Sing Flower and Lei Songs for May Day

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Celebrate May Day with Ukulele Mele

In celebration of May Day, join us for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong series as we learn flower and lei songs on Thursday, May 4 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. The program 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 room for everyone to follow. ‘Ukulele players are invited to bring instruments to play along. Lunch is optional. Call Kaunoa at 808-270-7308 to register for the program on Maui.

Listen to our recording of the hapa haole song “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii” at http://ukulelemeleonmaui.com/images/fullaudio/MayDay.mp3  and then learn how to play it via private ‘ukulele lessons with me via private webcam lessons from the comfort of your home.

May 1st is also known as “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii.” Invented in 1927, writer and poet Don Blanding wrote an article in the local paper suggesting that a holiday be created around the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei. Fellow writer Grace Tower Warren came up with the idea of a holiday on May 1st in conjunction with May Day. She is also responsible for the phrase “May Day is Lei Day.”

The first Lei Day was held on May 1, 1928 and everyone in Honolulu was encouraged to wear lei, and festivities were held downtown with hula, music, lei making demos and exhibits and contest.

Originally from Oklahoma, Don Blanding is also credited with inventing the custom of tossing your lei overboard when you sailed from Honolulu. If the lei came back to shore, it meant you would return.

For more about May Day in Hawaii, visit

For more information about my classes offered at Kaunoa Senior Center, click here.

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

Sing-Along with Mele Fong on April 6

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Sing-Along with Mele Fong on Thursday, April 6

Join us on Thursday, April 6 from 10 a.m. – noon for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong series at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. This month’s theme is Kauai Songs. Ukulele players are invited to bring their instruments and play along as we learn to sing 8 Hawaiian and hapa haole songs about Kauai. Learn to pronounce the Hawaiian words and the story behind each song in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions. Follow along as you look up at the screen where the words and ukulele chords are projected in large letters to make it easy to read.

Here’s our song list with unique Ukulele Mele strum:

  1. Maikai Kauai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  2. Beautiful Kauai – Swing Strum
  3. Aloha Kauai – I Wanna Rest Strum
  4. Hula o Makee – Olapa Strum
  5. Hanalei Moon – I Wanna Rest Strum
  6. Hanohano Hanalei – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  7. Pupu O Niihau – Swing Strum (for the nearby island)
  8. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum

We hope to inspire adults of all ages to have fun playing your ukulele the Ukulele Mele Way with lessons. Choose how you want to learn today!

  1. Visit the free online Fan Club to listen to audio recordings of songs you can learn to play to Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons on Maui or via webcam.
  2. Select from 40 Single Song Purchases to download to your digital device to learn to play and get the song sheet, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song.
  3. Buy a packaged song set with book/DVD/CD to match your musical abilities and interests.

Stay tuned for next month’s Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on Flower and Lei Songs of Hawaii in celebration of May Day. Learn more about my class schedule at Kaunoa Senior Center.

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

Christmas Party 2016 Review

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

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

Senior Classes in 2009

Highlights of the year 2009 at Kaunoa Senior Center included putting together a Christmas show with ‘ukulele players and with singers – a great accomplishment for my first year of teaching. It started as a 6-month experiment of developing my own curriculum for teaching ‘ukulele to adults. I enjoy seeing the “a-ha” moments and challenging my students to learn in a structured environment.

I taught 83 classes during the year 2009:

  • 80 classes
  • 1 Band show
  • 2 Hawaiian Serenaders shows

Here are the details:

40 new Beyond the Basics classes. Students received Xerox copies of song sheets and practice CD. Upon graduation from the 6th month course, students as a class demonstrated their abilities to play 6 unique strumming styles without me.

  • 1st group graduated in June. 20 classes (January-June)
  • 2nd group graduated in December. 20 classes (July-December)

20 new continuing classes. The Band (graduates of the 1st Beyond the Basics) met every Monday and focused on performing songs for Christmas (Mele’s Kalikimaka) program.

  • (July-December)

6 new continuing ‘ukulele classes. Alumni Club (graduates of 1st Beyond the Basics) met on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays and focused on using the He Mele Aloha Songbook with my arrangements..

  • (September-December).

12 new singing classes. Students learned songs to perform with Band in 1st Mele’s Kalikimaka.

  • Kaunoa Singing Seniors (September-December)

2 new Lunch & Learn class Historical Highlights of Hawaii and Maui in PowerPoint format.

  • At Kaunoa (October)
  • At West Maui Senior Center (December)

1 new Kaunoa Ukulele Pops Band show at Kaunoa with Kathy Collins as MC and a videographer.

  • 1st Mele’s Kalikimaka included singing class (December)

.2 Hawaiian Serenaders show “Classic Songs of the Hawaiian Islands” sponsored by the University of Hawai’i.

  • At Kaunoa (May)
  • At West Maui Senior Center (August)

In addition to offering the above classes and performances, my husband and I hosted graduation parties for the 1st and 2nd classes of Ukulele Beyond the Basics plus a Labor Day/Anniversary party all at our house. My motivation was to teach people so I have friends to play music with and I have succeeded.

