Things to Do at Home: Take a Class or Learn a New Skill

Learn to speak Hawaiian, sign up for a class, pick up a new musical hobby and celebrate Earth Day all from the comfort of your own couch.


Learn a Language

Now that you may have more downtime, it’s the perfect opportunity to pick up a new language. If you’ve been meaning to sign up for Hawaiian language classes, there’s a treasure trove of resources to choose from. Kamehameha Schools has free videos and downloadable workbooks, created in the mid-1990s and hosted by a Hawaiian studies resource teacher, for beginners of all ages.


Ka Leo Ōiwi also offers free conversational video lessons. And this semester, the Associated Students of UH began hosting free ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i classes taught by two graduate students. Last month, all lessons moved online.


The Duolingo app has free language lessons that are in the form of a game. Hawaiian was recently added to its offerings. 



Take an Online Class

Now that so many things have moved to the virtual world, several universities have free online classes, including Yale, Harvard and Stanford. One of Yale’s most popular virtual classes is “The Science of Well Being,” which seeks to “reveal misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change.”


The Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina is offering free virtual master classes online every Friday led by artisans, chefs and others. This Friday’s class, called “A Taste of O‘ahu,” will feature chef Martin Knaubert, the resort’s food and beverage director.


Or sign up for a master class you’ve always wanted to start but never had the time for. Learn new skills from some of the best writers, movie producers, artists, musicians, chefs, fashion designers and more. The site has a $180 promotion where you can buy one annual membership and get the second for free. This will give you access to dozens of classes online. 

  hawaii symphony orchestra reed making class

Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra musicians are teaching us how to make reeds, practice drumming at home and more through their livestream series.
PHOTO: courtesy of Musicians of the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra Facebook page


Learn a New Craft

We know nothing can replace in-person lessons, but in times like these we’ll just have to be a little creative. The good news is that several well-known musicians are livestreaming free music lessons. Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters recently made an Instagram video of how-to tips for beginning drummers.


Locally, musicians of the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra are teaching us how to make reeds, practice drumming at home and more through their weekly education livestream series. Renowned singer Kuana Torres Kahele made an Instagram video on how to change ‘ukulele strings. And members of the popular band Kapena, including Kelly Boy De Lima, are recording ‘ukulele lessons and tutorials for free on their new Facebook page.


SEE ALSO: How Hawai‘i Musicians Are Trying to Help During the COVID-19 Crisis



Celebrate Earth Month

While we’ve been giving Mother Nature time to breathe, you may have overlooked that April is Earth Month. And today is Earth Day. To learn more about the Earth and the Islands, the city has an entire website filled with fun videos, educational resources, webinars, stories and more.


Past events have included a free webinar on climate change hosted by the Surfrider Foundation, a virtual site tour of Windward Community College’s garden and live Q&As with the Waikīkī Aquarium director. Go here to search for all of the virtual Earth Day events. And on Saturday, tune in on Instagram for a free workshop on plant propagation at 1:30 p.m.


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