Song of the Month for July

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Medley: Summertime/Moondance is July’s Song of the Month. Learn to play it with two unique ‘ukulele strums.

In celebration of the summer season, learn to play a Medley: Summertime/Moondance for July’s “Song of the Month.” This pop medley combines “Summertime” written by Dubose Howard and George Gershwin in 1934 and “Moondance” written by Van Morrison in 1969.  Both songs go together well in style and story.

LEARN HOW TO PLAY IT WITH 2 UNIQUE ‘UKULELE STRUMS. HERE’S HOW:

  1. Listen to our audio recording.
  2. Schedule private webcam lessons.

I will send you the PDF song sheets of my arrangement and teach you how to play it with I Wanna Rest Strum and 4 And Strum. The song is in the key of Em and uses 8 chords – perfect for intermediate ‘ukulele players.

  • No need to read music.
  • Get feedback from a professional educator and entertainer with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and entertaining experience.
  • Learn my method of forming ukulele chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strumming styles taught by no one else.

Want a different song? Visit my online Fan Club and listen to over 100 audio recordings of Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons via webcam or on Maui.

Have fun learning to Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way today!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Small Kid Time Songs 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Rich Tom and Mele Fong led “Sing-Along with Mele Fong – Small Kid Time Songs” on June 22 at Kaunoa Senior Center

Before the program, a grandmother with two small children under the age of 8 asked, “Are we singing Old McDonald Had A Farm?” I replied that we’d be singing songs that adults may remember singing from childhood, but not necessarily children’s songs. There’s a difference.  After the program, they expressed their enjoyment.

Twenty-four people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Small Kid Time Songs on Thursday, June 22 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. The audience included four children under the age of 8 who came with their grandmothers. I had considered the idea for this special inter-generational program at the start of summer and finally offered it new this year. The singing was louder this time as more people sang the familiar songs. Only two songs were in the Hawaiian language. I prepared 12 songs, but at the end of 9 songs the length of the program was just past an hour and it seemed a good time to wind down. The “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room, and having my husband provide the u-bass line to fill in the lower tones to the higher pitched ‘ukulele works just great! Plus singing happy songs is fun!

Here are the 11 small kid time songs we learned:

  1. Froggie Went A-Courtin’ – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.*
  2. Take Me Out to the Ballgame – 2 Waltz Strums.
  3. She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  4. Boy From Laupāhoehoe – ‘Ōlapa Strum (Hawaiian language).
  5. You Are My Sunshine – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  6. The More We Get Together – 2 Waltz Strums.
  7. I’ve Been Working on the Railroad – 4And Rest/Tom Tom Strum.
  8. One Paddle, Two Paddle – I Wanna Rest Strum.*
  9. Que Sera, Sera – 2 Waltz Strums.*
  10. Oh Susanna – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  11. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

HERE’S HOW TO PLAY THE ABOVE SONGS FROM WHEREVER YOU LIVE:

  1. Listen to the audio recordings from the free online Fan Club and then schedule private lessons on Maui or via webcam. I will send you the song sheet and give you feedback.
  • From the Pop Songs Category – Froggie Went A-Courtin’, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain, You Are My Sunshine, The More We Get Together, and Que Sera Sera.
  • From the Hapa Haole Songs Category – Boy From Laupāhoehoe (part of Laupāhoehoe Hula) and One Paddle, Two Paddle.
  • From the Hawaiian Songs Category – Hawaii Aloha.
  1. Download a single song purchase for $10 and get the song sheet, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the story in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions.

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Patriotic Songs on Thursday, July 20.

Visit my webpage about classes at Kaunoa and see photos from past classes for more.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Kamehameha Day Parade on Maui

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Maryanne Gomes, Mele Fong, and Marilyn Kusunoki represented the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu (along with 6 other members) in the Kamehameha Day parade on June 17 in Lahaina, Maui

Last Saturday, June 17, I participated in my first parade in Lahaina honoring King Kamehameha for his birthday. Nine of us represented the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu as we rode in cars in the Nā Kamehameha Commemorative Pāʻū Parade that went from Kenui Street down Front Street to Shaw Street. Along the way, we heard live announcers and Hawaiian music blasting from 5 stations throughout the parade route. We were towards of the front of the parade line up and noticed it took about 40-minutes for us from start to finish. It was a lot of fun to wave and smile at people along the parade route. At one point I heard my name called out, and noticed a husband of one of my ‘ukulele students in the crowd. It’s a small world!

