61. Character Teaching Knowledge Practice, with Kaleialoha Aarona-Lorenzo

Today my guest is Kalei ʻAʻarona-Lorenzo, a kumu, or teacher of music, culture and Hawaiian language at the Kamehameha Schools Maui campus. She is the 3rd educator from this campus, including middle school teachers, Kui Gapero and Ululani Shiraishi, that I have featured in this series. I divided this interview up into three parts. Part I is all about Kalei, her background, her music and how she connects music to place. Part II is about her philosophy of education, a section that includes a very interesting conversation about grades. Part III is a section I called “Your Happy Place,” with questions about a visit to KSBE Maui by the Stanford Talisman acapella group and her founding of the Hawaiian Music EnsembleKalei is considered a legend by faculty and students alike at KS Maui. In this conversation you will find her precise, measured, warm, spiritual, at times conflicted (about grades, for example) and deeply reflective. She brings to her teaching all of her head and all of her heart, and a lifetime of experience making music. Starting back when her parents were choir members at Kaumakapili Church in Kalihi and continuing today as she nurtures her Hawaiian Music Ensemble at KS Maui, she connects her life and her music to the aina, the land she loves. Kalei founded this Hawaiian Music Ensemble back in 2006 with three students. Today the group has 48 members;  24 dancers and 24 musicians. Kalei has taken this ensemble south to places in French Polynesia (where they performed for its president) and New Zealand. She has a bachelors in music and Hawaiian language, and a masters in secondary curriculum and instruction from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. She is a 1985 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus. Her full resume is long and deep in action research. As always, our original theme music and post production editing was done by Daniel Gilad of DG Sound Creations. Please stay safe, wear your masks, get vaccinated when it is your turn and bring kindness and compassion into the world.