Review Big Island Songs 2017

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Get Single Song Purchases of Big Island Songs & more

“This is my favorite class.” “More people should come to your program.” Hearing these comments from my students brings a smile and sense of accomplishment of achieving my goal of sharing the joy of making music one ‘ukulele players at-a-time.

Eighteen people signed up for my Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Big Island Songs on Thursday, March 2 from 10:00 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults age 55 and better. In the second year, the program evokes the feeling of sing-along with Mitch Miller programs from long ago. I used PowerPoint to project the lyrics and chords for 8 songs up on the screen so everyone could see. The presentation of 47 slides (approximately 4 lines per slide) took 1 hour and 10 minutes. As I introduced each song, I told the story behind it in keeping with Hawaiian oral traditions whether the song was Hawaiian or not. For songs in the Hawaiian language, I taught how to pronounce the lyrics and the translation. We all had fun singing while I played my ‘ukulele and my husband accompanied the group on his u-bass.

Here are the 8 Hawaiian and hapa haole songs we learned:

  1. Kupa Landing – by Lot Keawe, 1890s.
  2. Akaka Falls – by Helen Lindsey Parker.
  3. Kuhio Bay – by Keliana Bishaw.
  4. The Beauty of Mauna Kea – by Keola Beamer, 1976.
  5. Hilo March – by Joseph Ae’a, 1890s.
  6. Kaula ‘Ili – traditional.
  7. My Little Grass Shack – by Johnny Noble, Tommy Harrison, Bill Cogswell.
  8. Hawaii Aloha – by Rev. Lorenzo Lyons, 1800s

You can learn to play three of the above song arrangements from wherever you live. Select the song you want to purchase one at-a-time and get the downloadable song sheet, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions whether the song is Hawaiian or not. Click on the song titles below to hear an audio sample:

  1. Akaka Falls – 2 Waltz Strums
  2. My Little Grass Shack – I Wanna Rest Strum
  3. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Kauai Songs coming on Thursday, April 26. Learn more about classes offered at Kaunoa Senior Center for 2017.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

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Learn ‘ukulele from a Native Hawaiian

In Hawai’i we say Hau’oli Makahiki Hou to say Happy New Year. “In ancient Hawaii, the Makahiki Season was a celebration of abundance of land and sea and the accomplishments of the Hawaiian People. It was the time for healing, new growth, a time of peace and spiritual cleansing of the Hawaiian mind, sound and heart, in celebration of life.”[1] The season lasted approximately four months between November and February.

In the spirit of the Makahiki Season, I offer you a Hawaiian cultural connection through the perpetuation of playing Hawaiian music on the ‘ukulele. Live the Hawaiian culture from wherever you live. Learn to play the ‘ukulele, Hawai’i’s official instrument, from a Native Hawaiian with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and performing experience.

For all of you homesick Hawaiians and Hawaiians-at-heart living away from Hawai’i, learn the old Hawaiian songs in a new way. Get my song arrangements with unique strums for the ‘ukulele.

  • Can’t pronounce the Hawaiian words? No need to.
  • Forgot the melody? We sing so you can focus on playing along.
  • Curious about the story behind the song? Watch the video story and/or read the song sheets.

Celebrate the Makahiki Season with Ukulele Mele!

Read more how Ka’anapali Beach Hotel celebrates the Makahiki season. We have attended Hawaiian cultural events at the hotel and appreciate the local feel of the place.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

[1] http://www.hawaiiculture.com/cms/View.aspx/Show/Makahiki

Hawaiian Songs Class Reviewed

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Hawaiian Songs for ‘Ukulele 1 class less 3 students

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a wonderful experience in your Hawaiian Songs 1 class. I did not expect to learn as many useful techniques for playing ukulele Hawaiian style, plus learning some very challenging strums. The selection of traditional Hawaiian songs was great, and your presentation was excellent. Perhaps the best part of the class is that it was fun. I am looking forward to the Hawaiian Songs 2 class. Mahalo nui loa.” —-Kip Bowley (standing far right), Maui, 27 August, 2016.

