This is my kumu story...
On my way to a gig, I ran into the principal of Kahakai Elementary School.
She had heard about my previous musical leadership roles and she offered me an opportunity.
She took me to a storage room back at the school where there were stacks and
stacks of hundreds of dusty, unstrung, untuned ukuleles.
Describe your image.
She asked if I would be interested taking on a project that would require me to restore these instruments and then design a class that would show children the joy that music can bring.
That summer, I spent every week restoring those ukuleles.
I know what its like to be the slowest learner in the room. I thought about this as I prepared to become Kumu.
I drew on my own challenges as a student, and used the power of music to shape the character and confidence of my students just as it did for me.
The number of students grew from six to over 100, and so did my responsibility as Kumu. I started to teach Hawaiian studies classes that used music as a foundation for the curriculum, and this program reached a level I could have never imagined. After 6 years of teaching at Kahakai, my students last performance reached an epic level.
As a very difficult decision, I left the school to pursue my music career. I couldn't leave my love for teaching entirely, and opened up my garage, a free place for my students to continue to foster their love of music. Today Akamu Music Academy continues to grow as a music and mentorship program supporting self directed, autodidact learning.