Feel Good Friday: Healing Through Music During COVID

Some of Hawaii’s most popular musical artists have appeared before an unlikely audience — a small elementary school on Oahu’s windward coast.

These are gigs with a purpose: The principal dreamed up the virtual concerts, presenting headliners like internationally renowned ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, as a way of bringing together a community struggling with the pandemic.

“We have probably the best ukulele player — one of the best ukulele musicians in the entire world — that’s gonna come and play for you guys tonight,” said Aikahi Elementary principal Keoki Fraser as children and parents tuned in from home computers. “And, he’s from Hawaii.”

As he played an upbeat flamenco piece, followed by the Beatles tune “In My Life,” the online conferencing platform’s participant boxes showed children at home swaying to the music. A mom twirled her daughter around. The chat panel lit up with messages like “mind blown,” and “that was amazing.”

“Even though we’re not on campus and even though things are different, we want to do things to make sure you guys have fun and want to make sure you knew we care about you guys,” Fraser told the concertgoers. Learn more about how music is healing Hawaii at APNews.com.