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    We empower success
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    through music
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    and language education

Knowledge

is strength

The kanji character means strength. We intergrated the character into the logo to form the word know.

About

Soknow

Studio
SoKnow Studio is Honolulu's premier music and language education source. We use technology, creativity, and traditional instruction to motivate and empower success.

Our excellent instructors instruct children and adults alike in the guitar, piano, ukulele, cello, violin, drums, woodwinds and vocals.

Our team can also teach your children any level of japanese. We have a great studio in which we offer private and group lessons!

Our Teachers

We have great talent
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Kaori

Beniek
Owner/Founder

Kaori started taking piano lessons from Ritsuko Watanabe when she was 3 years old. After graduating from Senzoku Gakuen in Japan, she moved to Minnesota to study Piano under Yakov Galfand at the Mac Phail Center of Honors, University of Minnesota. She received 1st place for Mac Phail Center of Honors Audition Performance for Piano Symphony. Kaori is an active member of the Honolulu Piano Teacher Association, Music Teacher National Association, and The National Guild of Piano Teachers.

Chris

Hopper
Guitar & Ukulele Instructor

Chris is a guitarist based out of Kaneohe, Hawaii. He is classically trained and teaches guitar and ukulele in a variety of styles, including western classical, slack key, jazz, pop, and rock.

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Nina

Martinez
Piano & Music Theory Instructor

Nina Martinez was filled with awe and appreciation for the piano when she began her musical journey with Kaori Beniek. Her studies continued with world- renowned pianist Bichuan Li and has since persisted in maturing her musical tone, technique, and prowess.

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Elias

English
Drum Instructor

Elias, born and raised in Oahu, began playing the drums from the early age of five. He was self-taught till the age of eight where he began to take lessons. He has since then, branched out and performed with other well known local artists such as, Fiji, EMKE, and his new band, Ivory City. He also continues to play at his church where he’s been drumming for most of his life. His commitment and love for drums has not only brought him this far in his musical career, but has also inspired him to share his appreciation and enthusiasm for music with his students.

Jia

Yu Xu
Violin Instructor

Jia Yu Xu is a classical orchestral and solo violinist, who has performed in over 40 concerts and recitals in the avenues like Blaisdell and Pearl City Cultural Center. Her teachers were renowned violinists Jean Michel-Jaquon and Iggy Jang.

Jia Yu has also been trained in the Suzuki method under Kathleen Spring. She enjoys implementing fun creative ways to teach difficult concepts to children and adults. She believes that talent is the result of careful training and countless hours of practice.

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Jon

Banquil
Guitar & Drums Instructor

Playing and teaching at his church and performing live at venues around the island has shaped him into a well-seasoned musician. He frequently utilize technology and innovative methods to create the music that he envisions in his mind. His unique approaches to performance and instruction are invaluable to his career as an instructor.

Jolie

Takazono
Ukulele Instructor

Jolie Takazono was born and raised in Kaneohe, Oahu. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaii and has over 10 years of experience teaching the ukulele to students of all ages. She recently returned from living in Japan, where she taught English. She loves teaching music and is eager to inspire the same excitement for music in her students.

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Amanda

Beniek
Piano & Vocal Instructor

Amanda started her musical journey at 3 years old under the tutelage of Mrs. Beniek; she continued to strengthen her skills for 11 more years in piano instruction.  During this time Amanda also pursued vocal training while in Elementary through High School.  During summers, she attended and studied at Diamond Head Theater, which also built her vocal abilities and skills.  Amanda continued to search for other venues to improve her talent and found opportunities to perform on a worship team for 5-1/2 additional years as head pianist and vocalist.

Emily

Simonian
Vocal & Piano Instructor

Emily has been teaching voice, piano, composition and music theory for 10 years and performing 15+ years. Starting her voice and piano training at the age of 5 under the direction of a vocal coach working with the Pacific Chorale, Emily remained in the classical and musical theater fields throughout schooling, winning spots in the National Choral Director Association's Honor Choirs throughout high school in southern California. After switching to contemporary training, Emily went on to study on scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston and then continued her education at Musician's Institute in Los Angeles, graduating in 2009 with a B.F.A. in Contemporary Music.

