Which Ukulele Class Pack

Recommending Ukulele Class Packs

We are often asked, "what ukulele do you recommend?". There are several factors to considering which brand of ukulele is right for your school. Price, ease to play, build quality, sound, maintenance and of course safety should all be considered. (Not excluding the all-important cost!) We have feedback from teachers which has enabled us to focus on the important factors. For example, staying in tune children complaining of scratched/irritated wrists from catching the sharp edge on the bridge.

Build Quality

As an investment, needing to withstand heavy usage and frequent knocks, build quality is essential. The build quality helps ensure the ukulele stays in tune, lasts longer and is safe to use in years to come. Materials used, design and how the ukulele's have been constructed will be reviewed when comparing the top 5 brands.

How Easy to Play

Considering these instruments are designed for children to be able to learn and play, how easy the ukulele is to play is one of the most important factors. The 'action' (how high the strings are from the neck) is crucial. Some instruments have a 'high' action meaning the string has further to be pressed down to achieve the desired note. For children this may prove to be more difficult. The shape of the neck and weight/shape are also factors.

The Bridge

We compare the bridges on all the ukuleles. The bridge determines how easy it is to change broken strings, contribute to the action and safety/comfort of playing. (More on safety below)

Sharp Edges

It goes without saying that where possible, ukuleles should not have sharp edges. However, because of how they are constructed many do! A common complaint is the bridge scratching children's arms as they strum/play as their wrist brushes past the sharp edge of the bridge or the edges of the frets can be sharp as their hand move along the fret board.

How Thay Sound

At the end of the day, the ukuleles are instruments and how they sound is an important factor. The resulting sound emitted can make the difference as to how much the child enjoys playing the instrument. In a classroom environment, this is magnified of course by 20 to 30 ukuleles all being played at the same time!


There is no getting away with it, price plays a huge part in purchasing for your school. School Supplier works directly with manufacturers and some brands to negotiate the best price for you. This means you may be getting a better instrument for your money. For this reason, we shall also list the full recommended retail price.

The Video

Listen to how they sound and see 'action' height, frets and bridge close ups.


Encore Soprano

30% Discount with School Supplier.

The Encore is the lowest priced ukulele in this list so for schools buying on price alone must be a consideration. The action is a little higher than we would like to make it a little more difficult to play but the frets have been cleaned right back so the children cannot feel the 'ridges' or any sharp edges as they move their hand along the neck.

The bridge is a plastic block with the corners of this being very slightly rounded off. This can be caught but not as sharp as other ukuleles on the market. The tuners for the money are effective. As with any new strings on a ukulele they will take a while to settle and will need retuning for the first few uses. There is very minimal movement from the neck as tuning resulting in going back to the other strings to tune up as you go. The Encore does not come with a bag.

Available in red, sunburst, natural and blue

Octopus Academy Soprano

38% Discount with School Supplier.

A popular ukulele with schools because it is easy to play. The Octopus is the highest price out of the 5 we have reviewed here.

Immediately identifiable with the shaped headstock (Octopus Logo), it has a low action which makes it easier to play. The frets are very slightly wider than the neck meaning they can be felt as the hand moves along the neck. These are slightly sharper than we would like but in the main are reasonably smooth.

The one main thing we would change is the bridge. It is a wooden block with the corner being sharp. 'If' the child's arm brushes past this on each strum this has been known to scratch/irritate their wrist.

Fitted with Aquila strings the ukulele does reasonably well staying in tune once they have settles after a few uses and tunings. The body made from Agathis with an Okoume neck.

Available in various colours and optional graphics

Laka Rainbow Series

30% Discount with School Supplier.

The second cheapest on our list, just behind the Encore. Laka are a well-known brand manufacturing various models of ukulele's

Manufactured using basswood, known for being a hard waring wood, we think the Laka offers good long-lasting value. The action is higher than what we would like (similar to the Encore) but again the frets are well set resulting in a smooth neck with no sharp edges. The ukulele comes with a bag and like the Encore has the plastic bridge.

Available in natural, blue, violet, green, indigo, orange, yellow and red.

Stagg US

Significant Discount with School Supplier.

With the School Supplier exclusive education discount, the Stagg comes in slightly cheaper than the Octopus although the recommended retail price is slightly higher. If looking for ukulele's that come in various colours, we like the Stagg as it is a very well put together, solid ukulele. With a basswood body and nato neck it is a hard waring instrument. Like the Octopus the action is very low making it easy to play but the frets are well set in making the neck smooth. The wood of the body is slightly thicker making the ukulele feeling much more robust than the ukulele's above.

Again, if we were to change one thing it would be to change the bridge which is a composite walnut with a sharper corner than we would have liked. The body is lightly deeper than other coloured ukulele's resulting in a warmer/softer tone along with the thicker basswood.

Being well built and the more solid of the coloured ukulele's, we were impressed how quickly they stayed in tune as there is no pull on the neck as the tension of the strings is increased. Each ukulele comes with its own bag, shrink wrapped in the box.

Available in the following colours: Grass, Lemon, Lips, Natural, Black, Ocean, Red, Violet and White

Tetra KEARL-21

Half price for education.

The ukulele with the highest recommended retail price but comes in slightly cheaper than the Octopus and Stagg.

The only ukulele in the list not available in different colours but is manufactured using mahogany, providing a warmer tone. The Tetra is manufactured differently to all others in the list as it is manufactured using traditional techniques, found more commonly with more expensive ukuleles.

We think this ukulele is ideal for high schools or for schools who may not prioritise the colourful finishes. A wider body than the others with a slightly rounded back to help the instrument resonate, the Tetra can be considered more of an instrument designed for the ukulele player. The low profile, plastic bridge is our favourite in the list as wrists will not likely catch it when strumming. The bridge also has pins rather than the traditional bridge block meaning it is easier to replace strings without needed to tie the strings in the traditional method to stop them from slipping and therefore going out of tune.

The action is low, albeit not as low as the Stagg or Octopus but is still easy to play at the top of the neck. The frets are reasonably set leaving a smooth neck although not as smooth as the Stagg, Encore or Laka.

The Tetra is also fitted with strap buttons making it easy to fit a strap, making it easier to play if standing up/performing.

The Tetra does not come with a bag.

So, Which Is Right For You?

We hope this short review has helped you decide which is best for you. If you are still not sure, you can call the team at School Supplier who will gladly help you through the process and ensure you are getting best value for your school.

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