playing ukulele in hawaii

What does the perfect summer look like? Strumming in the sun, of course! We’re talking about strumming on the ukulele. Did you know…although the ukulele was patented in Hawaii and is often assumed to have been invented in our lovely islands, the instrument is actually of Portuguese origin. It was first introduced to Hawaii in the 19th century and quickly became an integral part of Hawaiian music tradition. It continues to grow in popularity today! (Learn more about the history and impact of Hawaii’s musical legacy in one of our PMI+ masterclasses!)

Even though the ukulele isn’t native to Hawaii, it is used in many popular Hawaiian songs like “Aloha Oe” and local favorites like “Over the Rainbow.” The unique sounds of the ukulele pair perfectly with the unique culture and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, making this the ideal place to learn how to play the ukulele. 

This year, we are thrilled to announce a new program: the Ukulele Workshop. This program is exclusive to the Pacific Music Institute and led by Jake Shimabukuro, an ukulele virtuoso and composer from Honolulu!

learn ukulele from jake shimabukuro

Jake has taken the ukulele to new heights and transcends musical genres, playing everything from jazz and blues to classical and folk. During this workshop, you’ll learn fretboard navigation, rhythm & strumming, basic music theories, composing & songwriting, and so much more!

We’ll be kicking things off July 14, with an online workshop, “Jam with Jake,” on Zoom that will allow you to participate in an awesome, interactive masterclass from the safety and comfort of your home! Student registration is just $15, but kama’aina students can sign up here for free

In-person workshops taught by Jake and friends will be held July 15-17 but space is extremely limited, so be sure to get your application in as soon as possible.

Following our inaugural Ukulele Workshop will be PMI’s inaugural performance in the Ukulele Festival Hawaii eFestival on July 18, with Jake! This online concert will be a fun, family event that celebrates the culture of Hawaii and the music of the ukulele. All PMI Ukulele Workshop students will be featured, so be sure to join us for the virtual event on the UFH YouTube channel at 9am HST! Plus, our very own PMI eFestival will be taking place on July 31 (August 1 for our students from Japan).

2021 ukulele programs

We’re looking forward to strumming in the sun with you this summer! Make sure you check out all of the details on our Ukulele Workshop and don’t forget to register to secure your spot.