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One year certificate in Hawaiian music

Within a Hawaiian worldview, balance contributes to our joy and understanding of our kuleana. This one year music certificate offers a balanced approach to learning Hawaiian music. From beginner to professional, students will be able to share the joy of music within their ‘ohana and with others for generations to come.

Study mo‘olelo and Hawaiian composition with Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, slack key guitar and ‘ukulele with Kamuela Kimokeo, Hawaiian singing with Raiatea Helm, and the basics of how to run recording software with Kapena De Lima.

About the Cohort

This Hawaiian music cohort deepens participants’ understanding of Hawaiian music performance and history. Participants will learn from reputable industry professionals how to improve their performance skills, use music in various educational settings, and how music can be a tool to connect with our island home.

  • Fully online Academic Subject Certificate in Hawaiian Music
  • 8-week online cohort (together as a group)
  • Immersive, accelerated experience
  • Certificate also applies to the AA degree in liberal arts

Attend an Information Session

Discover more about Kaʻohekani and get your questions answered about:

  • Course sequencing and mode of instruction
  • Program length and approximate cost
  • Windward Community College application process
  • Registering for courses
  • Online learning technology and how we support your journey

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What does Ka‘ohekani mean?

Ka‘ohekani translates to “the sounding bamboo.” In Hawaiian society, many musical instruments were made from ‘ohe (bamboo). These instruments often symbolize beginning, commitment, spirit, and connection to land and culture. The ‘ohe is also a kino lau of Kāne and thus we connect this cohort to Kāne‘ohe and Windward Community College.


Native Hawaiians living in the continental U.S. and Hawai‘i residents both pay the same community college in-state resident tuition*. Total cost for the Ka‘ohekani Hawaiian Music Certificate is approximately $3,285 (resident and/or Native Hawaiian tuition). For a breakdown of costs, see Tuition & Fees.

*Non-residents may be allowed to pay resident tuition if they qualify for one of the UH Board of Regents tuition exemptions.

Tuition Assistance

The Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele Hawaiian Music Scholarship is available to students enrolled in 6 credits towards the Hawaiian Music certificate at Windward Community College. Learn more about this scholarship and how to apply. Funding is limited.

Ka‘ohekani cohort courses

Each semester is mapped out for you here, where students will study together and move through the courses as a cohort.

SemesterCourse: TitleCredits
Fall 2023 (first 8 weeks)HAW 101: Elementary Hawaiian I4
Fall 2023 (first 8 weeks)MUS 121Z: ‘Ukulele 12
Fall 2023 (second 8 weeks)MUS 211: Intro to Hawaiian Ensemble2
Fall 2023 (second 8 weeks)MUS 277: Mele, Mo‘olelo and Motion3
Spring 2024 (first 8 weeks)MUS 177: Intro to Hawaiian Music3
Spring 2024 (first 8 weeks)MUS 296: Special Topic: Hawaiian Singing3
Spring 2024 (first and second 8 weeks)MUS 108: Music Fundamentals3
Spring 2024 (second 8 weeks)MUS 211: Intro to Hawaiian Ensemble2
Spring 2024 (second 8 weeks)MUS 240 : Introduction to Digital Music3

        For questions about the certificate, contact

        Dr. Kamuela Kimokeo
        Director of Music

        For questions about application and registration, contact

        Ha‘aheo Pagan