Instrument Building at AMC
Join Esteemed Luthier Dennis Lake
Come to Camp with your hands and heart ready for an amazing experience — building your own ʻukulele! You will spend the week lovingly fashioning the parts and putting it together. And you will return home with a perfectly playable instrument!
Along with the Beamers, Luthier Dennis Lake has been a permanent and extraordinary part of Aloha Music Camp since we started in Puna, Hawaiʻi all those years ago.
Kumu (Instructor) Dennis says, “As many of you know, I have been honored to have taught ʻukulele building classes at Aloha Music Camp for the past several years. Here is an explanation of how the Class works and what we do.”
How it Works
“For those of you unfamiliar with my Class at Camp, this is what happens: the first night, right after Opening Ceremony, we all get together and work out our schedule. Each student chooses one class period in the morning and one in the afternoon each day. This means there is a certain time commitment — this class takes up two of the five available class periods.
“Monday through Thursday we install the lining on the rim, fit and glue braces, glue top and back on, fit and finish shaping neck, glue bridge and neck on. On Friday we install the tuning machines, string the ʻukulele, and do a set up so it is playing by the Hōʻike on the final evening, where the class is recognized and the ʻukulele receive a traditional Hawaiian blessing.
“The applying of finish is done at home – I provide easy instructions for that.”
No previous woodworking or ʻukulele playing experience is required. “Our builders have ranged from age 12 to Auntie Irene of Lanaʻi City who built her first instrument at age 92!” says Dennis. “I am happy to say that every one who has taken the Class has completed an instrument they can be proud of.”
This is a great way to learn about how instruments are put together and have a great week with your fellow builders and campers — all while in the beautiful surrounds of the Hawaiian islands. Everything is provided except the finish, including a nice gig bag to take your ʻukulele home in.
Aloha Music Camp March 2020
For Aloha Music Camp in 2020, ʻukulele builders will be making a “Standard” (soprano) sized instrument. The body will be made from beautiful mango wood from Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, with a shell rosette.
“This is the first time for this combination and it will be very nice!” says Kumu Dennis.
Kumu Dennis will also have a regular class period set aside for talk story, advice, set-ups and, adjustments. He says, “If anyone is interested, I’ll even help you install a pickup in your instrument.” Please talk to kumu Dennis first about pickup choice. “This is a drop-in class period, so there is no need to be there everyday.”
“But if you want to, you more than welcome,” he adds.
Save Your Spot!
This special class is available on a limited basis: there are only four (4) slots available for ʻukulele building in 2020. You will be able to add this item to your Camp Registration and pay the fee to hold your spot on the Registration Page.
There is also a Materials Fee of $350 in addition to regular Camp tuition for ʻukulele building.