Aaah, the ukulele…that very small, “guitar-looking-fiddle” of an instrument thing.
The ukulele has that unique Hawaiian sound that so many have come to know. There are millions of people who leave Hawaii every year with a brand new ukulele and the passion to learn how to play it.
Will you bring home a ukulele or take lesson during your holiday to Hawaii? Probably! The sound and feel are addicting and it is the perfect keepsake from your Hawaiian holiday and a way to always remember your trip.
History of the Ukulele
First of all, the pronunciation is often butchered by tourists in Hawaii. The correct pronunciation is oo-koo-leh-leh opposed to the mispronunciation of yoo-koo-lay-lay.
The ukulele actually originates in Portugal. During the 18th century, traditional lutes and guitars were made smaller for easier transportation and affordability. These small instruments were known as machete de braca.
As Portuguese workers came to Hawaii, they brought the machete de braca with them on boats. On board on boats were 3 wood workers who each hoped to open furniture businesses. Since furniture didn’t appeal to the simple, native Hawaiians those businesses soon failed. However, the Hawaiians did fall in love with the machete and the cabinet makers were soon making them in droves for the locals.
The instrument eventually became the “ukulele” in Hawaiian. Literally translated the word means “jumping flea”. The name probably came about because of the way the musician’s fingers jumped around the strings and instrument. The instrument was a favorite of the Hawaiian royal family.
Where to Get Free Ukulele Lessons in Hawaii
While the instrument didn’t originate with Hawaii, the Polynesian culture quickly adopted the instrument and made the sound uniquely synonymous with Hawaiian folk music and the luau.
Many locations, particularly hotels, give FREE ukulele lessons as part of their amenities and entertainment.
· The Royal Hawaiian Center on Oahu
· The Sheraton Waikiki Hotel
· Kaanapali Beach Hotel on Maui
· Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Big Island
· Kona Seaside Hotel on the Big Island
· Kauai Hyatt on Kauai
Those are just a few of the hotels and resorts on the Hawaiian Islands where you can get free ukulele lessons during your Hawaiian holiday. If the particular lodging you’re staying at does not provide free lessons then be sure to ask the concierge where you can find them for a deal or free nearby.
If you do bring home a ukulele from your holiday in Hawaii then you can rest assured that your lessons don’t have to end in Hawaii. There are many spots online that offer free ukulele lessons.