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

Ukulele Workshop and Show March 18

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

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

Queen Ka’ahumanu Festival March 18

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Hawaiian Serenaders return to Ka’ahumanu Center

The Hawaiian Serenaders will be performing on Saturday, March 18 at 1:00 p.m. as part of the Queen’s Festival happening Friday and Saturday at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului. On Friday night, the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu presents an annual program celebrating the Queen’s birthday with history, hula, song, and draping of leis on the Queen’s statue. On Saturday there will be special performances on stage. It makes sense that the Center would celebrate its namesake with special cultural activities.

Queen Elisabeth Ka’ahumanu was Hawaii’s first female monarch. She reigned for 55 years, making her the longest reigning monarch in Hawaii. A tall woman, Queen Ka’ahumanu was noted for her intelligence, beauty, and fearlessness. More than any other woman in Hawaiian history, Queen Ka’ahumanu created changes in society that continue to impact our lives today.

Elisabeth Ka’ahumanu was a Maui girl, born on March 17, 1768 in a cave in Hana. This was during the period of competition between warrior ali’i families to rule the islands. Thus, Ka’ahumanu’s ali’i parents of Maui and Hawai’i islands hid her so she would not be kidnapped or killed. Ka’ahumanu’s name means “feather cloak.”

Promised at a young age in marriage to Kamehameha, Ka’ahumanu became the king’s favorite wife as he united the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom in 1810. After Kamehameha the 1st died in 1819, Ka’ahumanu created the office of kuhina nui or co-ruler with his young son Liholiho who became the next king. In this unique role, Ka’ahumanu moved from influence to political power.

Ka’ahumanu began the abolishment of the kapu system, the traditional system of religious laws, when she sat down to eat with King Liholiho and broke the law that forbade men and women from eating together. Thus, the Queen changed the daily lives of Hawaiians forever.

Ka’ahumanu was among the first ali’i to convert to Christianity. When the American Protestant missionaries arrived in 1820, she embraced them and encouraged her people to do the same. Ka’ahumanu was one of the original founders of Kawaiaha’o Church on Oahu. Ka’ahumanu wanted a church built and named after her in Wailuku, Maui, but the structure was not completed until after she died.

Ka’ahumanu learned to read, ordered schools built on all the islands, and made books available to the commoners. Opened in 1831, Lahainaluna School on Maui is the oldest high school west of the Rockies. The literacy rate was higher in Hawai’i than across America.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Mele is a member of Ahahui Ka’ahumanu

Ka’ahumanu adopted the black dress worn by the women missionaries and for which the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu regalia is identified. The Ahahui, a royal society of Native Hawaiian women, has been honoring Queen Ka’ahumanu for over a century with chapters on every island. I was sponsored into Chapter IV, Wailuku, Maui, in September 2004 and have served as historian giving oral stories of Hawaiian royalty and their contributions at general membership meetings. Our annual program at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center is one of the few Hawaiian cultural activities open to the public.

This year as a member of the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu I am proud to be offering Hawaiian music entertainment on stage on Saturday as part of the 2017 Queen’s Festival. The Hawaiian Serenaders will play our mix of traditional Hawaiian and hapa haole songs on ‘ukulele and u-bass with unique rhythms and harmonies. Come and see us if you can.

Keep Hawaiian music alive from wherever you live:

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Feb 2017 Ukulele Workshop

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

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

5 Songs For Valentines Day 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Listen to songs you can learn to play in our Fan Club

Ready for Valentines Day? Instead of chocolate and flowers, why not serenade your Valentine by playing a love song on your ‘ukulele? No need to sing (unless you want to) as you play along to the audio recordings by the professional husband-wife duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders. Not enough time to learn to play the song before the special occasion? No problem – just play the audio recording and enjoy the music – it’s free!

HERE ARE 5 SONGS YOU CAN LEARN TO PLAY. Click on the song category and then search for the song’s title listed alphabetically to listen to the audio recording:

 

 

  1. Be My Baby – Pop Songs category
  2. Blue Hawaii – Hapa Haole Songs category
  3. Can’t Help Falling in Love With You – Pop Songs category
  4. Could I Have This Dance – Pop Songs category
  5. My Yellow Ginger Lei (with Hawaiian verses) – Hapa Haole Songs category

Learn to play the above songs via private webcam lessons with me from the comfort of your home. No need to travel to Maui to take private lessons unless you want to. But wait, there’s more!

Visit my online Fan Club to listen to all 98 audio recordings of songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way. Schedule a lesson and I will send you the PDF song sheets for the audio recording for your selected song.

No one else teaches my method of forming chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strumming styles for the ‘ukulele. Besides, you can learn to play Hawai’i’s official instrument, the ‘ukulele, from a Native Hawaiian with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and entertaining experience. Learn from me today!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Hawaiian Serenaders Perform with a Keyboardist

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

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.
www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

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

Summary of 2016 by Ukulele Mele

The business of Ukulele Mele On Maui increased 127% from 2015 to 2016 making it a busy year for both teaching ‘ukulele and performing in the community. My mission is to “share the joy of making music one ‘ukulele player at-a-time.” Here are some highlights and comments received in 2016:

“Besides teaching ukulele, Mele also taught us a lot of Hawaii. We never played the ukulele before, but after one week of intensive lessons, we have a variety of songs we can play…”–S & B, Switzerland, March 2016. (Read their testimonial and more)

“The best was Ukulele Week which was so much fun – I love it.”–L.P., Maui, November 2016. (Read his testimonial and more) (Read about Ukulele Mele Music Week)

“Beautiful Sunday afternoon! Mahalo Mele and Rich and the lovely hula ladies for making it more special! Brought back memories of my very first visit to the islands 40 years ago. Remembering the sweet music, the scent of plumeria, the warm colors of Aloha wear, feeling welcome like ohana and why I made this place home.”– E.M, Maui (originally from Illinois), April 2016. (Read about Maui Made Sundays shows by The Hawaiian Serenaders)

Other Highlights of 2016 included:

In addition, I taught 99 classes and special events (a 143% increase from 2015) at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. What started as a 6-month experiment with my first beginner ‘ukulele class in January 2009 has expanded to teaching ‘ukulele for different skill levels and musical interests, Hawaiian history, and sing-along classes plus leading student performing groups into the community.  (Read a summary of senior classes in 2016)

But wait, there’s more!

My fifth year of teaching ‘ukulele and performing and meeting people from all over the world who are interested in the ‘ukulele was a great year. Onward we go to 2017!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele