Mana Mele Program News

It’s been an exciting past few months for us here at Mana Maoli, and we’re excited to share our good news with you.
Mobile Studio
While we faced numerous unforeseen challenges that proved to be very costly in time and money, we have now researched, negotiated and purchased all audio engineering equipment, ‘Phase 1’ video equipment, solar equipment, and the truck to tow our mobile studio trailer and transport solar and music equipment. Demolition of the interior of our 1976 Airstream trailer is complete, as well as most the repairs and some of the buildout. Brake repair and completion of trailer buildout are all that remains. These are scheduled for completion by the end of February.
Maoli Music Classes
At the start of the school year, we focused on getting our Maoli Music afterschool and elective classes up and running across 9 O’ahu and Kaua’i charter schools. These yearlong courses aim to teach “ABC’s” – Academics, Business, and Culture – through music. Our dedicated and talented Maoli Music teachers, backed by an all-star team of curriculum developers, are piloting lessons toward a diploma-granting Music & Multimedia Academy, where graduates are college and career ready, culturally grounded and community-minded.  Over the course of the year, will be sharing pics and hilites of each Maoli Music class, the schools hosting them, and the team developing and delivering this curriculum.
With the Maoli Music classes well underway, our main focus and accomplishments as of late have been the launch of our Mana Mele Mentorships!
As hoped, we started off mentorships at 3 O’ahu charter schools on solid footing, largely thanks to well-recognized names in the music industry that were very generous in sharing their time, talents and knowledge with our Hawaiian charter school youth.
IMG_1972Irie Love and Wayne Enos of Natural Vibrations helped kick off our 1st round of mentorships at Halau Ku Mana (HKM). Wayne’s mentorship sessions are focused on learning ‘ukulele. On the 1st day, he played songs like “Hawai’i 78”, Liko Martin’s “Nanakuli (Waimanalo) Blues”, and by request, his group’s popular original, “Balls Rollin”.
He had the ‘opio do their best to play along, so he could assess experience levels, and group them accordingly, to tailor the learning process to best teach these eager players. These ‘opio have come a long way in just a few weeks, learning scales, voicings (different ways to play a given chord), strums, and how to apply these things while jamming actual songs.
IMG_2059On the very 1st day, Irie Love and her group of girls at HKM (grades 4-12) sang like angels – very strong, powerful and inspired angels! Irie felt it was important to light a fire in these girls, so started with walking ‘opio through her own journey and success story.
They quickly progressed into vocal exercises, and tips on vocal health, dream-building and confidence. By the time they began singing Irie’s hit song, “My Love”, they sounded so beautiful and strong, anyone would assume they had been practicing for many weeks, at least! They joined up with Wayne’s ukulele players at the end of their first session to play the song together (pic below).
The youth of both Wayne and Irie’s classes were so excited about their afterschool mentorships, that both mentors offered to triple up their original 4 session commitment. Every student chose to take up the offer! So these mentorships, held twice a week, continue during the break and into next semester.
The day after her first mentorship class, Irie interviewed with KITV4 and expressed how meaningful it was for her to work with these girls. Check out the interview here:

Our next blog will feature the 1st 3 mentors at Hakipu’u Learning Center (HLC): Calvin Hoe (the school’s co-founder), Mailani Maka’ina’i, and Lock Lynch. HLC is a public charter school serving youth of Ko’olaupoko based at WCC.
A big mahalo to Wayne & Irie for brightening up the futures of 15 hawaiian charter school students. Mana Maoli is forever grateful for your contribution.
Note: None of this would be possible without the generosity of our mentors. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about mentoring Hawaiian Charter School youth through the Mana Mele Program, please email or call 808-626-5395.