Note: My first contact at Kaunoa was Lana Queddeng, Program Assistant, who arranged for The Hawaiian Serenaders to be sponsored by the University of Hawai’i in 2008. Our first show at Kaunoa was “Timeless Love Songs & Stories of Hawai’i Nei” on Thursday, February 14, 2008.

Read more by clicking below:

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Senior Classes in 2010

Highlights of the year 2010 at Kaunoa Senior Center included new Hawaiian history classes and leading students to perform shows in the community.

I taught 107 classes during the year 2010:

  • 98 classes
  • 8 Band shows
  • 1 Hawaiian Serenaders show

Here are the details:

54 continuing ‘ukulele classes. Band class met every Monday and focused on performing. Alumni Club met on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays and focused on using the He Mele Aloha Songbook with my arrangements..

  • Band (Intermediate ‘Ukulele). 38 classes.
  • Advanced ‘Ukulele (Mele’s Alumni Club). 16 classes.

20 Beyond the Basics classes. Students received Xerox copies of song sheets and practice CD. Upon graduation from the 6th month course, students as a class demonstrated their abilities to play 6 unique strumming styles without me.

  • 3rd group graduated in June. (January-June)

3 new classes for Wellness Week (introduction classes)

  • Ukulele 101 (January)
  • Hawaiian singing (January)
  • Hawaiian history (January)

8 new singing classes

  • Singing Hawaiian 101. 4 classes (February)
  • Singing Hapa Haole Favorites. 4 classes (April)

5 new Hawaiian History Lunch & Learn classes in PowerPoint format.

  • Hawai’i’s Royal Legacy. 1 class (January)
  • Maui’s Historical Places. 1 class (February)
  • Queen Ka’ahumanu. 1 class (March)
  • King Kalakaua and Prince Kuhio (April)
  • King Kamehameha and Prince Damien (May)

1 Lunch & Learn class in PowerPoint format at West Maui Senior Center

  • Maui’s Historical Places (March)

7 Kaunoa Ukulele Pops Band rehearsals and show at Kaunoa in October.

8 Kaunoa Ukulele Pops Band shows off-site accompanied by Rich on u-bass.

  • Japanese Club at Wailuku Hongwanji (June debut off-site)
  • Kaunoa nutrition program at Tavares Center (June)
  • Kalama Heights Retirement Residence (June)
  • Roselani Place (September)
  • UN Season for Peace at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center (September)
  • Nisei Veterans Center (October)
  • Kula Hospital (October)
  • Ukulele Festival at Maui Arts & Cultural Center (October)

1 new Hawaiian Serenaders show “History of Hawaii Through Music” sponsored by the University of Hawai’i. (May)

In addition to offering the above classes and performances, my husband and I hosted the Band extra practice before our first off-site show at a Memorial Day party, our annual 4th of July party, and Band Christmas party at our house.

Read more by clicking below:

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Senior Classes in 2011

Highlights of the year 2011 at Kaunoa Senior Center included making music videos of Band performances with hula and uploading them to my new YouTube channel. We had planned to take the Band to Japan, but because of the March earthquake and tsunami we decided not to go. Our Japan contacts asked us to post videos on the internet to be shared in Japan in lieu of us performing in person.

Another highlight of the year was taking out my business license on July 1st as Ukulele Mele On Maui as encouraged by Kaunoa students to get into the virtual classroom. (Read more about my business history here)

I taught 89 classes during the year 2011:

  • 76 classes
  • 13 Band shows

Here are the details:

57 continuing ‘ukulele classes. Band class focused on performing. Advanced ‘Ukulele class focused on using the He Mele Aloha Songbook with my arrangements..

  • Band (Intermediate ‘Ukulele). 39 classes.
  • Advanced ‘Ukulele (Mele’s Alumni Club). 18 classes.

17 Beyond the Basics classes. Students received Xerox copies of song sheets and practice CD. Upon graduation from the 6th month course, students as a class demonstrated their abilities to play 6 unique strumming styles without me.

  • 4th group graduated in December. (July-December)

2 new Strumming Workshops with mini shows. Students received an introduction to songs with unique strums they can learn to play plus entertainment by Band members.

  • 1 class (April)
  • 1 class (June)

13 Maui Ukulele Pops Band shows accompanied by Rich on u-bass.

  • Keiki Karnival at Christ the King Church. (February)
  • Kaunoa nutrition program at Kahului Union Church (May)
  • Akaku TV studio to video record 17 songs (May)
  • Akaku TV studio (May)
  • Upcountry Fair at Oskie Rice Park (June)
  • Plant Sale at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens (August)
  • Maui County Special Fair at War Memorial fairgrounds (September)
  • Ukulele Festival at Maui Arts & Cultural Center (October)
  • 4th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center (November)
  • Christmas fundraiser at Bailey House Museum (November)
  • Kaunoa nutrition program at Kahului Union Church (December)
  • Christmas program at Kalama Heights Retirement Residence (December)
  • Christmas program at Nisei Veterans Center (December)

In addition to offering the above classes and performances, my husband and I hosted the Band Christmas party at our house.

