Wednesday, January 17, 2018



Teaching Culture through Music  . . . seems quite natural however we often get so caught up in the mechanics of the teaching process that we forget about our text and its relationship to our lives, history and those around us.  Hawaiian composers have been quite prolific through out our history however obtaining publications and teaching materials is difficult because of the lack of product availability.  HYOC is often called upon as a resource for Hawaiian repertoire.  It is time to have available teaching tools with musical, educational and historical accuracy.  In doing so, we not only educate the greater public of the existence of Hawaiian culture, through its music, we prepare the next generation with this knowledge. 


HYOC’s motto:  “Ma o nā keiki e mau ai ka ike ku´una o ka Lāhui” (Through our children we perpetuate our knowledge and culture) is represented in all of our activities, especially in our music education outreach programs, community choral festivals and concerts.  HYOC hosts three festivals annually in addition to our (5-6) schools in our outreach program.  The repertoire is culturally based whether it is that of our host culture (Hawaiian), Pacific Rim or our “World” neighbors.  The repertoire include the compositions of “Na Lani ‘Eha” (The Royal Four) Hawai’i’s last reigning family.  They are:  King Kalakaua, Queen Lili’uokalani, Princess Likelike and Prince Leleiohoku as well as compositions of Mailelauli’i Naki and Herb Mahelona.  Mailelauli’i Naki and Herb Mahelona have collaborated on several compositions, are both young native Hawaiians and were once members of our HYOC staff.  Mailelauli’i is the poet and Herb is the composer.


HYOC’s new Teaching Tool will document each festival and outreach school program. These activities occur each Spring Semester.  We will then produce a DVD, CD and Workbook.

The DVD will include the workshops/festivals and live performances of the songs and hulas as well as interviews with the directors, clinicians and living composers. 

The CD will include 3 recordings each of 10 songs.  It will include:  Unison, treble arrangement and SATB arrangement. 

The workbook will include the manuscript of the 10 songs including the Unison, treble arrangement and SATB arrangements.  The workbook will also include the translation and historical information for each song.  As a guide, a language chart will also be included.


The intent of this teaching tool is to have the components available to teachers in our state, nationally and internationally so that they may continue their work of Teaching Culture through Music.  The components will be available in its entirety (DVD, CD, workbook) or in pairs DVD/workbook or CD/workbook. 


HYOC’s Outreach Program’s repertoire is entirely Hawaiian, the premise being that basic musical concepts (reading notes, solfege, bel canto singing, dance) can be taught in any language and we choose Hawaiian.  We are able to work with 5-6 schools annually.  Though they are primarily public schools we periodically are requested to work in a private school which has a music program but would like to include the Hawaiian component.  Each school has 12 sessions of singing, dancing, music theory and Hawai’i’s history which culminates in a field trip to ‘Iolani Palace where the students tour the only Palace in the United States and sing with the Royal Hawaiian Band, the oldest municipal Band in the United States.


Annual Choral Festivals:  Each festival always incorporates Hawaiian Choral literature in addition to hula.  Each participating school/organization is given the option to perform their own repertoire in addition to being a member of the festival chorus.  Clinicians facilitate choral workshops for the singers as well as the teachers and a hula component is always included.


Public and Private Schools and Community Organizations:  Our “Teaching Tool” will be made available to all participants at our festivals and outreach program as well as through out our state and nationally.


Check out our new Hawaiian Music Education Site with a link here.