Review Small Kid Time Songs 2017

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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

July 1st Lahaina Library Show

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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

Review of Flower Songs 2017

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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

Review of ‘Ukulele Program at Lahaina Library

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The Hawaiian Serenaders presented History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert to 50-5th graders and community adults.

As we were leaving the Lahaina Public Library after presenting History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert, we overheard the branch manager say “That was one of the best programs we’ve had” to a young man who was helping to put away the chairs. We certainly enjoyed ourselves and are thankful to the University of Hawai’i Statewide Cultural Extension Program who sponsored us. As a requirement of the University’s program, we made sure to provide an educational focus (not solely entertainment) for the audience.

On Wednesday, April 26, my husband Rich and I performing as the professional duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders, gave our 1-hour program to 50-5th graders and 5 community members. We displayed our personal collection of different types of ‘ukulele ranging from soprano, concert, and tenor instruments with 4, 6, and 8 strings. Plus we took my dad’s banjo ukulele and played a song on it. We gave a history of the ‘ukulele, and performed Hawaiian, hapa haole, and pop songs to demonstrate the diversity of music that can be played on Hawai’i’s official instrument. Rich gave a special demo of his ‘ukulele bass and played instrumental solos on it. We led sing-alongs with the audience and were amazed at how much the children knew about music.

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We demonstrated a diversity of musical genres played on the ‘ukulele and ‘ukulele-bass.

Here is our song list of 11 songs including 4 with Hawaiian lyrics

  1. Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (history-King Kalakaua patronage)
  2. Puamana – I Wanna Rest Strum (uke began as rhythm accompaniment to singers)
  3. Bill Bailey – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (on banjo uke)
  4. Uwehi Ami & Slide – I Wanna Rest Strum (merging instrumental picking into local song)
  5. Lahainaluna – I Wanna Rest Strum (Kui Lee began contemporary sound of local music in 1960s)
  6. Lahaina – Latin Strum (pop example with sing-along on chorus)
  7. Maui Marathon – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (parody of Crystals song Do Run Run from 1960s)
  8. Ulupalakua – ‘Ōlapa Strum (Hawaiian place name song)
  9. Medley: Maui Waltz/Pua Lilia – 2 Waltz Strums: Thumb Strum Up/Chicken Pluck (3/4 time example)
  10. Blues in the Night – 4And Strum (change genre and change to uke with high A for picking riff)
  11. Fly Me To the Moon – Latin Strum (features u-bass solo and change genre)

After the program, the library branch manager sent us photos she had taken along with a note saying, “Everyone here enjoyed the program.” The next day at a private ‘ukulele lesson, I also received positive feedback from a new student who happens to be a retired teacher and had attended our program.

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

Review Kauai Sing-Along Songs

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com“What have you been doing since high school?” asked Roger Hughes, a classmate of my husband’s who was visiting Maui with his wife from California. Roger called us up out of the blue and since they were “age eligible” we invited them to join us at our program. How fun it was to meet and catch up.

Sixteen people signed up for my Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Kauai Songs on Thursday, April 6 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 9 songs up on the screen so everyone could see. The presentation of 51 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 9 Hawaiian and hapa haole songs in the order we played them:

  1. Maika’i Kauai – I Wanna Rest and Hum Ding-Ah Strums.
  2. Beautiful Kauai – Latin Strum.
  3. Aloha Kauai – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  4. Hele On To Kauai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  5. Hula O Makee – ‘Ōlapa Strum.
  6. Hanalei Moon – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  7. Hanohano Hanalei – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  8. Pupu O Niihau – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  9. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

You can learn to play some of the songs with my unique strums from wherever you live. Here are the ways:

  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.
  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 – Flower and Lei Songs for May Day coming on Thursday, May 4. Learn more about classes offered at Kaunoa Senior Center for 2017.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

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

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

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.

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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