Hawaiian Music Institute looking for students

The Maui News – The Na Hoku-winning University of Hawaii Maui College Institute of Hawaiian Music mentorship program is recruiting new students for the fall semester.

An informational session for prospective students, parents and other interested people will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. March 23 in Ka’a’ike Building, Room 109.

Auditions will be held from 9 a.m. to noon April 14 at Ka Lama, Room 105CD. Prospective students will be expected to perform for 6 minutes, introduce themselves and their song or songs, sing and play their instruments, and carry themselves in a professional manner.

Reservations are required for the auditions. Private auditions may be scheduled for those unable to attend April 14.

The institute is a unique musical mentorship program dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of Hawaiian music, the news release said. Formal university classes are supplemented with direct mentorship sessions led by professional Hawaiian musicians.

Students who successfully complete the two-year program will receive an Academic Subject Certificate in Hawaiian Music. Scholarship support is available.

Students selected for the program will receive opportunities for personal training, guidance and knowledge through mentorship relationships with performers, composers and other industry professionals.

Visiting mentors have included Keali’i Reichel, Kenneth Makuakane, Mailani Makainai, Keola Beamer, Kainani Kahaunaele, Aaron Sala, Raiatea Helm, Jake Shimabukuro, Barry Flanagan, Mark Yamanaka, and former institute director and slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr.

The staff and students of the institute have produced three compilation CDs — “Pukana” in 2013, “Aloha ‘Ia No ‘O Maui” in 2015, and “Aia I Laila Ka Wai” in 2017. “Aloha ‘Ia No ‘O Maui” was selected as “Best Compilation Album” at the 2016 Na Hoku awards and “Aia I Laila Ka Wai” is a contender for this year’s extended play award.

Students graduating this semester currently are preparing their own recording for release later this year, the news release said.

“Starting a career in Hawaiian music can be a challenge,” said Faculty Coordinator Keola Donaghy. “Aspiring musicians are often left to their own devices to locate willing mentors and performance partners, receive personal training, find gigs, gain performance experience, produce a recording and learn the steps necessary to break into the industry.

“Many don’t reach their true potential because they don’t receive career guidance from experienced, professional musicians.”

He added that the program is not only for those who want to be professional musicians but anyone who wants to learn more about Hawaiian music and to improve their performance skills.

The institute offers classes in guitar, ukulele, singing, keyboard, composition, music theory, repertoire development, dance, music industry business and marketing, and recording. Students will be given training on their instruments, voice and harmony. They will be directed in repertoire growth, stage presence and recording techniques.

Students also will complete courses in Hawaiian studies and Hawaiian language to understand the cultural roots of the music.

For more information about the institute, go to maui.hawaii.edu/ihm.