“Thanks for allowing me into your Hawaiian songs class. I mainly signed up for this class in hopes of improving my performance of Hawaiian songs and especially trying to improve my Olapa strumming technique. This class has helped me with the pronunciation of the Hawaiian language in son and the different strums. All the information about the background of the songs has been so educational for me. I look forward to more classes in the future. Thanks again!! Mahalo.” —Charles Calvan (sitting far right), Maui, 27 August, 2016.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Book/DVD/CD packaged set by Ukulele Mele

I received the above written comments about my Hawaiian Songs for ‘Ukulele One class that met on four Mondays for 2-hours each day at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. We used my newly revised ‘Ukulele Strums for Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Volume One packaged set with book/DVD/CD for the curriculum. Eleven students signed up, with half being brand new students. All but one student is continuing into the next class, which I feel is a great testament.

Click on the song title to hear an audio sample from Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Volume One:

1. Aloha ‘Oe with Morse Code Strum.
2. Hula O Makee with ‘Olapa Strum.
3. Ku’uipo I Ka He’e Pu’e One with Pick in 4 and Latin Strums.
4. Makalapua with I Wanna Rest Strum.
5. On The Beach At Waikiki with Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
6. Sanoe with Waltz Strum: Thumb Strum Up and Pick in 6 Strum.

If you want to learn Hawaiian songs from wherever you live, purchase the packaged set online for Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Volume One and I will mail it to you.

The next Hawaiian songs for ‘ukulele class starts Monday, August 29 and uses the newly revised ‘Ukulele Strums for Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Volume Two packaged set with book/DVD/CD for the curriculum. Purchase the set of Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Volume Two, and I will mail it to you.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Kamehameha Day March This Saturday

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I marched with my Ahahui Kaahumanu sisters on Kamehameha Day 2005

Saturday, June 11 is Kamehameha Day, the birthday of Hawai’i’s First King, and one of two state holidays honoring Hawaiian ali’i (royalty). I will be marching along with my Ahahui Ka’ahumanu sisters in the commemorative march organized by the Royal Order of Kamehameha. We are usually joined by members of the two other royal societies and friends as we march down Ka’ahumanu Avenue to Hoaloha Park to honor King Kamehameha’s memory on his actual birthday. This is not a parade with floats. In the top photo, here is the scene in front of me as we marched down the street. In the bottom photo, my Uncle Clifford Hashimoto as Ali’i Ai Moku, meaning the head of the statewide Royal Order of Kamehameha, gets ready to welcome participants at the end of the march. In turn, each head of the four royal societies says something during the ceremonies before we adjourn for lunch.

The first time I participated in the march was in 2005, after being initiated into the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu Chapter IV Wailuku in September 2004. Members are Native Hawaiian women who are sponsored into the organization that honors Queen Ka’ahumanu’s memory as favorite wife of Kamehameha and more. I am proud of my Hawaiian heritage. As past historian for the Ahahui, I used to give short 5-minute historical talks at membership meetings and at public events. I have since expanded those talks to 2-hour PowerPoint presentations that I present to the public to keep our Hawaiian stories and traditional music alive.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The royal societies gather in a circle at the end of the march

On January 11, I gave a presentation on Hawai’i’s First King as the first program in my Hawaiian History Series for 2016 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. We learned about Kamehameha who lived from 1758-1810, and sang 4 songs relating to him and the time period. Read more about the program.

Last year, I did an Oral History and Sing-Along Program on June 11, King Kamehameha’s actual birthday and state holiday, at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. The 2-hour program included a short lecture about the King and the singing of 9 traditional Hawaiian songs and the stories behind them in keeping with Hawaiian cultural traditions. Read more about the program.

One of the songs related to Kamehameha that ‘ukulele players can learn is Na Ali’i, a song written in 1928 by Samuel Kuahiwi in praise of the chiefs and includes two of their famous sayings. Subscribers to Complete Monthly Online Lessons can learn to play the song with my Hum Ding-Ah Strum, download the PDF song sheets, view the video lesson, play along with the audio recording, and watch the video story in the lesson along with 49 other lessons for 30 days at-a-time. Listen to an audio sample of Na Ali’i and learn more about subscribing to Complete Monthly Online Lessons to learn to play more Hawaiian songs.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

5 Adventure Songs For June

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Play 5 Adventure Songs for June

Are you ready for a summer project to get better playing your ‘ukulele? To inspire you this month, learn 5 adventure songs as the music transports you to another place and time.

