Filled with music and a great love for Maui, Kihei resident Marti Kluth enjoys sharing her incredible talent and vitality with the community. As a skilled pianist and vocalist, she brings her unique style to classical, pop, jazz, blues, reggae, gospel, Broadway and Hawaiian music.
Classically trained at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio for three years, Kluth finished her schooling with a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. With over 30 years of stage and theater experience and 18 years as a music teacher, she guarantees she can teach you that special song you've always wanted to learn.
Kluth has performed extensively both as a vocalist and keyboardist. Over the past eight years, she enjoyed the position of musical director for shows on Maui, including "Damn Yankees," "South Pacific," "West Side Story," two productions of "Scrooge," "The Music Man" for Maui Academy of Performing Arts, "Cabaret" and "The Wizard of Oz." More recently, she served as music director for "Cinderella" for ProArts Playhouse and "Sweeney Todd" for Maui Onstage.
While in the orchestra for many productions, Marti Kluth is able to showcase her technical prowess first-hand for audiences. In addition, her versatile, well-trained voice is capable of singing all styles of music, including Hawaiian.
Photo: Cindy Schumacher
"I've worked with Marti in multiple shows, and am always impressed with her flawless performances," said Maui actor Mark Bolden. "She is not only talented, but incredibly helpful with both music and general performance direction."
Kluth's distinctive contribution to the musical landscape of our island is her Walker West Method of instruction.
"The Walker West Method was created by my mentors, the Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West, two professional pianists and instructors from my home state of Minnesota," she said.
This method of teaching takes musical concepts and makes them enjoyable, then directs these concepts to the students at their own individual level.
"Subsequently, using the student's existing skills and needs, the Walker West Method builds pride, self-esteem, confidence and musicianship, thus creating the desire to learn and succeed," said Kluth.
In fact, since opening her Kihei studio in 2004, she has successfully taught a large group of piano and voice students on her high-quality Grand Kawai piano using this special technique.
Kluth's recording studio services embrace the latest technology to improve the study of music.
"I have the ability to record lessons digitally and play back the recording immediately for the student," she said. Instant feedback corrects errors for more efficient learning. "I can also email an mp3 of your song right from the lesson, offering helpful learning material waiting for you at home," she said.
Additionally, she has the ability to record backing tracks for singers to use for auditions, rehearsals or sing-alongs.
"I love teaching all levels from beginner to advanced," said Kluth, who instructs ages 4 to adult. "Private lessons build the best relationship with students. If you know them personally, you know how to help them learn."
Kluth has had a wide range of experience teaching children throughout the Maui schools. "I love the excitement that children show when they see that they can learn to sing and play a new song," she said.
Believing that we are musical beings with music inherent in us, Kluth cites the experience of a 4-year-old student named Keely as an example.
"When Keely came for her first lesson, she was so scared," she remembered. "Once I calmed her down, I told her if you never try, you won't ever do it. Before long she was playing 'Hot Cross Buns' and within a few months, she learned to play a song that I wrote and she sang it as well!"
Obviously out of her shyness now, Keely can hardly wait for her piano lessons. "I got a keyboard for Christmas so I can practice at home, too," she said.
From May 29 to June 2 and June 4 to 8, Keely and others will attend one of two summer camp sessions directed by Kluth at Kamp Krazy Tales. This yearly performance opportunity for Maui keiki ages 5 to 10 is held at the ProArts Playhouse at Azeka Shopping Center (makai) in Kihei.
"Young students will learn fun drama games and music techniques that provide a healthy means of expression," said Kluth. Using the students' newly learned skills for acting and singing, Kamp Krazy Tales culminates with a short performance for parents.
"I would like to emphasize that my husband and I love Maui so much, we employ all our talents to contribute to the island community," said Kluth. "One of our businesses, Kupono Productions, includes videography. As videographers, we do real estate videos, event videos, weddings and so forth."
In addition, they own Beach Locator, a business with 12 apps in the Android market, one in the iTunes App Store, and more coming soon.
"We would love to help local businesses use the power of mobile computing to stay on the cutting-edge of the expanding cellular phone wave," she said.
Whether coming to learn music, buy apps or hire a videographer, you'll delight in Kluth's energy and talent.
For more information, call Kluth at (808) 276-4847 or visit mkluth.com, kupono productions.com or beach locator.net.