Not to forget the reason for the parade – it was all about honoring King Kamehameha the Great. This was the second activity that I participated in this year along with my Ahahui Ka’ahumanu sisters to honor the king that unified the Hawaiian Islands into one Kingdom. Read about the commemorative march held on the King’s birthday on June 11th.

“King Kamehameha was prophesied to unite the Hawaiian Islands from the night of his birth. A comet streaked across the sky fulfilling an ancient prophesy that the child born under this phenomenon would one day rise up as ruler. King Kamehameha the Great demonstrated strength and intelligence as he created a unified island kingdom from what was once warring tribes. For this, we honor him.” – Read more about the 145th King Kamehameha Day holiday and activities held statewide.

WANT TO BE CONNECTED TO THE HAWAIIAN CULTURE by learning to play Hawaiian music from wherever you live? LEARN HOW.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Marching for King Kamehameha

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The Royal Order of Kamehameha led the Kamehameha Day march. The Ahahui Ka’ahumanu (ladies in black) participated.

On Sunday, June 11, 2017, I marched as a member of the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu (ladies in black) along with members of the royal societies and community members to honor the birthday of Hawaii’s First King for his birthday. Kamehameha the Great unified the Hawaiian Islands in 1810 into one kingdom that lasted until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893 by primarily American businessmen. This commemorative march for King Kamehameha the Great is a solemn occasion devoid of floats and commercialism unlike the Nā Kamehameha Commemorative Pā’ū Parade and Ho’olaule’a in Lahaina to be held this year on Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18.  I was pleased to find out that my uncle, Clifford Hashimoto, in his capacity as statewide Ali’i Aimoku (head of all island chapters of the Royal Order of Kamehameha) had started this annual march in 2004 making this the 13th year of the event. About 60 people including children to adults in their 80’s marched down Ka’ahumanu Avenue in Kahului from the University of Hawaii Maui College to Hoaloha Park followed by a pa’ina hosted by the Royal Order of Kamehameha at their clubhouse Hale Nanea.

New this year, we did not stop for a short ceremony in front of Maui Beach Hotel plus we had community members from a Hawaiian language school and church group join us. Absent from previous years were representatives from Haleakala National Park and Kamehameha Schools Maui. I was one of two Ahahui Ka’ahumanu sisters who marched the entire route and later two more sisters joined in at the halfway mark. I was surprised at the low turnout especially after learning there are over 90 members in our Ahahui chapter.

Note: The Ahahui Ka’ahumanu is a royal society honoring Queen Ka’ahumanu and members must be Native Hawaiian and sponsored in by another member in good standing. I have been a proud member since September 2004 and participated in my first Kamehameha Day march in June 2005. I like the fact that the march is held on the King’s birthday of June 11 no matter what day of the week it falls. Participating in the annual march for Kamehameha is just one of the many Hawaiian cultural activities that we do in the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu.

I am proud of my Hawaiian heritage. I have served as past historian for the Ahahui, presented public oral history programs, and continue to teach Hawaiian songs and the stories behind them to keep our traditional music alive. All Hawaiians and Hawaiians-at-heart are invited to learn more from wherever you live.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

July 1st Lahaina Library Show

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert by The Hawaiian Serenaders on July 1 at noon at Lahaina Public Library on Maui

Back by popular demand, The Hawaiian Serenaders will be presenting a program History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert on Saturday, July 1st at 12 noon at Lahaina Public Library. Come and learn about the ‘ukulele, Hawaii’s official instrument, including the types, parts, tuning, and how playing the ‘ukulele has evolved. Discover the stories behind the songs and enjoy a musical mixed plate concert as we embark on a musical journey through time. The program is sponsored by UH Statewide Cultural Extension Program and thus free to the public. Join us!

History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert
by The Hawaiian Serenaders
Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 12 noon
Lahaina Public Library
680 Wharf Street

Read the review about the April 26 show at the library.

Visit our Hawaiian Serenaders webpage or photo galleries or visit our free online Fan Club to listen to over 100 songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Song of the Month for June

Kamehameha the Great

Honor Kamehameha the Great with song

In celebration of Kamehameha Day on June 11, learn to play King Kamehameha the Conqueror of the Islands for June’s “Song of the Month.” This hapa haole song (Hawaiian style music with English words) was written by Johnny Noble and Ted Fiorito in 1934 and tells part of the story of the king’s conquests in English.

