KANEOHE, Hawaii — Windward Community College has expanded its Hawaiian studies program by offering a fully online and asynchronous Hawaiian music certificate. The program is taught by respected names in Hawaiian music, including Raiatea Helm, Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Kapena De Lima and Kamuela Kimokeo.

What You Need To Know

  • Windward Community College is offering a fully online Hawaiian music certificate

  • The program is taught by Raiatea Helm, Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Kapena De Lima, and Kamuela Kimokeo

  • For more information, visit: windward.hawaii.edu/kaohekani

Kaohekani is WCC’s Hawaiian program of study. The program added a one-year music certificate to focus on Hawaiian stories, composition, slack key guitar, ukulele, singing and the basics of recording software.

“The one thing we guarantee is that everyone in the class is interested in music,” said Kimokeo, the director of the Hawaii Music Institute at Windward Community College.

Helm is a Grammy-nominated and Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning vocalist from the island of Molokai. She is known as one of Hawaii’s premier female vocalists and will teach Hawaiian singing in the program this fall.

Hewett, a prestigious hula instructor and Hawaiian culture expert, will instruct Hawaiian music composition courses.

De Lima is a local musician, best known as a founding member and frontman of the group Kapena. He will instruct the basics of recording software.

Besides serving as the music program director, Kimokeo, a professional musician, will teach ukulele and slack key guitar courses.

The cohort program previously focused on Hawaiian storytelling and hula. The fall 2022 and spring 2023 semesters aim to deepen students’ understanding of Hawaiian music performance and history.

“For Hawaiian people, our music contains our history,” Kimokeo said. “Our music is like our history book. It’s also our journal, and on a more personal level, you could say it’s also our diary.”

The course is an 8-week immersive, accelerated and fully online academic subject certificate in Hawaiian music. The program concludes with each student recording an original song.

“I don’t look at us necessarily as a factory for creating professional Hawaiian musicians,” Kimokeo said. “My biggest goal actually is to give my students the opportunity to share Hawaiian music with their family and friends.”

Kaohekani will have online information sessions on July 15 at 3 p.m. and July 25 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. Those interested in attending either session at register online at their website: windward.hawaii.edu/kaohekani.