Ukulele Workshop and Show March 18

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Participate in an ukulele workshop and then watch us perform on stage on March 18

We have two back-to-back events for ‘ukulele players to participate and enjoy on Saturday, March 18 in central Maui.

First, there’s the monthly Ukulele Strumming Workshop from 10 a.m. – 12 noon at Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House in Museum. Bring your instruments and join in the fun learning my unique method of forming chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and strumming styles for the ‘ukulele that are taught nowhere else. This introduction aims to get you coming back for more via private lessons on Maui, online lessons, single song purchases, or packaged song sets of book/DVD/CD. This will be the last monthly workshop for the season until we resume in October.

Sign up now online to reserve your seat and then pay $10/5 at the door of the museum.

Second, The Hawaiian Serenaders will be in concert at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center from 1– 1:45pm as part of the entertainment lineup for Queen’s Fest honoring the Center’s namesake. Come and enjoy our mix of traditional Hawaiian and hapa haole favorites with unique strumming patterns as we play and sing on ‘ukulele and u-bass. We hope to inspire you with what is possible to play with practice. I teach many of the songs that we perform via private and online lessons. Stick around and visit with us after the show. The Hawaiian Serenaders are the only husband-wife duo that sing and play ‘ukulele professionally on Maui.

Read more about Queen Ka’ahumanu and the festival.

Join us and experience how much fun it is to “Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way.”

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

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

Review Feb 2017 Ukulele Workshop

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February workshop fun

Eleven people came to my 40th ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop on February 18, 2017 at Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House in Wailuku. This brings the total to 515 people I have taught since my 2-hour workshops began on July 14, 2012. Participants came from Utah, Oahu, and Maui.

My goal for the workshops is to introduce people to the Ukulele Mele Way so they will want to learn more. The youngest participants were a teenage brother and sister from Utah who did great.

We played the following:

Part 1: (3 different strums)
1. Horse with No Name – Chalang-alang strum (Am, A7sus)
2. Lion Sleeps Tonight – Chalang-alang strum and I Wanna Rest Strum (C, F, G7)
3. She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (C, F, G7)

Part 2: (2 different strums)
4. Happy Birthday – Chalang strum and Latin Strum (C, F, G7)
5. My Girl – Latin Strum (C, F, G7)
6. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code strum (C, C7, F, Fm, G7)

The next workshop is scheduled for March 18, 2017. Register now and then pay the $10 non-member or $5 museum member fee at the door-of the museum. This will be the last workshop until October 2017.

Can’t make it to Maui? Schedule private webcam lessons from the comfort of your home while I teach you from mine. Visit my online Fan Club and listen to 98 audio recordings of songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons. Another option is to subscribe to online lessons for self-study or purchase Single Song Lessons (choose from 40 songs) to download to your digital device. There are many ways to have fun learning the Ukulele Mele Way.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Feb 18 Ukulele Workshop

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

REGISTER NOW for fun making music in a group setting

My monthly ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop is this coming Saturday, February 18, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House in Wailuku. Join my introductory class to learn unique strumming styles for the ‘ukulele and a method for forming ‘ukulele chords with minimal muscle strain taught by no one else on Maui. Plus, play fun, sing-along songs while accompanied by a professional ‘ukulele bass player who happens to be my husband, Richard Tom (we entertain as a duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders).

Do you play C, F, and G7 chords confidently? Can you strum up and down evenly? Then this workshop is for you. We will go beyond the chalang-alang strum (even up and down strums) and give you a taste of other rhythm patterns. There is no need to read music as we play songs by ear without looking at music.

After the workshop, you can continue learning by scheduling private lessons with me, purchasing packaged sets of book/DVD/CD to take home, or subscribing to online lessons. Experience first hand how much fun it is to “Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way.”

Cost is $10 or $5 for museum members at the door. Seats are limited so pre-registration is recommended.

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY!

For more information, read student testimonials and about past and future workshops on Maui.

Questions? Call me at 808-281-4981 or email mele@ukulelemeleonmaui.com.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Hawaiian Serenaders Perform with a Keyboardist

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Before our show with George Kahumoku, Jr.

The Hawaiian Serenaders talked story with Grammy Award winner George Kahumoku, Jr. before the start of our show last Saturday, January 21, at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu. George asked us for ideas on venues in Washington, D.C. where he could perform when he goes there next month. George knows that we used to live in Maryland and perform in Washington. D.C. and we know some of the same people. The occasion was the 5th Anniversary party for Maui Business Brainstormers, an organization of business owners and entrepreneurs who meet regularly to network and help each other solve business challenges. I am a member of MBB and happen to have served on the entertainment committee as part of the planning committee for the party.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Serenaders perform pop and jazz with a keyboardist

The best part of being on the entertainment committee was meeting Michael Elam, President of Mana’o Radio (a local FM station) and keyboardist. When Mike suggested that it would be fun to play music together for the party, we jumped at the chance. Rich and I rehearsed 3 times in 3 weeks with Mike and then it was show time. At our last rehearsal it took exactly 30-minutes to play our trio set which was exactly the plan for the time slot.

