Keiki Covid Awareness Project Kula Elementary School

Keiki Covid Awareness Project Kula Elementary School May, 2021


This Melinda Caroll Songwriting Residency was sponsored by When We Shine Foundation and Malamalama Maui, with a creative placemaking project grant from ArtPlace America.

Children love music! With their unfiltered imaginations, they make the Best songwriting partners! The creativity of learning to see their world through language arts writing their own lyrics while conveying a musical story they want others to feel with them, is both exciting and empowering! The inspiring students of Pomaika’i and their teachers chose a school theme for their 2017-2018 school year, “the wellness of the ʻāina (land) is the wellness of the people.” As a Songwriting Artist in Residence the work was to help integrate and embody classroom “garden” S.T.E.A.M. concepts and Hawaiian values, with both the students grades K-5 and their teachers, into memorable stories and songs.

David Kauahikaua and Melinda Caroll worked with Rae Takemoto, Founder and Arts Integration Coordinator of Pomaika’i Elementary School in Maui, the only Arts Integration public school in the state of Hawai’i with less than a dozen in the U.S. mainland. Our budget from both Malamalama Maui and When We Shine Foundation allowed us do the songwriting residency with one classroom from  Kindergarten through 5th Grade, plus a special songwriting class from teachers for their 10th Anniversary of the school. In addition, funding for the actual CD recording project was provided separately by Friends of Pomaika’i, Arts Integration supporters for the school.

Our goals were to:

  • Lead the students into a personal relationship with the garden during the process of songwriting creativity
  • Help the students develop a sense of place in our fragile island home and our place in the world.
  • Create new stories that deepened their understanding of garden-based learning.

The residency for the school began in September 2017, culminating in a fully recorded physical CD and public performance by the students and teachers for the families and nearby community on the school grounds in May of 2018.

Want to host a songwriting residency with your students? Check out our songwriting curriculum and then get in touch, we'd love to support you!

Meanwhile, You can listen to our album project here on Spotify!