  1. Listen to our audio recording
  2. Schedule private webcam lessons to learn to play it from wherever you live.

I will send you the PDF song sheet for King Kamehameha and teach you how to play my arrangement with I Wanna Rest Strum and 4 And Strum. The song is in the key of C and uses 12 chords – perfect for intermediate ‘ukulele players.

  • No need to read music.
  • Get feedback from a professional educator and entertainer with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and entertaining experience.
  • Learn my method of forming ukulele chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strumming styles taught by no one else.

Want a different song? Visit my online Fan Club and listen to over 100 audio recordings of Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons via webcam or on Maui.

There is another song that ‘ukulele players can learn to play to honor King Kamehameha aka Kamehameha the Great. NA ALI’I is a traditional Hawaiian song that you can learn by downloading the song sheet, video lesson, audio recording and video story behind the story in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions.  BUY NOW.

Have fun learning to Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way today!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Honoring the King Who Unified the Hawaiian Islands

Kamehameha the Great

Kamehameha the Great unified the Hawaiian Islands

On Monday, June 12 the state of Hawai’i observes King Kamehameha Day, one of two holidays that recognize Hawaiian royalty (Prince Kuhio Day is the other). The holiday is usually celebrated on the king’s birthday of June 11 but this year the date falls on a Sunday (so the holiday is Monday).

King Kamehameha 1 aka Kamehameha the Great unified the Hawaiian Islands to form the Kingdom of Hawai’i in 1810. He ruled until his death in 1819 and the monarchy continued until the overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893.

Kamehameha’s grandson, Lot Kapuaiwa aka Kamehameha V, established the first King Kamehameha Day on June 11, 1872. The commoners attended fairs, carnivals, horse races and more to honor their former king. When Hawai’i became a state in 1959, the state legislature continued the royal holiday.

Today on Maui, there is a parade in Lahaina and a commemorative march in Kahului. The parade includes marching bands, colorful floats, and pa’u riders on horseback culminating at the famous Banyan Tree Park for a Ho’olaule’a (public party featuring Hawaiian foods, entertainment, and crafts). The march is organized by the Royal Order of Kamehameha and includes members of the four royal societies marching solemnly down Ka’ahumanu Avenue to honor the king’s memory. I have participated in several marches as a member of Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, a royal society of Native Hawaiian women honoring Queen Ka’ahumanu, the favorite wife of King Kamehameha.

On Oahu, there is a lei draping ceremony at King Kamehameha’s statue at Ali’iolani Hale, the annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition at Blaisdell Arena, and the floral parade in Waikiki. The King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade is the longest parade in the state.

On the Big Island of Hawai’i, there is a lei draping ceremony at the original statue of King Kamehameha at his birthplace in North Kohala followed by a Ho’olaule’a, and the Kamehameha Festival in Hilo.

Read more about Kamehameha Day festivities in 2017.

‘UKULELE PLAYERS can learn to play two songs honoring King Kamehameha:

  1. Na Ali’i, a traditional Hawaiian song written by Samuel Kuahiwi in 1928 in praise of the chiefs and includes two of their famous sayings. Purchase the single song and download the PDF song sheet with Hum Ding-Ah Strum, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions. Buy Now.
  2. King Kamehameha the Conqueror of the Islands, a hapa haole song written by Johnny Noble and Ted Fiorito in 1934, tells the story in English. Listen to the audio recording in the free online Fan Club and then schedule private lessons by webcam or on Maui to get the PDF song sheet with I Wanna Rest Strum and 4 And Strum and to learn how to play it.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

First Mother’s Day Without Mom

May Day Queen

Mom and me celebrating my being crowned May Day Queen in 6th grade because of academic achievements

My memories of mom are of standing next to the piano and beating time with her hands like a human metronome as I practiced playing songs. I started piano lessons when I was 7-years-old, and continued all the way through high school and into college at the Conservatory of Music at University of Pacific in Stockton, California. Along the way, I learned ‘ukulele, taught myself to play guitar, and entertained audiences. All of our family parties involved gathering around the piano and playing music.

Read more about growing up in Hawaii.