The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio also performed 2 shows with Hinano as our third member:

  • County Senior Fair at War Memorial Gymnasium (October debut)
  • 4th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. (November)

Read more by clicking below

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Senior Classes in 2012

Highlights of the year 2012 at Kaunoa Senior Center included new continuing classes for ‘ukulele and leading students to perform shows in the community. A student, Andrea Kaumeheiwa, wrote the Band jingle in response to my challenge to the class to come up with an ending song for our shows.

I taught 68 classes during the year 2012:

  • 60 classes
  • 8 Band shows

Here are the details:

32 continuing ‘ukulele classes. Band class focused on performing. Advanced ‘Ukulele class focused on using the He Mele Aloha Songbook with my arrangements..

  • Band (Intermediate ‘Ukulele). 17 classes.
  • Advanced ‘Ukulele (Mele’s Alumni Club). 15 classes.

8 new Strumming 101 classes. Students received bound Xerox copies of song sheets and practice CD.

  • Strumming 101. 8 classes (July-August)

9 new Strumming 202 classes open to new students every month.

  • 2 classes (February)
  • 2 classes (March)
  • 2 classes (April)
  • 2 classes (May)
  • 1 class (June)

9 new Strumming 202 continuing class.

  • 9 classes (July-December)

1 Lunch and Learn class. I used a PowerPoint format.

  • Maui’s Historical Places (February)

1 new Hawaiian history class for the special program. I used a PowerPoint format and presented the program in Ahahui Ka’ahumanu society official regalia as a member.

  • History of the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu (October)

8 Maui Ukulele Pops Band shows accompanied by Rich on u-bass.

  • Keiki Karnival at Christ the King Church. (February)
  • Ukulele Explosion at Kalama Intermediate School (March)
  • Kaunoa nutrition program at Kahului Union Church (May)
  • Maui Matsuri at Maui Community College (May)
  • Kaunoa Showcase at Maui Mall (May)
  • Upcountry Fair at Oskie Rice Park (June)
  • Kamehameha Day at Lahaina (June)
  • 5th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. (November)

In addition to offering the above classes and performances, my husband and I held an extra Band practice at Hinano and Andrea’s followed by the Band close out party. I decided to stop pursuing gigs for the Band and instead perform as requested.

The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio also performed 7 shows with Hinano as our third member:

  • Keiki Karnival at Christ the King Church. (February)
  • Ukulele Explosion at Kalama Intermediate School (March)
  • Queen’s Festival at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center (March)
  • Upcountry Fair at Oskie Rice Park (June)
  • Maui County Special Fair at War Memorial fairgrounds (September)
  • National Museum Day at Bailey House Museum (September)
  • 5th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. (November)

Read more by clicking below

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Senior Classes in 2013

Highlights of the year 2013 at Kaunoa Senior Center included offering my new online Fan Club, new packaged song sets, and new Play Along classes. Plus we held the first annual Christmas party at Kaunoa instead of at our house.

I taught 74 classes during the year 2013:

  • 71 classes
  • 2 Band shows
  • 1 Hawaiian Serenader show

Here are the details:

40 continuing ‘ukulele classes. Students accessed my new online Fan Club on June 19th to download the song sheets and play along with the audio recordings to songs available for free to learn in class (no more time spent Xeroxing copies of song sheets to handout in class).

  • Advanced ‘Ukulele. 20 classes.
  • ‘Ukulele Strumming 202. 20 classes

12 new Strumming 101 classes. The first 8 classes met twice a month and then we changed the offering to once a week for a month. I Xeroxed copies of song sheets for the classes.

  • Strumming 101. 2 classes (January)
  • Strumming 101. 2 classes (February)
  • Strumming 101. 2 classes (March)
  • Strumming 101. 2 classes (April)
  • Strumming 101. 4 classes (May-June).

14 classes used my new packaged song sets of book/DVD/CD of 6 songs with 8 unique strums. Students could refer to the song sheets, video lessons, and audio recordings to practice the songs outside of class.

  • Strums for Sing-Along used new Sing-Along Songs Vol. 1 set. 4 classes (July)
  • Strums for Hawaiian Songs used new Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 1 set. 4 classes (August)
  • Strums for Mele’s Kalikimaka used new Mele Kalikimaka Vol. 1 set. 3 classes (November)
  • Strums for Mele’s Kalikimaka used Mele Kalikimaka Vol. 1 set. 3 classes December)

4 Play Along classes modeled after my 2-hour strumming workshop where everyone plays by ear without handouts.

  • 2 new classes. (September)
  • 2 classes. (October)

2 Maui Ukulele Pops Band shows accompanied by Rich on u-bass.

  • Ho’olaulea at Kaunoa. (October)
  • 6th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. (November)

1 Hawaiian Serenader show “Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs” sponsored by the University of Hawai’i. (November)

1 Christmas Party (1st annual) for all students held at Kaunoa.

The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio also performed 2 shows, one at the Queen’s Festival at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in March and one at the Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition in November.

Read more by clicking below

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele