Roy Sakuma Studios - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lucky You Live Hawaii: Kaimuki

Roy Sakuma Studios

There's a little music studio in Kaimuki dedicated to teaching people how to play Hawaii's favorite instrument. Of course we're talking about the ukulele.

We're talking about the Roy Sakuma Studios in Kaimuki. Roy is one of Hawaii's best known instructors. Today he gave our News 8's Darren Pai a lesson.

"There are some things you can strum really fast. It looks impressive, but I think the beauty is the melody," says Roy.

His fingers and the ukulele just seem to fit - but it wasn't always for Roy Sakuma.

"All my friends were good ukulele players and I wanted to be like them. Unfortunately, I had no talent," says Roy.

His skills grew with practice and study until it was time to start giving lessons himself.

"It's been my lifelong dream, I'm very happy I'm still involved with the ukulele," says Roy.

Some of Sakuma's students now work as instructors in his ukulele studio. But the joy of teaching remains the same.

"Just to see them learn a song, that smile on their face, that gleam in their eye that they learned something well, it's so rewarding."

Sometimes Sakuma needs to handle difficult cases himself.  In a few minutes - he's taught a few basic chords and the techniques to string them together.

"The first experience with the ukulele can be very successful. And that can lead to an interest in the instrument," says Roy.

Sakuma's love for the instrument created an annual celebration - an ukulele festival held at Kapiolani Park but teaching remains Sakuma's passion. Some of his students went on to professional careers - but his dreams are much simpler.

"It's not my dream to record. My dream has always been to teach."

Click here for more information on Roy Sakuma.

Click here to watch Lucky You Live Hawaii