On February 10, 2017 my mom passed away making me a motherless child (my dad died on August 14, 2012.) On March 10, during my mom’s Celebration of Life, I presented a 6-minute slideshow movie titled “Fong Family Memories – A Tribute To My Parents.” The slideshow chronicled 93 years of my mom’s life and gives a sense of where I come from. It was hard to talk about my mom without also talking about my dad as they were married for 68 years when he passed away. It’s easy to see the musical influence and joy of making music that my parents instilled in me from a young age. In the background you’ll hear the music of Kui Lee singing “Days of My Youth” which he wrote when he was dying from cancer and dedicated to his son.

View the tribute on my YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/OfslGCy4uc4

Another memory of my mom was feeling her pride when I was crowned May Day queen for a day in 6th grade when I was selected based on scholastic achievement by my elementary school teachers for the annual program. In Hawaii, May 1st is celebrated with May Day school programs including a royal king and queen, and princesses representing the 8 Hawaiian Islands. It was a big deal to be selected as Queen. Our royal court sat underneath the shade of the huge monkey pod tree while children from classes K-6 performed Hawaiian dances for us. Today, elementary schools stagger their May Day programs throughout the month rather than only on May 1st.

This year we are celebrating Mother’s Day with friends Jim and Julie Bills who are visiting from Brisbane, Australia. We had them over to our house for a jam session after they attended my Sing-Along with Mele Fong series: Flower and Lei Songs on Thursday, May 4th. Read the program review and see their picture.

I remember my dad saying, “Music is the universal language. It will open doors for you.” How true that is as we continue to make musical connections and friends with people from all over the world.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review of Flower Songs 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Australian friends Jim and Julie were part of the 21 who attended our May Sing-Along with Mele Fong Program

We got a “thumbs up“ from our two friends from Australia at the conclusion of our Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Flower and Lei Songs on Thursday, May 4 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. We first met Jim and Julie from Brisbane a few years ago when they heard us perform as the husband-wife duo The Hawaiian Serenaders at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center and then participated in our November ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop at the Bailey House. They had encouraged us to present workshops at the Brisbane Ukulele Festival aka SPRUKE, but it didn’t work out. We were happy to see them back in Maui on vacation and happy they could attend one of my programs.

Here are the 9 flower and lei songs (including 4 hapa haole songs) we did in the program:

  1. May Day is Lei Day – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  2. Pua ‘Āhihi – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  3. For You A Lei – Bossa Nova/Latin Strums.
  4. Pua Lililehua – Morse Code Strum.
  5. My Yellow Ginger Lei – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  6. Pua Lilia – 2 Waltz Strums: Thumb Strum Up/Chicken Pluck.
  7. I’ll Weave a Lei of Stars For You – I Wanna Rest/Latin Strums.
  8. Pua Mae Ole – Pick in 4 Strum.
  9. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

HERE’S HOW TO PLAY THE ABOVE SONGS FROM WHEREVER YOU LIVE:

  1. Listen to the audio recordings from the free online Fan Club and then schedule private webcam lessons. I will send you the song sheet and give you feedback.

  1. Download a single song purchase for $10 and get the song sheet, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the story in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions.

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Small Kid Time Songs on Thursday, June 22. Visit my webpage about classes at Kaunoa and see photos from past classes for more information.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Sing Small Kid Time Songs For June 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Bring your uke to play along to the next Sing-Along program

In celebration of the start of summer, join us for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong series: Small Kid Time Songs on Thursday, June 22 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Reminisce with or without your grandchildren as you sing fun songs from childhood. You may have sung these songs around the campfire or on road trips in the family car.

This program is one of a monthly series that evokes the feeling of sing-along with Mitch Miller programs as the lyrics and ‘ukulele chords are projected on the large screen in front of the room for everyone to follow. ‘Ukulele players are invited to bring instruments to play along as I lead everyone by singing and playing my uke while my husband accompanies us on ‘ukulele bass. Don’t worry if you don’t know the ‘ukulele chords or the unique strumming pattern for the songs. The focus is on singing the songs, finding out the stories behind them, and enjoying the group experience. “It’s fun!” is what people people tell me brings them back time after time. See photos from past classes. Visit my webpage about classes at Kaunoa.

Lunch is optional and recommended as a good time to meet people who enjoy learning the Ukulele Mele Way. Kaunoa Senior Center is located in Spreckelsville, Maui.

SIGN UP NOW by calling 808-270-7308.

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Other learning options with Ukulele Mele:

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced ‘ukulele player, you can have fun learning to play the Ukulele Mele Way from wherever you live!

Aloha, Mele Fong, aka Ukulele Mele