Maui News

Institute of Hawaiian Music Seeking Students for Fall 2018

March 6, 2018, 10:11 AM HST
* Updated March 6, 10:12 AM
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2017-2018 IHM students.

The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Institute of Hawaiian Music is recruiting new students to begin in Fall 2018.

An informational session for prospective students, parents and other interested parties will be held on Friday, March 23, 2018 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Ka‘a‘ike Building, Room 109.

Auditions will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Ka Lama building, room 105CD.

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 for the auditions.

Private auditions may be scheduled for those unable to attend the scheduled audition.


The Institute of Hawaiian Music’s is a one-of- a-kind musical mentorship program dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of Hawaiian music. 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 have produced three compilation CDs, “Pukana” in 2013, “Aloha ‘Ia Nō ‘O Maui” in 2015, and “Aia I Laila Ka Wai” in 2017. “Aloha ‘Ia Nō ‘O Maui” was selected as “Best Compilation Album” at the 2016 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, and “Aia I Laila Ka Wai” is a contender for this years’ EP (extended play) award. Students graduating this semester are currently preparing their own recording for release later this year.

“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 added, “but 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, ʻukulele, 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.

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

For more information about the Institute of Hawaiian Music, please visit their website.

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