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

Sing Small Kid Time Songs For June 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Bring your uke to play along to the next Sing-Along program

In celebration of the start of summer, join us for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong series: Small Kid Time Songs on Thursday, June 22 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Reminisce with or without your grandchildren as you sing fun songs from childhood. You may have sung these songs around the campfire or on road trips in the family car.

This program is one of a monthly series that 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 the room for everyone to follow. ‘Ukulele players are invited to bring instruments to play along as I lead everyone by singing and playing my uke while my husband accompanies us on ‘ukulele bass. Don’t worry if you don’t know the ‘ukulele chords or the unique strumming pattern for the songs. The focus is on singing the songs, finding out the stories behind them, and enjoying the group experience. “It’s fun!” is what people people tell me brings them back time after time. See photos from past classes. Visit my webpage about classes at Kaunoa.

Lunch is optional and recommended as a good time to meet people who enjoy learning the Ukulele Mele Way. Kaunoa Senior Center is located in Spreckelsville, Maui.

SIGN UP NOW by calling 808-270-7308.

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Other learning options with Ukulele Mele:

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced ‘ukulele player, you can have fun learning to play the Ukulele Mele Way from wherever you live!

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

Song of the Month for May

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i

In celebration of May 1st also known as May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii, learn to play the song of the same name for the “Song of the Month.”

  1. Listen to our audio recording
  2. Schedule private webcam lessons to learn to play it from wherever you live.

The song is in the key of G and uses 5 chords – good for ‘ukulele players who play a little (beginners may find it challenging). No need to read music. I will send you the PDF song sheet for May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii and teach you how to play my arrangement with Hum Ding-Ah Strum after you schedule your private lessons.

Get feedback from a professional educator and entertainer with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and entertaining experience. Learn my method of forming ukulele chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strumming styles taught by no one else.

Want to learn a different song? Visit my online Fan Club and listen to over 90 audio recordings of Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private webcam lessons.

Have fun learning to Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way today!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Celebrate May Day in Hawaii

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i

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.

On May 4th, I am presenting a program about flower and lei songs as we celebrate May Day on Maui. The program is part of my Sing-Along with Mele Fong series 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 sign up.

Live away from Maui? There are several ways to learn to play Hawaiian and hapa haole songs from me:

  1. Visit my online Fan Club and listen to audio recordings of songs you can learn to play via private webcam lessons.
  2. Select a packaged song set of book/DVD/CD of 6 songs with 8 different strumming styles to learn off-line.
  3. Download a single song lesson to your digital device and get only the song you want to learn to play.
  4. Purchase online lessons for self study via a One Month Trial or Subscribe to the Recurring Monthly Package.

For more about May Day in Hawaii, visit http://gohawaii.about.com/cs/festivals/a/lei_day_hawaii.htm

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

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

Celebrate Earth Day at Haiku Flower Festival

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Celebrate Earth Day at Haiku Flower Festival Saturday

This year’s Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, happens to fall on the same day as the 24th Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Festival on Maui. Hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Haiku Elementary School. This free local festival benefits the school, Haiku Community Association, and the Boys & Girls Club Maui-Hailku. It is one of the biggest events of the year, attracting over 7,000 attendees in past years. Entertainment runs all day including Richard Ho’opii who sings traditional Hawaiian songs and plays ‘ukulele along with his family at 11 .am. In past years, I have worked a booth to educate people about invasive plants and animals that threaten our environment. Now I get to go and “just have fun.” Visit http://haikuhoolaulea.org/ for the entertainment lineup and more.

“Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green awareness. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the antiwar protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.” Visit http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/earth-day for more on the history of Earth Day.

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

April 26 Lahaina Library Show

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Learn about the history of the ‘ukulele and enjoy a concert

The Hawaiian Serenaders will be presenting a program History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert on Wednesday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m. 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
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.
Lahaina Public Library
680 Wharf Street

Read more about The Hawaiian Serenaders

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