Workshop FAQ

IN GENERAL
George Kahumoku Jr.’s workshop provides students with numerous music and cultural activities and classes. Students with varied experience can choose from several levels of classes from beginning to advanced Hawaiian slack key guitar and ‘ukulele. In 2017, a full Cultural track will be offered for people wishing to learn about Hawaiian culture but not wanting to play a musical instrument. Culture classes include lei and lauhala making, hula, kapa cloth making, oli (chant) and some Hawaiian language and cooking. Singing, voice, choir, and a beginner’s introduction to ‘ukulle are also offered.

Spouses or partners who do not wish to take instructional classes are offered a reduced fee which includes all meals, t-shirt, ticket to the Wednesday night Slack Key Show, auditing selected lecture/demo classes, and enjoying the evening kani ka pila (jam session).

For the Music Track students, the workshop also includes the opportunity to schedule private lessons with any of the music instructors at no extra fee. Sign up lists are available each morning, so students can choose lesson dates and times that best suit their class schedules.

On Sunday, at the conclusion of the workshop, all students will have the opportunity to perform as a group, along with George Kahumoku, Jr. and a number of the instructors, at the Maui Slack Key Guitar Festival at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului. The Slack Key Festival draws thousands of locals and tourists to this free event that includes a full day of music by many well-known performers. The event is also streamed live over the internet, so friends and family back home can watch.

For Music Track students, the workshop fee includes a Song Book and an extensive informational booklet titled “Dis N Dat” which describes guitar and ukulele tunings, chords, various “runs” on the fretboards, and instructional fingering exercises to practice.

For Culture Track students, most materials are covered (flowers for lei making, kapa cloth materials, lauhala bracelet kits, for example).  There may be a modest materials fee for some projects such as cloth for performance skirts or extra bracelet kits for the enthusiastic.

Each Workshop student receives a beautifully designed workshop T-shirt for wearing to the MACC final performance and to keep as a souvenier.

SCHEDULE

Beginning on Monday, breakfast buffet is open at 7:30 and we all assemble in the Aloha Pavilion by 8:30. Formal classes begin at 9:15. Lunch is served buffet style at noon, then classes begin again after lunch at 1:00 and continue into the afternoon. Dinner is at 6:00, again buffet style, and all meals include vegetarian selections, as well as highly nutritious and delicious island fare. Sometimes meals are catered by the hotel. Other meals are prepared by George Kahumoku, Jr. and his talented staff. Kitchen volunteers are always welcome.

George also offers an early Saturday morning class in preparing traditional Hawaiian “laulau”, which are steamed until dinnertime and served as part of an awesome, full luau dinner. You will not go hungry here!

Kani ka pila is from 7:30 pm until 9 pm most evenings at the Napili Kai’s Aloha Pavilion. Dessert is served after the kani ka pila.

Wednesday evening, all of the instructors will perform at George’s weekly Slack Key Show. All registered students & companions will have free admission to this show.

Accommodations/Lodging

How can I find a roommate for the workshop at the Napili Kai?

Send us an email at mauiworkshop@gmail.com with the word “Roommate” in the subject, and please indicate whether you have a preference for male or female.

We also send out an email to registered students about two months prior to the workshop, asking whether people are seeking roommates or are willing to share a room. Based on the responses, we provide the appropriate parties with contact information.

How do I make a room reservation at the Napili Kai Beach Resort at the special discounted workshop rate?

To reserve your room at the Napili Kai, call Napili Kai Reservation Services at 800-367-5030 and identify yourself as a Kahumoku Workshop student. Also, specify whether you need a room with a kitchen. The discounted rates are $199 (no kitchen) and $209 (kitchen) per night, plus local and state taxes. This compares to their normal room rates that start at $328 per night.

Where else do participants stay?

There are several other hotels and condos on Napili Bay to choose from. The Napili Kai Beach Resort is the workshop host hotel and offers a very competitive rate. Next door is the Mauian Hotel and the Napili Village, the closest to the workshop. There are many choices in the area, but keep in mind there is a huge advantage to living “on campus.” Having a place to take a quick nap, or practice quietly, and not have to commute will help keep in check the fatigue everyone feels at some time during the week.  The workshop is very intense.

The Napili Kai Beach Resort is offering a special room rate as low as $199.00 (plus taxes) per night for workshop students. You can make a reservation at this special rate by contacting Reservation Services at 800-367-5030 and identifying yourself as a Kahumoku Workshop student.

General Workshop Questions

My family wants to come to participate in some activities. Is that ok?

Family members or companions who do not wish to participate in music or cultural classes are offered a non-paricipant fee of $500 which includes all meals, auditing selected lecture/demo classes (non-hands on classes where all students watch and listen), ticket to the Wednesday Slack Key Show, and enjoying music at the evening kani ka pila (jam session).