Click below to hear song samples with unique Ukulele Mele strums:

  1. Sloop John B – traditional (Key of C, 3 chords, Latin Strum).
  2. Jamaica Farewell – traditional (Key of G, 3 chords, Latin Strum).
  3. Camptown Races – by Stephen Foster, 1850s (Key of G, 3 chords, Hum Ding-Ah Strum).
  4. Henehene Kou Aka – traditional (Key of F, 8 chords, I Wanna Rest Strum).
  5. Hawaii Calls – by Harry Owens (Key of F, 6 chords, Bossa Nova Strum).

Learn to play the songs the Ukulele Mele Way (get song sheet, video lessons and audio recording):

  1. Sloop John B – Subscribe to Beyond the Basics online lessons or purchase Sing-Along Songs Vol. 2 packaged set of book/DVD/CD.
  2. Jamaica Farewell – Subscribe to Beyond the Basics online lessons or purchase Sing-Along Songs Vol. 1 packaged set of book/DVD/CD.
  3. Camptown Races – Subscribe to Beyond the Basics online lessons or purchase Sing-Along Songs Vol. 2 packaged set of book/DVD/CD.
  4. Henehene Kou Aka – Subscribe to Complete Monthly Online Lessons and learn all 5 songs plus 45 others (bonus full video stories only available here).
  5. Hawaii Calls – Subscribe to Complete Monthly Online Lessons or purchase Hapa Haole Songs Vol. 1 packaged set of book/DVD/CD.

How is my method unique?

  • No need to read music to learn the Ukulele Mele Way
  • My method shows how to form chords without muscle strain, plus unique strums taught nowhere else
  • I have over 50+ years experience as a ‘ukulele player, entertainer, and teacher
  • I offer different ways on and offline line to learn in addition to lessons on Maui
  • I give free Fan Club access to 95 audio files of songs available to learn via lessons on Maui or webcam

Questions? Contact me for general questions, or schedule a private webcam lesson  to get feedback from me about what you’re learning from the comfort of your home.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Oahu Songs Sing-Along

“Today was challenging, but fun. The lady next to me said she had taken your ‘ukulele class in the past. I noticed she was playing an imaginary ‘ukulele and told her she should bring her ‘ukulele next time. She gave me a big smile. Maybe she will…” – email from student Lee Shigezawa.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.co,

Fourth program of the Island Series

Fourteen people signed up for my NEW Island Sing-Along Series on Thursday, May 12 from 10:00 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults age 55 and better. The fourth program of the series was about the Hawaiian island of Oahu. I used PowerPoint to project the lyrics and chords for 8 songs up on the screen so everyone could see. The presentation of 57 slides took 1 hour and 25 minutes. As I introduced each song, I told the story behind it in keeping with Hawaiian oral traditions whether the song was Hawaiian or not. For songs in the Hawaiian language, I taught how to pronounce the lyrics and the translation. We all had fun singing while I played my ‘ukulele and my husband accompanied the group on his u-bass. About a third of the audience brought their instruments and played along.

Here are the 8 Hawaiian and hapa haole songs we learned:

  1. ‘O Ka Leo – by Richard Iliwa’alani.
  2. Henehene Kou ‘Aka – traditional.
  3. On the Beach at Waikīkī – by Henry Kailimai and G.H. Stover, 1915.
  4. Kaimana Hila – by Charles E. King, 1916.
  5. Royal Hawaiian Hotel – by Mary Pula’a Robins, 1927.
  6. Honolulu I’m Coming Back Again – by F.B. Silverwood and David Lindeman, 1919.
  7. Beautiful Ilima – by Princess Emma Alexandria Kanoa DeFries.
  8. Hawaii Aloha – by Rev. Lorenzo Lyons, 1800s

New this time I used the laser pointer feature on the remote control to advance the PowerPoint slides. It sure came in handy to show people where we going on the map of Oahu, and to show the line of the song we were on as we learned to pronounce the Hawaiian words.

