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 4 AUGUST 24, 2022
 Local Couple Shares Their Passion For ‘Ukulele In East O‘ahu Studio, Beyond
create a safe environment,” says Roy.
  realized teaching was more fun than trying to be the best ‘ukulele player in the world.
“I was able to teach children who were 4 years old how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star within a few lessons.”
Students also frequently showcase their skills at festi- vals and concerts. In fact, Roy and Kathy founded the annu- al ‘Ukulele Festival in Ka- pi‘olani Park in 1971, which quickly became the largest ‘ukulele festival in the world and “spread the joy of ‘ukule- le with many smiling faces in attendance,” Roy describes.
“I had this passion to teach children, and I taught a group of boys called The Termites,” Roy continues. “They played at the halftime of UH (University of Ha- wai‘i) games and all types of events, and were receiving beautiful exposure.”
tial in my life,” Roy ex- plains. “He not only taught me how to play but also encouraged Kathy — who became my wife — and I to open our own studio.”
dios followed.
“Our intent was to get
Roy Sakuma ‘Ukulele Studios students will display their talents at 3 p.m. Nov. 5 at Windward Mall “for a very special performance,” says Roy.
 Around that time, Roy started dating Kathy and, of course, he wanted to in- troduce her to his beloved teacher. Bypassing the lines going around Waikīkī hotels, Roy secured a centerstage table at Ohta-San’s show. During intermission, Ohta- San walked up to Kathy, re- alizing they were cousins.
In 1974, Roy Sakuma ‘Ukulele Studio in Kaimukī opened. After an ad in the paper, “the phone was flooded,” Roy remembers.
our students, whether adults or children, to enjoy the process of making mu- sic,” Kathy states. “But at some point, there would be this roadblock with reading music.”
Roy and Kathy Sakuma have ‘ukulele studios across O‘ahu, including one in Kaimukī. PHOTO COURTESY ROY SAKUMA ‘UKULELE STUDIOS
day with its more than 30 teachers, all of whom are the Sakumas’ former stu- dents “who know the joy of teaching and are able to
“My dream is to teach until the very end,” Roy concludes.
“Ohta-San was influen-
The Roy Sakuma studios continue to use this method of ‘ukulele instruction to-
Shortly thereafter, anoth- er studio opened in ‘Aiea, Kathy’s hometown, and the Kāne‘ohe and Mililani stu-
Roy continues, “I tran- scribed the music on the manual typewriter, and this was a major breakthrough. I was able to teach children who were 4 years old how to
play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star within a few lessons.”
For more info about ‘uku- lele lessons for all ages — both in person and virtually — visit
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