Upon graduation, Simonian signed with an independent record label and nationally released her first CD, "Pale Green", containing original songs that secured her a place as a member of the Grammy Association. Her sophomore EP, "Great Escape", was released in March 2014.

Emily loves teaching and takes pride in teaching singers how to use their voices and belt the correct way, increasing their ranges through a method developed by world renowned vocal coach Seth Riggs (whose famous students included Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson and Kelly Clarkson, to name a few). Applying this method can be life changing for your voice, as evidenced to Simonian in her own lessons with Seth.

Piano, voice and composition lessons are available for students of all ages and levels of experience.

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Jeff

Hamano
Cello Instructor

Mr. Hamano has been studying and performing on the cello for over 25 years. He graduated from Kalani High School and received his Bachelors Degree in Music from the University of Hawaii Manoa where he studied Cello under professor I-bei Lin. He has performed with the Maui Symphony, the Honolulu Symphony, Keali ’ i Reichel, and other various artists in concerts here in Hawaii, as well as on the mainland and Japan. Mr. Hamano currently performs as a per service member of the Hawai ’ i Symphony Orchestra . He has participated in the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland, as well as the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina. In addition to teaching cello, Mr. Hamano also conducts beginning level string orchestras for the Moanalua Elementary School as well as the Summer Strings programs for the Hawai'i Youth Symphony. He is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, the American String Teachers Association, and the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

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Pierre

Hernandez
Bass Instructor

Pierre Hernandez is a musician with 19 years ’ experience on the fretted and fretless 4, 5, and 6 string bass guitar. Pierre ’ s music background is a story of its own and with much exper ience with live shows, studio recordings, performing solo, buildi ng and designing basses to include a few. He is an adept bassist with a deep passion for the instrument. Pierre studied music theory and performance skills with professional bassists Patrick Lavery and John Shaugnessy. He focused on jazz/fusion fundamentals, tone, improvisati on, compositions and ear training. The innate ability Pi erre Hernandez demonstrates with the electric bass has allowed him to stand out amongst other bassists. Pierre has been performing since the beginning of high school in North Carolina with many bands in many genres as well a s a soloist. From then, he moved and performed in Chicago, San Diego, ultimately ending here in Honolulu where he has ma de his home on the beautiful island of Oahu.

Ann

Wong
Piano Instructor

At the age of 10, she started piano lessons with Mrs. Wong. As her interest in piano grew, she started with Brian Iwai. After high school, she continued her studies in piano with Aileen Hirota and Dr. Allen Issac. Before working at Soknow Studio, she taught piano for over 20 years.

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Rachel

Hazeltine
Vocal, Piano, & Japanese Instructor

Rachel started dabbling in Japanese in high school, eventually going on to graduate with degr ees in Japanese Studies and Linguistics from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. She is currently cer tified at level 3 of the JLPT. Rachel has been in and out of choirs most of her life, most notably UH Hilo's Kapili Choi r, and studied piano for 17 years with Vanlapa Boon Long. Her favorites include pieces by Chopin and Bach. She also plays t he xylophone! Languages are her passion, and she loves teaching and learning new things.

Steven

Cardenas
Music Instructor

A career music instructor and musician, Steven ’ s desire to enrich student ’ s knowledge and develop the same love he possesses for music f inds him teaching daily. Performing in Allegro Concert Orchestra, Maui Symphony Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and Hawaii Chamber Orche stra has developed his passion even further. Steven aims to assist each of his students in discovering their full potential musically, in part, by helping them build their self-esteem and confidence. “ I just love teaching music! ”

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Our Services
Music

Explore or expand your musical talent with our lessons in violin, piano, guitar, drums, ukulele, or vocals. Classes are scheduled according to availability

Language

Our Japanese Language classes are divided into five target groups - Pre-class, #1 Beginner, #2 Intermediate, #3 Advanced, and Adult.

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Coming Soon!

Classes start January, 2017

Ask for details

Band Practice

Bands, if you are looking for a place to practice, we have the space for you. Contact us for more information or availability.

technology and creativity empower

success

Est. 2014

Our Talent

Let us show you what we can teach you

Contact

Get in touch with us. You can call us at (808)859-3933 or visit us at 1151 Mapunapuna st. suite D2 Honolulu, Hi 96819
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