Another first was my new method of showing the Hawaiian song lyrics on the screen while telling the translation and the source, and pointing out familiar words to help people get the just of the story. This was better than my previous method of telling the translation of the song while people looked at the cover image for the song’s title.

After the program, someone asked, “Do you have handouts?” My response – no, take lessons.

Listen to audio samples of songs that we sang that ‘ukulele players can learn to play via Complete Monthly Online lessons:

  1. Henehene Kou ‘Aka
  2. On the Beach at Waikīkī
  3. Kaimana Hila
  4. Royal Hawaiian Hotel
  5. Honolulu I’m Coming Back Again
  6. Hawaii Aloha

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along program coming on June 16 about Hapa Haole songs. Visit my online Event Calendar for more info.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Kauai Island Songs Sing-Along

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Kauai’i Island Sing-Along Series held April 28

Thirteen people signed up for my NEW Kaua’i Island Sing-Along Songs Series on Thursday, April 28 from 10:00 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults age 55 and better. I used PowerPoint to project the lyrics and chords for 8 songs about Kaua’i and Ni’ihau up on the screen so everyone could see. The presentation of 42 slides took 1 hour, and then we reviewed 5 songs and ended with Hawai’i Aloha 20 minutes later. When I introduced each song, I told the story behind it in keeping with Hawaiian oral traditions whether the song was Hawaiian or not. For songs in the Hawaiian language, I taught how to pronounce the lyrics and the translation. We all had fun while I played my ‘ukulele and my husband accompanied the group on his u-bass. A few more ‘ukulele players than at previous programs brought their instruments to play along. One student was born on Kaua’i and told me he was looking forward to seeing the songs I selected.

Here are the 8 Hawaiian and hapa haole songs we learned:

  1. Maikai’i Kaua’i – based on a chant by Kapa’akea, music by Henry Aaia’u, traditional.
  2. Beautiful Kaua’i – by Randy Farden, Jr., 1967.
  3. Aloha Kaua’i – by Mai’ki Aiu for the Malina family, 1950s.
  4. Hula o Makee – 2 versions published in 1903, traditional.
  5. Hanalei Moon – by Maui born Bob Nelson.
  6. Hanohano Hanalei – by Alfred Alohikea, 1920.
  7. Pūpū o Ni’ihau – By Mary Robins and Johnny Noble.
  8. Hawaii Aloha – by Rev. Lorenzo Lyons, 1800s

Listen to audio samples of Hula o Makee, Hanohano Hanalei, and Hawaii Aloha, and then learn how to play them by subscribing to Complete Monthly Online Lessons. Intermediate and advanced ‘ukulele students will have an easier time learning to play those songs. Questions? Schedule private webcam lessons and then we can go over the lessons from the comfort of your home.

See “classes” photo galleries for photos from past programs.

Stay tuned for the next Island Sing-Along Series coming on May 12 about Oahu Island songs.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

5 Island Songs for May Day

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Learn 5 Island Songs for May

In Hawai’i, May 1st is also known as May Day is Lei Day. Invented in 1927 by an island artist and newspaper writer (Don Blanding and Grace Tower Warren) the spring celebration includes elementary school programs of island songs performed by each of the classes for the royal court. Don Blanding is also credited with the invention of the custom of tossing your lei overboard when you sailed from Honolulu, Oahu. If the lei came back to shore (and most did), it supposedly meant you would return to Hawaii someday. This month in keeping with the May Day tradition, you can learn 5 songs about the Hawaiian islands.

Listen to an audio sample by clicking on the song titles below:

1. All Islands – Hawaii Aloha – with Morse Code Strum
2. Maui – Maui No Ka ‘Oi – with Hum Ding-Ah Strum
3. Big Island – My Little Grass Shack – with I Wanna Rest Strum
4. Kauai – Hula o Makee – with Olapa Strum
5. Oahu – Honolulu I’m Coming Back Again – with I Wanna Rest Strum

Learn to play these songs by subscribing to Complete Monthly Online Lessons with unlimited access to 50 songs for $50 for 30 days at-a-time. Intermediate and advanced ‘ukulele players will have an easier time playing the songs with 2-13 chords.  Learn more.