What is the workshop tuition?

This year we have 2 levels of reduced rates for early registration and we have added a new Culture track.

Music Track: tuition is $1500 unless you register early. Before January 31, 2017, the early-bird tuition for the full workshop is $1400. From February 1, 2017 onward, the full tuition is $1500. Music Track tuition includes all instruction (group and private lessons) in all subjects (guitar, ukulele, vocal, culture), workshop t-shirt, one ticket to the Slack Key Show at the Napili Kai Beach Resort on Wednesday evening, all meals (breakfast, lunch, and most dinners), the Workshop Songbook and Dis ‘n Dat theory/chord book.

Culture Track: Tuition is $1000 with discounts for early registration, $900 before January 31, and $1000 from February 1 onward.  This track includes the Art of Kapa Cloth making, Lauhala Weaving, Lei Making, Hula, Hawaiian chanting and language, Hawaiian fishing traditions,  Hawaiian  Plants, and Hawaiian Cooking.

Non-Student: Tuition for the spouse/companion registration fee is $500 and covers all meals (breakfast, lunch, and most dinners), a workshop t-shirt, participation in evening kanikapilas and selected lecture demo classes, and a ticket to the The Slack Key Show.  There is a beautiful beach steps away from the workshop, a full service restaurant (The Sea House), and, if you have a rental car, shopping a short drive away (Napili Plaza, Kaanapali, Lahaina).

When is the workshop in 2017 and when should I book flights?

Sunday, June 18, 2017 to Sunday June 15, 2017.  We always begin on Father’s Day each year. This year will mark our 20th Anniversary and we plan special activities.

Arrive Saturday (June 17) or earlier to make the Sunday morning Farm Tour:  We recommend that Culture Track students attend George’s Farm Tour for his talk about Native Hawaiian Plants, one of his specialties. For all other students interested in seeing George’s working farm, this is a great photo opportunity with goats, sheep, miniature horses, chickens, and numerous native plants.

Official registration begins with check-in and registration pack pick-up on Sunday afternoon, June 18th, at the Napili Kai Aloha Pavilion. On Sunday evening there will be a special 20th Anniversary Welcome Dinner in the Aloha Pavilion where we’ll share stories, followed by a kanikapila (group playing together).

Classes begin on Monday morning extending though Saturday afternoon.

The last day of the workshop is Sunday June 25, ending with the Slack Key Guitar Festival at the MACC in Kahului. Many workshop participants stay over on Sunday night and have a big pot-luck and kanikapila together Sunday evening.

Where is the workshop held?

The workshop is held at the Napili Kai Beach Resort on Napili Bay, West Maui, Hawaii.

Preparation

I play guitar but not slack key guitar. Is that ok?

Yes, that is not a problem. Beginning guitar classes start with how to tune the guitar, the basic chord shapings, right hand picking and alternating bass. The higher your level of standard guitar, the more coordinated you will be, and the faster you will pick up the new tuning/s and techniques.

Is there any preparation required before I come to the workshop?

The short answer is, no.

On the other hand, the workshop classes are packed with a lot of information, and some preparation can be helpful in being able to better assimilate and retain that information.

For example, for both guitar and ‘ukulele students, having familiarity with the basic chords in one or more keys can be helpful. Also, for beginners, being able to keep a steady strumming rhythm while changing chords should be an important goal.

Beginning slack key students will find it helpful to check out the Open G (Taro Patch) tuning, since most instructors begin with this tuning. (A free downloadable reference to this tuning can be found at www.slackkeytunings.com/TaroPatchSample.pdf.)

Many of the songs taught at the workshop by guitar and ‘ukulele instructors are traditional Hawaiian songs, so listening to and developing a feeling for the typical chord structures, rhythms, and performance styles of this music will be time well spent.

What is the minimum skill level required to take ‘ukulele?

It is recommended that you be able to play the basic major and minor chords. If you don’t know them all, have a chord chart handy for reference.

What level of hula, lauhala weaving, kapa making, or lei-making do I need for the workshop?

There are no required skills for these cultural classes.

What minimum skill level is required to take slack-key guitar?

It is recommended that you be able to play at least one song in standard tuning and have a knowledge of basic chord positions.

Transportation

Do I need a car?

Most people rent a car or make arrangements to share rides with others. It is not necessary for the workshop per se to have a car, as all the activities are on-site. Share-rides to the MACC on the last Sunday are encouraged.

What forms of transportation are available from the airport in Kahului to the Napili Kai Beach Resort?

