Institute of Hawaiian Music Seeking New Students for Fall 2017

March 7, 2017, 2:34 PM HST · Updated March 7, 2:44 PM

IHM students and faculty coordinator Dr. Keola Donaghy after winning the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award.

The Institute of Hawaiian Music, at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College is currently recruiting new students for Fall 2017.  Prospective students are invited to an informational session on March 10th and auditions on April 1st.  Private auditions may also be scheduled.

The musical mentorship program is dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of Hawaiian music.  Students who successfully complete the two-year program will receive an Academic Subject Certificate in Hawaiian Music.

An informational session for prospective students, parents and other interested parties will be held on Friday, March 10, 2017 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Ka‘a‘ike Building, Room 109. Auditions will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ka Lama Building, Room 105 CD.

Prospective students will be expected to perform for six minutes, introduce themselves and their song(s), sing and play their instruments, and carry themselves in a professional manner. Reservations are required, and prospective students may select from the following time slots: 9-11 a.m. or noon-2 p.m. Attendance at the informational session is not required to audition. Private auditions may be scheduled for those unable to attend the scheduled audition on April 1, 2017.


Under the program, formal university classes are supplemented with direct mentorship sessions led by professional Hawaiian musicians. Students selected for the IHM program will receive exclusive opportunities to receive personal training, guidance, and knowledge through these mentor-mentee relationships with performers, composers and other industry professionals.

Visiting mentors have included Keali‘i Reichel, Kenneth Makuakāne, Mailani Makainai, Keola Beamer, Kainani Kahaunaele, Aaron Salā, Raiatea Helm, Jake Shimabukuro, Barry Flanagan, Mark Yamanaka, and former IHM director and Grammy Award-winning slack key guitarist George Kahumoku, Jr.

The staff and students of the Institute of Hawaiian Music has produced two compilation CDs, “Pukana” in 2013 and “Aloha ‘Ia Nō ‘O Maui” in 2015. The latter featured all songs about Maui, and was selected as “Best Compilation Album” at the 2016 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards.

“Starting a career in Hawaiian music can be a challenge,” said IHM Faculty Coordinator Dr. 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.”

Donaghy said, “the program is not just for those who want to be professional musicians. Anyone who wants to learn more about Hawaiian music and improve their performance skills is welcome to join us.” IHM 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 will also complete courses in Hawaiian studies and Hawaiian language to understand the cultural roots of their art.

Interested individuals can email [email protected] or call (808) 984-3570 to receive additional information about the program and to reserve a spot in audition.

For more information visit the Institute of Hawaiian Music website.



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