The party started at 5:30 p.m. and ended around 8:45 p.m. (earlier than 10 p.m. as planned). In addition to participating in 3 planning committee meetings, we setup our Bose sound system and provided the following services at the party for 110 guests:

  • Provided 45-minutes of instrumental music (pre-recorded on mp3 player) during guest registration, cocktails, meet and greet.
  • Performed 60-minutes during dinner hour (as a duo playing Hawaiian and hapa haole favorites from memory and as a trio playing pop and jazz cover songs).
  • Provided pre-recorded music of the Chicken Dance and I led the motions for group participation.
  • Provided sound system support for Mike to sing and play keyboard as I changed the words for each song that was projected from the computer onto the screen for a group sing-along of Beatles songs.
  • Performed “With A Little Help From My Friends” and then “Hawaii Aloha” to close the party.
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Over 100 business people attended the event

After the party, we received many compliments directly and through others. I thought it was great when one couple got up to dance to the first song we played with Mike titled “Uwehi Ami and Slide.” A memory I have is seeing Nancy Kahumoku (George’s wife) moving in time to our music each time she got up from the table to get something to eat. It felt good to showcase what we do and the mix of music we play. “Your music is not boring,” said one person. I put a lot of thought into the selection of songs, tempos, styles, and language, so that we keep our audience guessing what’s next.

Here is The Hawaiian Serenaders set of Hawaiian and hapa haole songs we did from memory:

  1. Kupa Landing
  2. To You Sweetheart Aloha
  3. Wahine Ilikea
  4. I’ll Remember You
  5. Ulupalakua
  6. Hanalei Moon
  7. Island Medley
  8. Lahainaluna
  9. O Ka Leo
  10. Beyond the Reef
  11. Koni Au I Ka Wai
  12. Sophisticated Hula

Here is the trio set of pop and jazz songs we did together (with alternating instrumental solos):

  1. Uwehi Ami and Slide
  2. Flying
  3. Night and Day
  4. Autumn Leaves
  5. Fly Me To the Moon
  6. Girl From Ipanema
  7. I Wish You Love
  8. More

A fun time was had by all. Visit The Hawaiian Serenaders webpage to learn more.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Ukulele Workshop Saturday

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Learn the Ukulele Mele Way in a fun group setting

The monthly ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop is this coming Saturday, January 21, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. Join my introductory class to learn unique strumming styles for the ‘ukulele and a method for forming ‘ukulele chords with minimal muscle strain taught by no one else on Maui. Plus, play fun, sing-along songs while accompanied by a professional ‘ukulele bass player.

Do you play C, F, and G7 chords confidently? Can you strum up and down evenly? Then this workshop is for you. We will go beyond the chalang-alang strum (even up and down strums) and give you a taste of other rhythm patterns. There is no need to read music as we play songs by ear without looking at music.

After the workshop, you can continue learning by scheduling private lessons with me, purchasing packaged sets of book/DVD/CD to take home, or subscribing to online lessons. Experience firsthand how much fun it is to “Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way.”

Cost is $10 or $5 for museum members at the door. Seats are limited so pre-registration is recommended.

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY!

For more information, read student testimonials and about past and future workshops on Maui.

Questions? Call me at 808-281-4981 or email mele@ukulelemeleonmaui.com.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Christmas Party 2016 Review

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Advanced Ukulele class at our Christmas Party 2016

Thirty people signed up for the 4th Annual Ukulele Mele Christmas Party held on Wednesday, December 14 from 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon. at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. The party had 4 parts: “Kaunoa Through the Years” PowerPoint presentation, play/sing along of Christmas songs, ornament game, and lunch. Afterwards, one student thanked me for having the party especially when she couldn’t be with her family that live on the mainland. I should have replied, “We are your ‘ukulele family.”

PART ONE. This was the second year that I showed a PowerPoint presentation about the evolution of classes since I began teaching at Kaunoa in January 2009. New this year, I prepared summaries of each year from 2009-2016 in consistent formats in blog posts and filed them in a new category titled “Senior Classes.” I also cleaned up the webpage for senior classes on my website and linked the blog posts that summarize the year’s classes. I enjoyed selecting best of photos for the years and hearing comments from past, present, and future students as they watched my presentation.

