"When the student is ready…
the teacher appears"


















































I have always wanted to play the steel guitar and last Christmas I was so happy when my wife bought me one. I knew what I had to do; I immediately called my good friend Alan Akaka over at Ke Kula Mele Hawaii to sign up for lessons.

Billy V
Radio Personality, Hawaiian 105 KINE
Coordinator, UH Game Day Activities
TV Personality, Hawai‘i News Now

It is rare that a musician is both a good performer and a good teacher, but Alan Akaka excels in both roles.  As a student in his steel guitar class, I have seen substantial improvement in my skill level and in my enjoyment of the instrument.  His instruction is clear and understandable, he is always available to answer questions, and he does a remarkable job of accommodating all of the different levels of ability in the class.

Kekoa Blanchet
Princeville, Kaua‘i


Iʻm so proud of my son and a big mahalo to Alan Akaka and his school for helping him achieve his love for music especially the Hawaiian Music.

Franklin Maka‘awa‘awa
Entertainer, Touch of Gold

As u know, I have a burning desire to immerse myself in (and learn more about) the Hawaiian culture & music. And here I am, playing something far more special & culturally significant than your average guitar. I truly believe that the faith u have in my potential is what helped me to play my first song publicly after only two months of officially learning my  first instrument. Seeing the conviction in your eyes & hearing the sincerity in your voice when u said, "yes, of course, I think u'll be ready in a month," set me on fire. And that is what I thank u for most of all: having faith in me.

Jamie Umanzor
Wai‘anae Teen Counselor for Kalihi YMCA


It has been my pleasure to study steel guitar with Alan Akaka at Ke Kula Mele Hawai'i for the last year. It goes without saying that Alan is a gifted teacher and communicator of music and technique, but just as importantly, he is able to share and instill an excitement for learning.

Learning not just the mechanics of Hawaiian music, but also gaining a deeper understanding of the history and meaning that this special music has.  I look forward to many more years of study and learning with Alan and Ke Kula Mele Hawai'i. Mahalo nui loa Alan!!

David Soreff
Entertainer, Princess Cruises

This class took an idea I had, learning the steel guitar, and brought it out of barely formed thoughts to the reality that I am now starting to be able to play this new and different instrument and make it sound like music. I did not expect such success at the beginning of the course a couple of months ago. With personal care for each student and plenty of tablature, much progress has been attained by all the students.

SH Jarvis

Hā‘ena, Kaua‘i
Musician for several hula hālau


I have been studying ‘ukulele with Kumu Alan Akaka since the end of December, 2009. In four months I made enormous progress! I have seen my playing ability improve from learning many chords, being able to play individual notes on my ‘ukulele, and being able to play songs and sing in three different keys. My self-confidence and my enjoyment in learning to play the ‘ukulele have soared due to this nurturing Kumu. You are NEVER too old to learn to play a musical instrument. The day I have my ‘ukulele lesson with Kumu Alan is the highlight of every week. I can’t wait to study with him; I go home each time enthusiastic to practice more and more and more. I have experienced a huge growth in my performing ability when I play my ‘ukulele and sing with keiki and with Rotarians. And, my friends tell me how much they have seen me grow and improve as a performing artist. Mahalo Kumu Alan! I can’t wait for my next music lesson with you at Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i! With much aloha,

Gale Luanapiliki‘i Warshawsky

"For years now, I have waited for Hawaiian Steel Guitar instruction on Kauai.  With this amazing opportunity to learn this classic art form and to work with one of Hawaii's finest steel guitarists, I, as a haumana, am truly blessed.  Kumu Akaka brings the finest understanding of the delicate musical tones of the steel, blends it with a magical triad of tablature, and precisely tunes us with patience in melodical learning.  From his masterful teachings in chord theory, melody lines, and background licks, Kumu Akaka has an innate ability to reach the music-inspired souls of kupuna, makua, and ‘ōpio, as well as kama‘aina or malihini alike... He Po‘okela nō..."

Kilipaki Vaughan
Fire Fighter
Kawaihau/Namahana, Kaua‘i


Alan, taking my first lesson with a legend was great and really cool for me.

Lindsay Lania
Las Vegas, NV

I am so excited to finally learn the ukulele. I have been patiently seeking someone who loves his Hawaiian Heritage and I found you, and best you live in Kailua awesome!

Analani Alexander


Ke Kula Mele's ukulele class taught me about the Hawaiian culture, language, and the beautiful Hawaiian songs. Also the notes from basic to advance. It made me anxious to go to the next class and practice hard. We went to Kumu Alan Akaka's New Years party and we didn't know anyone but everyone was very welcoming and listening to all the Hawaiian songs was very fun. I encourage people to join Ke Kula Mele and have a great time.

Carolyn Sakaguchi
Gyotaku Waitress
Kailua, Hawaii

It has long been a dream of mine to play the sweet sounds of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Being an educator, I appreciate Kumu Akaka's willingness to share his manao for Hawaiian music and his patience with his students. I would also like to send a big mahalo to Ed Punua for his assistance and encouragement. I highly recommend this program to anyone who have always wanted to learn Hawaiian Steel guitar.

Ryne Terao
Department of Education
CTE Resource Teacher


My husband, Ryne has always been about Rock and Roll, and Blues, while I Love Hawaiian music...
Years ago he tried to  self teach himself steel guitar, after a short stint, it was relegated to the closet and out came his Electric Guitar. After taking only a few steel guitar lessons, he has been able to play nahenahe steel guitar music and it brings sweet melodies to our hale. I actually recognize the songs that he is playing without him saying what song he's playing.. Your "relaxed" style of teaching and encouragement, has enabled him to 'PLAY with CONFIDENCE"  Mahalo for offering Steel Guitar classes and giving everyone the opportunity to learn while staying at home in Kaua'i.  We hope that you will continue to offer Steel Guitar II after this session is Pau.
Malama Pono
Billie wife of Ryne Terao
Pridelands of Kaua'i

Aloha, my name is Andy, I'm a beginner Hawaiian bass student and very fortunate to have a Kumu like Alan. Alan has been accommodating with class time as I work varied shifts, my lessons are very productive, Alan not only instructs playing the instrument but offers advice that can only come from a "working musician". I knew I made the right choice selecting Ke Kula Mele and taking lessons from Alan from the very first session. His patience and wealth of knowledge as a musician is "AWESOME"!.

Andrew Watson
Airport Operations Manager Honolulu International Airport