The ‘ukulele is rooted in Hawai‘i’s culture and history as far back as1879, thought to be brought by Portuguese settlers. Since then, the instrument has become synonymous with island music and has even gained traction in more mainstream music. If you’re looking to improve your ‘ukulele skills, or pick it up for the first time, our ‘Ukulele Workshop presents an amazing opportunity for intermediates and beginners to strum the summer away. Let us share a bit about why our summer program is so special!

Learn From The Pros

Our Pacific Music Institute 2023 ‘Ukulele Workshop will be led by brothers Kala‘e and Kamaka Camarillo. The Camarillo brothers have experience recording award-winning albums, performing concerts, and more. In fact, Kala’e is nominated for Entertainer of the Year for this year’s Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards!

Nainoa Marcus, PMI ‘22 ‘Ukulele Workshop student, says, “I like how PMI chooses artists as teachers.” It’s because these experiences provide them a unique perspective from which to teach our students…and they love it!

Returning as the ‘Ukulele Workshop director from PMI 2022, Kala‘e is no amateur at teaching. PMI student Ariana Tyler credits her long-time love of the instrument to him:

I've been playing the ukulele for about 7-8 years, and I started because Mr. Camarillo was my teacher in the 5th grade…There was a program after school and we just played and jammed out all the time. He taught me a lot of the basic stuff I know so it's nice to see him at PMI.

About his teaching experience, she adds, “[he] knows how to teach kids!”

Intensive But Not Intense

Pacific Music Institute is sometimes described as a summer music intensive. Why? In this case, our ‘Ukulele Workshop is only five days long! For students who have never picked up an ‘ukulele before, it may seem like a short period of time to walk away knowing how to play. 

According to our ‘Ukulele Workshop Director, Kala‘e Camarillo, “our program is special because students will not only learn how to play a few songs, but they will also walk away with an essential understanding of the fretboard and music theory.” What exactly do students learn in this five-day workshop?

  • Fretboard Navigation
  • Achieving a Good Tone
  • Rhythm and Strumming
  • Composing and Songwriting
  • Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, and Dynamics in Music
  • How to Practice
  • Basic Music Theory Concepts
  • Improvising Over A 12-Bar Blues and Chord Substitutions


Wow! See what we mean by “intensive”? While you’ll be learning a ton of instrumental skills, you’ll also be signing up for five days full of fun and music. Take it from PMI ‘22 ‘Ukulele Workshop student, Christopher Chang, who said:

[PMI’s ‘Ukulele Workshop is] longer than some and shorter than some, but I'm pretty sure it's the perfect amount of time. I have a really small class and two teachers so each person gets an individual amount of attention.

Nainoa Marcus, another PMI ‘22 ‘Ukulele Workshop student, adds: “It’s fun!” 

The Benefits of Music

Many love learning the ‘ukulele because it’s an easy instrument to pick up and jam with. Plus, you don’t have to become an expert at it to enjoy the benefits of music! Being able to strum a few songs on the ‘ukulele, or teach yourself a new piece on it, can add a lot to your life. 

Ariana says playing the ‘ukulele is an extremely valuable creative outlet that helps her to tackle whatever life throws her way. She also points out it can bring people together. “If I ever feel a little sad I like to look up a different song and pick it up on the ‘ukulele, clarinet, or piano. I can just jam out by myself, or with my brother because he likes to sing. Sometimes I play the ‘ukulele and my brother sings along.”

Nainoa echoes the sentiment, adding that playing the ‘ukulele helps him to express his feelings. Even Christopher feels the same way:

Music is something I go to when I'm tired or stressed and want to calm down and have a moment of peace.

Music helps everyone differently, but having an outlet to express yourself is always a great thing in our book! Picking up the ‘ukulele, or improving your skills, can give you a new way to be creative. 

Pacific Music Institute 2023

We are counting down the days until PMI 2023. If you want to follow along and see what’s happening at PMI, don’t forget to follow us on social media