, starting in February 2024. The first one’s for homeschoolers and their parents, but later troupes will be open to all adults, including retirees. We’re scrambling to see if we can get enough of the concept together, and get it publicized, in time to give it a go this semester.

Derby Ukulele Club, Derby, England

DESCRIPTION (Generally): Sing-Ulele! is a club that gets together to sing folk songs and standards, and we accompany ourselves on ukuleles. Once we have enough songs ready, we may take it on the road and put on singalong events for the residents at local assisted living facilities. These performances could possibly become a regular activity―even weekly or bi-weekly. And this could potentially involve having several Sing-Ulele! troupes running each semester, and alternating their weeks between rehearsals and singalong performances. (See below.) It fits the mission of Sing Montana! in several ways, and is an excellent charitable outreach for us, as well as being quite helpful to our continued quest of simply getting our name out into the Billings community. But besides all that, this is a great way to keep the old songs alive, and to reach out, human-to-human to our local senior citizens!

Starting this February

Beginning Homeschool Troupe (Baritone Ukulele Only).

What we would start in February is a beginning troupe of Sing-Ulele!, exclusively for homeschool students (9 and up) and their interested parents. It would meet sometime on Wednesdays in Billings. In the beginning troupe, we would all play Baritone ukuleles, and we’d learn folk songs. The members (no audition) would have to provide their own instruments and music stands, and they’d have to buy the same book, which we think we can get at $10 each. The semester would run for 13 weeks and probably end in some sort of final performance event. See the schedule below.

3rd Graders in Upper Arlington School District, Ohio

Why the Baritone Ukulele?

The four instruments in the standard ukulele family are each played quite similarly, but they are built in different keys. This would be very confusing to a class of beginners, so we need to pick just one as the standard instrument for that class. We’ve chosen the baritone ukulele (the largest of the four) because it is built in the same key as the guitar, and is the most convenient “gateway instrument” to the guitar. (The tuning and fingering of the smallest 4 guitar strings is identical to that of the baritone ukulele, so students who want to go on to guitar can transition very easily.)

Can Intermediate or Advanced Players Join?

Yes, they may find the chords rather simple, but they still get all the singing of the songs, which is worth a lot!

My child plays one of the other ukulele types—can he join?

If he’s playing at an intermediate or advanced level, he can—but only with teacher approval in advance of the first class. But he has to understand that we’ll be teaching the chords for the baritone ukulele, which are different from the chords he plays on his soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele. So he’ll need to be rock-solid on that, knowing his own chords.

SCHEDULE FOR SPRING 2024—Beginning Homeschool Troupe

NOTICE: If we have enough interest outside of the following day/time, we can start a second troupe. If you are interested please do not delay in contacting us, or you’ll be left out of the decision making process as to the class time/day.

Youth ChoirWednesdays11:00am to 12:15pm
Week 1RehearsalWednesday, February 7, 2024
Week 2RehearsalWednesday, February 14, 2024
Week 3RehearsalWednesday, February 21, 2024
Week 4RehearsalWednesday, February 28, 2024
Week 5RehearsalWednesday, March 6, 2024
Week 6RehearsalWednesday, March 13, 2024
Week 7RehearsalWednesday, March 20, 2024
Week 8RehearsalWednesday, March 27, 2024
Week 9RehearsalWednesday, April 3, 2024
Week 10RehearsalWednesday, April 10, 2024
Week 11RehearsalWednesday, April 17, 2024
Week 12RehearsalWednesday, April 24, 2024
Week 13Dress RehearsalMonday, April 29, 2024. 5:30pm-8:30pm–Sing Montana! Concert
Week 13PerformanceFriday, May 3, 2024. 5:30pm-8:30pm–Sing Montana! Concert
Week 13PerformanceSaturday, May 4, 2024. 5:30pm-8:30pm–Sing Montana! Concert


Tuition is $100 per member per semester. This will cover all the rehearsals and performances. It will also include a Sing-Ulele! t-shirt, provided we have at least 20 members enrolled.

What You Need to Bring

  • A baritone ukulele. You can buy them new locally at Hansen Music or Eckroth Music, or at Amazon (see Amazon’s choices here). For a pretty good one, you should expect to spend somewhere between roughly $100 and $150, with accessories like a case, strap, and tuner being extra.
  • A songbook. This exact book here at Amazon: Baritone Ukulele Songbook by Thomas Balinger. And we strongly recommend taking it to UPS to have the binding cut off and placed with a spiral binding (for under $5)–which makes it much more manageable for hands-free use on a music stand.
  • A portable music stand. Any stand of the general sort shown in this Amazon listing would be fine. They start at $13.99 and go up from there. (You can also buy stands of this sort at Hansen and Eckroth.)
  • An electronic tuner. Any clip-on tuner of the sort shown here will do. They start at under $10. You’ll need batteries, of course—and most of them come with batteries.

Your total expense for these purchases (if you buy all of it new) would be from roughly $140 to $190. If you add the tuition $100, the grand total comes to between $240 and $290.


The rehearsals and the performances will be at
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 180 24th St W, Billings, MT 59102

(Across from West High) See Google Maps for this location.

How to Register

Registration is coming soon, provided we get enough interest. Please contact Jack Pelham right away through out contact form here. Be sure to get on his contact list to receive updates about this offering.

Other Possible Sing-Ulele! Troupes in the Future

Depending on how it goes, other troupes are possible. Here are some ideas.

Advanced Homeschool Troupe (All Ukes+)

This troupe would include players of the Baritone Ukulele, but also Soprano, Concert, and Tenor players―as well as guitars, and possibly, even a string bass, or bass ukulele, even. It would play songs with more than 5 chords, where the Beginning Homeschool Troupe would play 3- and 4-chord songs. Like the Beginning Homeschool Troupe, this troupe would also perform routinely in various assisted living facilities, and possibly at other events.

Adult Troupe

This troupe would meet weekly in daytime hours, and would be for adult members who are available then. (We hope it would also include retired seniors. ) Like the others, it, too, would perform at assisted living facilities, and possibly at other events.

About the Singing

These troupes are not choirs, and they’re not auditioned. We will teach the songs in our rehearsals, and we’ll hope that enough of each group can sing in tune so as to give us a good overall sound. One of the main objectives is to keep the folk music alive, as well as the “standards” from what has long been informally known as “the great American songbook”. This do-it-yourself approach puts the music back in the hands of the common person―like it was in previous generations in this country―so that they can experience it for themselves, as opposed to experiencing it merely as a YouTube watcher! This experience will be great for everybody, from the total novice who’d like to give it a whirl, to the gifted musician who’s headed for a music degree in the future. These songs are our shared heritage, and many people, upon learning them, are surprised that they enjoy them as much as they do. These are very good songs, of course, having stood the test of time to survive to this day. The public schools have largely abandoned them in recent years, so we want to push the pendulum the other direction, to try to keep them alive!


This idea is developing at whirlwind speed as of 7 January 2024. We’ll get more sophisticated with all this shortly, but in the mean time, if you’re interested, contact Jack Pelham through the Contact Page here.