Get in Tune by Learning to Play the Ukulele in Hawaii

From seasoned mea ho'okani pila (musicians) to absolute beginners, everyone is welcome to join us in learning how to play the ukulele and feel the essence of the aloha spirit. Just imagine strumming along to traditional and popular mele (chants, poems, and songs) with a kumu (teacher) in an idyllic setting. It’s all part of our Culture & Wellness Program for guests at the Waikiki Resort Hotel. 


Brief History of the Ukulele in Hawaii

  • A member of the guitar family, the ukulele is a four-string instrument made typically with soft nylon or gut strings. 

  • Originating in Portugal, many claim that it was brought to Hawaii in the 1900s by the settlers Manuel Nunes, Augusto Dias, and Jose do Espirito Santo.

  • Augusto Dias was known to entertain King David Kalakaua at the Iolani Palace. The king fell in love with the sound and made the ukulele an inseparable part of the island’s traditional music. 

  • The instrument has since been made famous by musicians such as Eddie Vedder and Jason Mraz, and Oahu-born Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's iconic version of Over the Rainbow.


Why Learn to Play the Ukulele?

  • It’s Simple to Learn: Learning the ukulele is considered easier than the guitar and other stringed instruments, making it the perfect choice for novice musicians. Most people can strum along with or play a full song after just one lesson.  

  • It’s Portable: The instrument’s compact size makes it ideal for taking on trips, on planes, to the beach or park, and to our complimentary lessons

  • It’s Adaptable: Almost all popular music songs - even ones with complex chords - can be adapted to be played on this four-string wonder. 

  • It Sounds Awesome: The rich, heart-warming, and infectious sounds bring an instant smile to everyone around. 

  • It’s Affordable: Cheap, entry-level ukuleles can be found for around $50. Around Waikiki and Honolulu, you’ll find a range of free and paid classes, with paid individual options typically starting from around $40 ( for 30-minute sessions).


Learning to Play the Ukulele at Waikiki Resort Hotel

At the Waikiki Resort Hotel, you can fully embrace Hawaiian culture and aloha with our Experiences & AmenitiesUkulele lessons are one of our newest additions and are available for free to all guests staying with us.

  • Time: Our hour-long immersive classes with an experienced teacher take place between 9 am and 10 am. 

  • Day: Every Tuesday, although the schedule is subject to change so check with the front desk before your lesson. 

  • Location: In the hotel lobby at the Waikiki Resort Hotel.

  • Cost: Nothing! Classes are free for all hotel guests. 

  • What to Expect: With the guidance of your kumu, you’ll learn some basic chords and develop the ability to play along with traditional Hawaiian songs. What better way to bring home Hawaii with you?

  • What to Bring: Maikaʻi (good) vibes and a desire to learn. You’ll be given a ukulele to use, although if you have your own then be sure to bring it along. 

  • How to Book: Contact the front desk to learn more about signing up for your free ukulele lessons.

Learning to play the ukulele is a wonderful way to ensure you get an uplifting start to your day in paradise. It’s just one of many rewarding things you can include on your Oahu itineraryBook your stay at the Waikiki Resort Hotel and get ready to let the music play.