In summary, from 2009-2016 I taught 648 classes including student performances and our shows:

  • 582 classes
  • 20 classes led by a facilitator for my online courses
  • 41 Band shows at Kaunoa and in the community
  • 5 Hawaiian Serenader (professional shows)

Read blog posts summarizing classes from the past 7 years:

PART TWO. This was the second year that everyone played and sang-along to all 13 Christmas songs from the online Fan Club. Before the party, the Advanced Ukulele class and the Ukulele Strumming 202 class had one 2-hour class to learn the songs. Everyone else shared the music and played the songs on the spot. Here is our song list in order:

  1. Jingle Bells
  2. Silver Bells
  3. Feliz Navidad
  4. Mele Kalikimaka Ia ‘Oe
  5. Hawaiian Santa
  6. Holly Jolly Christmas
  7. The Christmas Song
  8. Winta Wandaland
  9. Christmas Island
  10. White Christmas
  11. Aloha Kalikimaka
  12. Christmas Luau
  13. Mele Kalikimaka

“Holiday songs that could have been tired and predictable became creative and challenging” –Read more of E.S. testimonial.

See photos from the party and other classes at Kaunoa for 2016. (Note: on the bottom of the page look for “Ordering”  then select “Date Ascending” to view photos in chronological order.)

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

December Ukulele Workshop Review

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

We played Christmas songs at the December Workshop

Seven people came to my 38th ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop on December 17, 2016 at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. This brings the total to 499 people I have taught since my 2-hour workshops began on July 14, 2012. Participants came from Argentina, Seattle, WA, and from Maui.

Since it was December, I thought it would be fun to play Christmas songs at the workshop. Thus, I quickly moved people from learning the basics to playing 5-chord songs in different keys. There is a fine line between challenging and frustrating people to do something beyond their abilities. I suggested that people focus on what they want to learn, such as just form the chords or just try strumming the different rhythms rather than trying to put both hands together right away. My goal for the workshops is to introduce people to the Ukulele Mele Way so will want to learn more. Two people scheduled private lessons after the workshop which made me very happy.

We played the following:

Part 1: (4 different strums)
1. Horse with No Name – Chalang-alang strum (Am, A7sus)
2. Lion Sleeps Tonight – Chalang-alang strum (C, F, G7)
3. Jingle Bells – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (C, D7, F, G7)
4. Silver Bells – 2 Waltz Strums (F, F7, Bb, C7)

Part 2: (4 different strums)
5. Feliz Navidad – Latin Strum (F, Gm7, C7)
6. Silent Night – in 4/4 all downs and then in waltz/Pick in 6 (F, F7, Bb, Bbm, C7)
7. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code strum (C, C7, F, Fm, G7)

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Had a fun and instructive time” –S.S., Seattle, WA

Learn to play Jingle Bells and Silent Night as Single Song Purchases or in my Mele Kalikimaka Vol. 1 packaged set of book/DVD/CD.

Learn to play Hawaii Aloha as a Single Song Purchase on in my Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 2 packaged set of book/DVD/CD.

The next workshop is scheduled for January 21, 2017. Sign up now and then pay the $10 non-member or $5 museum member fee at the door-of the museum.

Can’t make it to Maui? Schedule private webcam lessons with me from home.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Learn New Ukulele Strums Saturday

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Register for Ukulele Mele Workshop Saturday

The monthly ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop is this coming Saturday, December 17, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. Participants will get an introduction to unique strumming styles for the ‘ukulele and a method for forming ‘ukulele chords with minimal muscle strain taught by no one else on Maui. Play fun, sing-along songs while accompanied by a professional ‘ukulele bass player.

Do you play C, F, and G7 chords confidently? Can you strum up and down evenly? Then this workshop is for you. We will go beyond the chalang-alang strum (even up and down strums) and give you a taste of other rhythm patterns. There is no need to read music as we play songs by ear without looking at music.

After the workshop, you can continue learning by scheduling private lessons with me, purchasing packaged sets of book/DVD/CD to take home, or subscribing to online lessons from wherever you live. Experience firsthand how much fun it is to “Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way.”

Cost is $10 or $5 for museum members at the door. Seats are limited so pre-registration is recommended. Register online by clicking here.

Learn more about my workshops on Maui by clicking here.

Questions? Call me at 808-281-4981 or email mele@ukulelemeleonmaui.com.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Ukulele Mele Music Week

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Les presents a lei to Mele at the Island Party on November 18

“The best was Ukulele Week which was so much fun – I love it,” wrote Les Perreira referring to a special week of ‘ukulele classes and concerts from November 12 – 19 to celebrate my 7th year of teaching at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better and my 5th year in business as Ukulele Mele On Maui. Read Les’s full testimonial on my website.