Questions? Schedule a private webcam lesson  to learn with me from the comfort of your home.

Stay tuned for June’s theme of “5 Adventure Songs for Summer”

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

5 Songs About Hawaii’s Places

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Celebrate Earth Day with 5 Songs About Hawaii

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22 this month, let’s learn 5 songs about Hawai’i’s beautiful places. Some of the songs are considered hapa haole, meaning Hawaiian style music with English lyrics. Some of the songs take place around Waikiki, on the island of Oahu, and some tell general stories about the beauty of the islands.

Intermediate and advanced ‘ukulele players will have an easier time playing the songs with 5-14 chords and some complex strums.

Listen to an audio sample by clicking on the song titles below:

1. Soft Green Seas by R. Alex Anderson (Key of D, 14 chords, I Wanna Rest and Latin Strums).
2. Royal Hawaiian Hotel by Mary Robins (Key of F, 9 chords, I Wanna Rest Strum).
3. Hawaiian War Chant – by Prince Leleiohoku (Key of C, 5 chords, I Wanna Rest and Latin Strums).
4. Kuu Pua I Paoakalani – by Queen Lili’uokalani (Key of D, 6 chords, Pick in 4 Strum).
5. Hawaii Calls – by Harry Owens (Key of F, 6 chords, Bossa Nova Strum).

Learn to play the songs by:

  1. Subscribing to Complete Monthly Online Lessons and learn all 5 songs plus 45 others (bonus full video stories only available here) with access for 30 days at-a-time.
  2. Purchasing the packaged song set for Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 2 and learn Hawaiian War Chant, Kuu Pua I Paoakalani, plus 4 more songs.
  3. Purchasing the packaged song set for Hapa Haole Songs Vol. 1 and learn Hawaii Calls, Soft Green Seas, plus 4 more songs.

Questions? Schedule private webcam lessons  to learn with me from the comfort of your home.

Stay tuned for May’s theme of “Island Songs for May Day.”

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

5 Songs About Hawai’i’s Royalty

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Honor Hawaiian royalty with 5 songs on ‘ukulele

March is a culturally busy month in Hawai’i as we celebrate the birthdays of Queen Ka’ahumanu on the 17th and Prince Kuhio on the 26th.  Queen Elisabeth Ka’ahumanu (1768-1832) was the favorite wife of King Kamehameha the Great, accepted Christianity, and made books available to the commoners which resulted in a high literacy rate during the early days of the Hawaiian monarchy. Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole (1871-1922) served as Hawaii’s second congressional delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives and won passage of the Hawaiian Homes Act in 1921 which created the Hawaiian Homes Commission that set aside 200,000 acres of land for Hawaiian homesteaders. The legacies of both Queen Ka’ahumanu and Prince Kuhio live on today. Thus, the theme for March is five songs that were composed by or about Hawai’i’s royalty.

Intermediate and advanced ‘ukulele players will have an easier time playing the songs with 4-9 chords and some complex strums.

Listen to an audio sample by clicking on the song titles below:

  1. Na Ali’i by Samuel Kuahiwi (Key of C, 4 chords, Hum Ding-Ah Strum).
  2. Queen’s Jubilee by Lili’uokalani (Key of F, 5 chords, Morse Code Strum).
  3. Makalapua by David Nape, (Key of C, 9 chords, I Wanna Rest Strum).
  4. Sanoe by Lili’uokalani and Elizabeth Achuck (Key of F, 5 chords, Waltz Strum: Thumb Strum Up and Pick in 6 Strum).
  5. Koni Au I Ka Wai by King David Kalākaua (Keys of C and F, 6 chords, Hum Ding-Ah Strum).

Learn to play the songs by:

  1. Subscribing to Complete Monthly Online Lessons and learn all the songs (bonus full video stories only available here).
  2. Purchasing the packaged song set for Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 1 and learn Makalapua and Sanoe.
  3. Purchasing the packaged song set for Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 2 and learn Koni Au I Ka Wai.

Questions? Schedule a private webcam lesson  to learn with me from the comfort of your home.

Stay tuned for April’s theme of “Hawai’i’s beautiful places for Earth Day.”

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele