January. First blog posted regularly on Ukulele Mele Mondays.
January. First Strum Summary of 13 Ukulele Mele strums including video lesson, audio recording, and songsheet examples of how they are applied to "Strums for Simple Songs, Strums for Harder Pop Songs, and Strums for Harder Hawaiian Songs."
February. First summary of Ukulele Mele History highlights posted online.
March. Past monthly online lessons song sheets updated with same color format and offered for Fan Club members. Lesson videos and video stories behind the songs remain only for monthly subscribers.
March. New "Ukulele Strums for Sing-Along Songs, Vol. 2 booklet/DVD/CD" released for sale online and at Maui lesson locations.
April. Total of 114 songs available for Fan Club members on April 1st. Of 39 songs, 29 are also available for subscribers of monthly online lessons who get additional benefits of the video lesson and video story behind the song, and 24 songs are also available bundled in one of 4 packaged song sets of book/DVD/CD. Plus, 14 songs in the Fan Club are also available in both the monthly online lessons AND the packaged song sets.
April. New Bossa Nova Strum added to the Strum Summary, bringing the total to 14.
May. New homepage with 7 new pictures, new slogan, and introduction video to make it easier to read and navigate. New "Mele's Memories" page with photos of growing up in Hawaii. Name changed from "Play Along with Ukulele Mele" to "Ukulele Strumming Workshops" as referred to by a participant.
July. New CD released "Hawaiian Songs & Stories" by The Hawaiian Serenaders. New display table at the Bailey House Museum for CD sales, brochures, and "coming soon" announcements. First time The Hawaiian Serenaders appeared in photo and lengthy caption on the front page of The Maui News on Sunday, June 20. All the above was for the first "Celebration of Bailey" event held Saturday, July 19 at the Museum. (photos)
August. First song recorded with vocal harmonizer uploaded to Fan Club on the 12th. We love the way "In This Life" sounds now as the performance quality of our audio recordings has gone up. The plan now is to re-record all the songs in the Monthly Online Lessons and in the Packaged Song Sets so they sound better using new technologies.
August. First "Contest for FREE Online Lessons for 30 Days" announced on August 20th, with the winner to be announced on September 15th, with free access given for the month of October. Contest details at blog post. YouTube video shared on Facebook. (Last Chance for Free Online Lessons announced in August 2015).
September. First in the "Oral History & Sing-Along Series" given at the Bailey House Museum on September 13. We honored Queen Lili'uokalani and sang some of her songs during the 2-hour program. Read the review at blog post.
October. First Strumming Workshop aka Play Along with Ukulele Mele that started the series on the third Saturday of the month from October 2014-March 2015, and that offered people a way to register in advance online. Unfortunately, the workshop was cancelled days before the event due to the expected hurricane. (blog post). First Strumming Workshop at Hilo Hattie's Store on Oahu. (blog post)
November. First Strumming Workshop aka Play Along with Ukulele Mele that 12 people pre-registered for online. All were new to learning the Ukulele Mele Way, coming from Australia, Canada, U.S. mainland, and local residents. Read the review at blog post. See photos from the workshop.
November. First Hapa Haole Songs, Vol. 1 released on November 21, in time for the holidays. This packaged song set of book/DVD/CD is for experienced players. Listen to sample audio clips and purchase here.
December. New design of two Gift Certificates, one for Packaged Song Sets and one for Lessons (in person, webcam, or monthly online subscription). The change was made from one certificate for all options to two certificates to reflect the different fees. (blog post)
December. First meeting on December 2 with Jarret Delos Santos of 808UkeJams to discuss linking of websites, referrals of players who attend his weekly jam session in Kihei and want to take ukulele lessons, and other collaborative efforts.
December. First meeting on December 11 with the general manager of The Shops at Wailea and the owner of Mele Ukulele at their new store upstairs to plan the new "Ukulele Mixed Plate" event that I'll be coordinating on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Wednesdays starting January 2015 at The Shops. I also coined the phrase "Hawaiian Masters Series" for the new name describing The Shops event on the 3rd Wednesday of the month that brings in top headliner performers for free concerts. Register for first event happening on January 7, 2015.
December. Released 'Ukulele Strums for Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs, Vol. 2 book/DVD/CD available for purchase online. Learn 8 strums to 6 songs for experienced players.
(Read more about individual past events in 2014)