In the hopes of attracting new students to my classes at Kaunoa Senior Center, I planned a special singing class and special ‘ukulele class to learn the 9 Hawaiian Island songs for the group sing/play along at the end of the week’s culminating event called “Mele’s Island Party.” I used PowerPoint to project the words and ‘ukulele chords onto the screen at the front of the room so everyone looked forward rather than down at their song sheets. I was pleased that new people came in addition to students from my continuing ‘ukulele classes who signed up for the entire week. Here is a summary of the week’s special classes at Kaunoa:

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

32 came to Mele’s Island Party (the culminating event) at Kaunoa Senior Center for Ukulele Mele Music Week

  1. Monday, November 14 from 9 – 11 a.m. Fifteen people came to my special singing class. We went over the stories behind the songs, how to pronounce the Hawaiian lyrics, and sang each song at least twice as they learned the songs without needing to read music. Some of my ‘ukulele students brought their instruments and played along. There were some new faces and one lady who said she came because she liked my program on “Na Lani Eha – The Four Royals” about Hawaiian history and singing Hawaiian songs which I gave the previous month. Success!
  2. Tuesday, November 15 from 9 – 11 a.m. Seventeen people came to my special ‘ukulele class. It was difficult to teach without song sheets showing the chord shapes and strum graphic showing the rhythm pattern which I provide in my ‘ukulele classes, but we managed. This method was the real deal of the old Hawaiian way of “watch, listen, play” without reading music and it worked! One current ‘ukulele student commented on how much easier it was to learn this way rather than looking at paper. New students who I never had before in my ‘ukulele classes came and had fun which is what I had hoped for.
  3. Wednesday, November 16 from 8 – 10 a.m. Ten students came to my regularly scheduled continuing class called “Ukulele Strumming 202.” We reviewed the songs for the end of the week event referring to the printed song sheets which is such a different learning experience from PowerPoint. As a class they sounded good. Horray!
  4. Thursday, November 17 from 10 – noon. Twenty people came to The Hawaiian Serenaders “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert.” My husband and I are fortunate to be on the list of artists available for hire through the University of Hawai’i Statewide Cultural Extension Program. We met the program’s educational requirements by giving a 20-minute talk on the history of the ‘ukulele in addition to showing the different types of instruments from our private collection. We performed 17 songs showcasing different musical genres as we traveled through time from the 1800’s to the 1970s and beyond including a parody that we made up for the Maui Marathon. I know that every so often I need to perform in front of an audience and just play music without having to worry about playing simply so my students can follow me. I do enjoy entertaining with my husband and hearing appreciative comments from the audience.
  5. Friday, November 18 from 10 – noon. Thirty two people came to “Mele’s Island Party.” It was rewarding to look out and see so many people playing their ‘ukulele and singing during the group sing/play along portion to 9 island songs. Seven members of the Maui Ukulele Pops Band from my Advanced ‘Ukulele class performed 10 songs including two women who also danced three hulas. I was proud to announce that some members have been with me since I first started teaching at Kaunoa in January 2009 and that two members just started. While on stage, it was fun to see a student still has her graduation diploma and to reminisce about the Alumni Club card good for a lifetime of ‘ukulele fun and fellowship that I used to give at the end of my Ukulele Beyond the Basics 6-month courses. I think it’s a good idea for seniors to play for seniors and to inspire them with what is possible with practice. My students are my ultimate walking testimonials to my ‘ukulele teaching abilities.
www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Sitting: Andrea, Claudia, Beverly. Standing: Apo, Charles, Kelcy, Kathleen, and us performed at the Island Party

All in all I feel good about the experiences that I provided my current and new students at Kaunoa Senior Center. It’s all about lifelong learning and having fun together. I make it a point to thank my students for being open to learning new things because if they weren’t willing, I wouldn’t be teaching. And I enjoy teaching and seeing the “a-hah” moments when a student gets it. For a list of upcoming and past classes at Kaunoa, click here.

For more information about Ukulele Mele Music Week:

  1. Announcement for the Week’s Activities for November 12 – 19, 2016.
  2. Review of the Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition on Saturday, November 12, 2016.
  3. Review of The Hawaiian Serenaders concert on November 17, 2016.
  4. Announcement for Island Party Event on November 18, 2016.
  5. Review of ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop on Saturday, November 19, 2016.
  6. Photo Galleries – see photos from classes, Serenader concerts, etc.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele