Academy of Hawaiian Arts

Hawaiian Music Ensemble Class

Sundays 3:30-5:30pm

Music at AHA
Photograph by Aric Crabb, Bay Area News Group
The Academy of Hawaiian Arts holds a Hawaiian music ensemble class taught by Kainani Hartnett at the hālau in Oakland, CA. The class is geared to learning 'ukulele, guitar, and/or singing parts while working on Hawaiian music arrangements.

Players of different skill levels are welcome, as well as those interested in singing only. No music experience is required, but you must bring your own instrument. New students can learn simpler parts to start with and progress to learning new strums and picking, and singing. It's recommended that beginners try out a monthly music workshop first.

Monthly Hawaiian Music Workshops: the fourth Sunday of each month from 3:30-5:30pm

Our monthly Hawaiian Music workshops are part of the Music Ensemble Class. Once a month (usually the fourth Sunday) we open up to the public for drop-in, and learn standard versions of 2 Hawaiian songs. We work on strums, Hawaiian words and meanings, and even melody picking for those who want a challenge. Workshops are geared more to beginners and we provide sheets with the words, chords, and melody line to take home. Beginners benefit from learning with players of different skill levels and it's fun for everyone.

Anyone interested in receiving a monthly announcement (with definite workshop dates, planned song titles, and more info) can email Kainani Hartnett to get on our e-list.

Workshop drop-in: $10 for AHA members; $20 for non-members

(no cost for those already enrolled in the Hawaiian Music Ensemble class)


The music ensemble's performing group, 'AHAmele, incorporates upbeat strums, ipu rhythms, picking patterns, attention to Hawaiian language, sweet vocal harmonies and singing parts to complete unique Hawaiian musical arrangements.

They regularly entertain at festivals and other community events, and have performed at the annual 'Ukulele Festival of Northern California since 2006.

Other recent performances include:

  • Makana O Hawai’i Festival
  • Monterey Bay Spam Jam
  • CAL Berkeley Lu'au
  • Mission Delores – SF
  • Holidays at Dunsmuir
  • Wine Country ‘Uke Festival
  • Kökua Japan SF Relief Benefit
  • Fundraisers/Receptions for Non-Profits
  • Island Jams Festival
  • & with the San Francisco Sinfonietta & Chorus

'AHAmele is often accompanied by AHA’s keiki hula dancers.

Please contact Kainani Hartnett if you have questions about joining the class, or about 'Ahamele performances.


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