There are several options:

  • There is a shuttle service from the airport (Maui Airport Shuttle Service www.viator.com/maui‎) to the Napili Kai; round trip fare is about $78.
  • There are a number of the major-brand car rental firms with rental facilities at or near the airport. One of our favorites is a local company, Maui Car Rentals (aka No ka Oi Motors), 800-567-4659, mauicarrentals.net.
  • Carpooling – In the weeks leading up to the workshop, we’ll be publishing a list of people who have transportation they’re willing to share, to and/or from the airport. Since having a car during the workshop week is not really necessary, this is the most economical option.

Workshop Meals

I have special dietary needs. What accommodations are made for this?

There are vegetarian and diabetic food options available for all meals (breakfasts, lunches and dinners). For severe food allergies or highly restrictive diets, we recommend getting a room with a full kitchen and bringing your own back-up food items .

Is alcohol provided or permitted at the workshop?

Alcoholic beverages are not provided at workshop meals. The workshop maintains a family atmosphere suitable for all ages, so open alcoholic beverage containers are discouraged at meals. Some individual attendees at times bring their own decanted wine to dinner. In general, alcohol does not enhance the focus and learning atmosphere of the workshop, and consumption is considered to be inappropriate during classes or evening kanikapila.

Workshop Registration/Tuition

My family wants to come to participate in some activities. Is that ok?

Family members or companions who do not wish to participate in music or cultural classes are offered a non-paricipant fee of $500 which includes all meals, auditing selected lecture/demo classes (non-hands on classes where all students watch and listen), ticket to the Wednesday Slack Key Show, and enjoying music at the evening kani ka pila (jam session).

What is the cancellation policy?

A full refund of the registration amount is made if a cancellation notice is received within ten days of the registration date. After that, a $100 cancellation fee is deducted from the refund amount. Exceptions to this policy are made in cases of medical emergency.

What is the workshop tuition?

This year we have 2 levels of reduced rates for early registration and we have added a new Culture track.

Music Track: tuition is $1500 unless you register early. Before January 31, 2017, the early-bird tuition for the full workshop is $1400. From February 1, 2017 onward, the full tuition is $1500. Music Track tuition includes all instruction (group and private lessons) in all subjects (guitar, ukulele, vocal, culture), workshop t-shirt, one ticket to the Slack Key Show at the Napili Kai Beach Resort on Wednesday evening, all meals (breakfast, lunch, and most dinners), the Workshop Songbook and Dis ‘n Dat theory/chord book.

Culture Track: Tuition is $1000 with discounts for early registration, $900 before January 31, and $1000 from February 1 onward.  This track includes the Art of Kapa Cloth making, Lauhala Weaving, Lei Making, Hula, Hawaiian chanting and language, Hawaiian fishing traditions,  Hawaiian  Plants, and Hawaiian Cooking.

Non-Student: Tuition for the spouse/companion registration fee is $500 and covers all meals (breakfast, lunch, and most dinners), a workshop t-shirt, participation in evening kanikapilas and selected lecture demo classes, and a ticket to the The Slack Key Show.  There is a beautiful beach steps away from the workshop, a full service restaurant (The Sea House), and, if you have a rental car, shopping a short drive away (Napili Plaza, Kaanapali, Lahaina).

When is registration for the workshop and how does it work?

Registration for the June, 2017 Workshop opens on September 1, 2016 when an early-bird discount registration rate is available. You can register online through this website, through a link on the main Workshop page.

When is the workshop in 2017 and when should I book flights?

Sunday, June 18, 2017 to Sunday June 15, 2017.  We always begin on Father’s Day each year. This year will mark our 20th Anniversary and we plan special activities.

Arrive Saturday (June 17) or earlier to make the Sunday morning Farm Tour:  We recommend that Culture Track students attend George’s Farm Tour for his talk about Native Hawaiian Plants, one of his specialties. For all other students interested in seeing George’s working farm, this is a great photo opportunity with goats, sheep, miniature horses, chickens, and numerous native plants.

Official registration begins with check-in and registration pack pick-up on Sunday afternoon, June 18th, at the Napili Kai Aloha Pavilion. On Sunday evening there will be a special 20th Anniversary Welcome Dinner in the Aloha Pavilion where we’ll share stories, followed by a kanikapila (group playing together).

Classes begin on Monday morning extending though Saturday afternoon.

The last day of the workshop is Sunday June 25, ending with the Slack Key Guitar Festival at the MACC in Kahului. Many workshop participants stay over on Sunday night and have a big pot-luck and kanikapila together Sunday evening.

Workshop Schedule

When does the 2017 class/teacher schedule come out?

Typically one to two weeks before the workshop. Also, starting about a month prior to the workshop, a series of newsletters is emailed to all registered participants. These newsletters provide information about the workshop, classes, and instructors to aid in planning your class schedule and getting the most from the workshop experience.