Chad Uyehara is HMTA Teacher of the Year

“Every once in a while we have teachers that become more than just teachers of a subject or instrument--they become teachers of life. ”  -Amy, Hawaii Parent

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The MTNA Teacher of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has made a difference in students' lives, has contributed to the advancement of music in the community, and is an example of a dedicated professional music educator. HMTA is happy to announce that Chad Uyehara has been selected as the Hawaii Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year.

Chad’s achievements are impressive: he has two Bachelor of Arts degrees and a Masters degree; he is a national member of four music education organizations and is President of one them; he plays both violin and viola at a professional level; and his conducting career spans from Nevada to Hawaii and includes over seven youth orchestras. However, despite all of these significant achievements in his life and career, he continues to pursue continuing education every summer to hone his teaching skills and for personal growth. As an educator, the two words that best describe Chad are “passionate” and “inspirational”:

“Every day he challenges, excites, and encourages his students. His passion for music is contagious and his passion for teaching is an inspiration to us all.”

“Chad is skillful with maximizing resources, making it possible for student performances to involve artistic and creative components that bring energy and inspiration; from shakuhachi premieres to concerto grosso works featuring local string teachers. I have enjoyed working with Chad, seeing his creativity come to life in our institutional setting.”

It is clear that Chad is the type of teacher that goes above and beyond to make music a deep and meaningful component in his students’ lives. He doesn’t stop at providing fundamental skills or even colorful experiences. He offers more--he makes the crucial connection that busy teachers often miss. To Chad, there is no separation between the student and the craft. Each student is a human being first before he or she is a musician. In other words, Chad sees his students and works to integrate the person with his or her artistic pursuit without sacrificing high standards:

“This teacher is one of the most passionate teachers I have ever met. His enthusiasm for sharing the world of music with the students is contagious. His love for music is flowing from his very soul. My daughter is willing to go in at 7 am every day to be inspired by this amazing supporter of the arts. To be able to learn to play music is a gift to every child. This gift enriches the student in ways they might never know but instinctively feel every day when they leave his class.”

“As a string teacher, he is excellent. But, he has taught my children far more than technique. His teaching style depends so much on what the child needs, and sometimes that’s something outside of music. He encourages and helps the whole student: athletics, arts, academics, as well as music.”

“When our daughter faces challenges at her school, Mr. Uyehara is the person she goes to. He is not only the best music teacher but also a life mentor always willing to show her different paths. Being his student matured her emotionally, intellectually, and musically. For this, we can’t thank him enough. Under Mr. Uyehara’s baton, no student is left behind. Every musician, on stage and off, shines and becomes a star.”

“Mr. Uyehara always pushes me to be the best musician I can be. His support and obvious passion for music was the reason I started to practice more and without him, my ability to play my instrument would not be where it is today.”

“Thanks to you, I have loved the violin more than when I started playing. I also feel that even though you are strict, you are always happy and passionate to teach me everything that you know, without missing out on even the smallest errors or details.”

Chad Uyehara is a true role-model, mentor and inspiration to these students. He is an exceptional musician and teacher who is an integral part of the music community here in Hawaii. It is his mission to nurture these students through the communities he has served. We are proud to call him our Hawaii Teacher of the Year!