First Christmas in Hawaii Nei

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

On Oahu, the annual Honolulu City Lights is a month long Christmas lights and decorations display at Honolulu Hale that includes a 50-foot Norfolk pine decorated Christmas tree, Shaka Santa and Mrs. Claus, the indoor tree display and corridor of wreaths. I have enjoyed driving around the area with my family to see the lights while many people enjoy walking the grounds around Honolulu Hale.

The first recorded Christmas in Hawai’i was in 1786, when Captain George Dixon of the merchant ship Queen Charlotte docked the ship on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Dixon and his crew celebrated a large Christmas dinner that included a whole roast pig.

The ancient Hawaiians did not celebrate Christmas until after the arrival of the missionaries in 1820. Christmas occurred during the Makahiki, the four month period of resting and feasting when ancient Hawaiians honored the earth for giving them plenty to eat. No conflicts or wars were allowed during this time. After the Hawaiian embraced Christianity, it was only natural that they adapted some of the traditions of Makahiki to the celebration of Christmas.

King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma of Hawai’i officially celebrated Christmas in 1856 as a day of Thanksgiving. On Christmas Eve of 1858 Mary Dominis threw a party at Washington Place featuring the first instance of a Christmas tree and Santa Claus in Hawaii. King Kamehameha IV declared it an official holiday in 1862.

Today, the traditions on Christmas day are similar to other places; families gather for a large meal and then perhaps go surfing or swimming in the ocean and play ukuleles and dance hula late into the night. The different cultures and ethnic groups that have settled in the islands celebrate the Christmas traditions in their own unique ways. Santa Claus (Hawaiian: Kanakaloka) is not wearing his corporate red and white suit, but has swapped it for aloha shirt and short and slippers. Santa hats are worn and the traditional Santa’s sleigh and reindeer are replaced by an outrigger canoe pulled by dolphins.

Mele Kalikimaka

The greeting Merry Christmas was difficult for the Hawaiians to pronounce because English language sounds like “R” in the word merry did not exist in the Hawaiian language. Thus, Mele Kalikimaka is not a literal translation but simply how we say Merry Christmas in Hawai’i.

In 1949, R. Alex Anderson wrote Hawaii’s popular Christmas song “Mele Kalikimaka.” He was born in Honolulu in 1884 composed nearly 200 songs before his death in 1995. As the story goes, in 1949 Anderson was in his office in Honolulu when his secretary, a woman from the mainland, mentioned that she had never heard a Hawaiian Christmas song. Thus, he composed Mele Kalikimaka and it became an enduring classic. Bing Crosby and The Andrew Sisters made one of the earliest recordings in 1950 on 78 rpm and 45 rpm phonograph records.

‘Ukulele players can learn to play my arrangement of Mele Kalikimaka for free!

  1. Learn Mele Kalikimaka in the sample format of Monthly Online Lessons.
  2. Learn Mele Kalikimaka in the sample downloadable files of Single Song Purchases.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Downloadable Ukulele Songs

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele song arrangements with unique Ukulele Mele strums are available for single song purchase to download.

Are you looking for a specific song to learn how to play on ‘ukulele? You can select from a variety of Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs to download to your digital device and learn to play my songs arrangements with unique ukulele strums. No one else teaches my method of forming chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strumming styles for the ‘ukulele.

Visit my webpage for “Single Song Purchases” and get the following files for each song:

1. Songsheet in PDF to print.
2. Video lesson on how to play it.
3. Full length audio recording to play along with professional musicians.
4. Video story behind the song.

Choose from five Christmas songs available for purchase:

1. Mele Kalikimaka with Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
2. Auld Lang Syne with Pick in 4/Moving on Down Strums.
3. Jingle Bells with Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
4. Silent Night with Pick in 6 Strum.
5. We Wish You a Merry Christmas with 2 Waltz Strums.

In the spirit of the holidays, Mele Kalikimaka (the way Hawaii says Merry Christmas) is FREE!

Listen to audio samples of all the songs available for download and purchase the song you want.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Gift Certificates From Ukulele Mele

Ukulele Mele offers two different gift certificates that can be given to the special ‘ukulele player in your life. Both enable recipients ways to learn from wherever they live a method of forming ‘ukulele chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strums taught by no one else!

Give the gift of music with Ukulele Mele today!


Packaged Set Gift Certificate
– recipient chooses from a number of Book/DVD/CD packages customized for beginners to advanced ‘ukulele players. This is great for people who want tactile tools (that you can touch and feel) for self-study.

‘Ukulele Lesson Gift Certificate – recipient chooses from a private webcam (Skype) lesson for expert feedback from Ukulele Mele from home or a private in person lesson on Maui.

BENEFITS

  • You give the gift of music and your recipient chooses what and how they want to learn.
  • Recipient has up to 6 months to redeem their certificate.
  • Certificate emailed to you to forward or print and give to your recipient
www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Packaged Set Gift Certificate is good for one of six sets of Book/DVD/CD for different ‘ukulele player abilities.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The ‘Ukulele Lesson Gift Certificate is good for a one-on-one lesson on Maui or via webcam (Skype) with Ukulele Mele.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aloha, Mele Fong, aka Ukulele Mele

Christmas Songs for Ukulele Players

Are you looking to play Christmas songs on your ‘ukulele? Or do you know an ukulele player who wants to play holiday classics and some Hawaiian style Christmas songs with unique rhythm patterns? Here are several ways to play the Ukulele Mele Way as follows:

DOWNLOADABLE CHRISTMAS SONGS

  1. Auld Lang Syne
  2. Jingle Bells with Hawaiian lyrics
  3. Silent Night with Hawaiian lyrics
  4. We Wish You A Merry Christmas

BUY NOW $10 per song. Every downloadable song lesson includes the songsheet, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song. Click on the song title to hear an audio sample and to order.

MELE KALIKIMAKA (Hawaii’s way to say Merry Christmas) for free!

  1. Learn Mele Kalikimaka in the sample format of Monthly Online Lessons.
  2. Learn Mele Kalikimaka in the sample downloadable files of Single Song Purchases.

FREE AUDIO OF CHRISTMAS SONGS 

1. Aloha Kalikimaka
2. Christmas Island
3. Christmas Luau
4. Feliz Navidad
5. Hawaiian Santa
6. Holly Jolly Christmas
7. Jingle Bells
8. Mele Kalikimaka
9. Mele Kalikimaka Ia Oe
10. Silver Bells
11. The Christmas Song
12. White Christmas
13. Winta Wandaland

Listen to recordings in the free online Fan Club.

Learn more about the First Christmas in Hawai’i.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Maui Ukulele Pops Band Show November 10

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Maui Ukulele Pops Band performed on November 10 at the 11th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului, Maui. No other group played our variety of popular songs with different strums.

My husband and I led the performance of eight Maui Ukulele Pops Band members on stage this year at the 11th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului. No other group played our variety of popular songs (Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Hispanic, rock and roll, hapa haole) with different ukulele strums. We played the same set as last year which meant no stress as the songs were familiar (we only had one rehearsal before show time). We also wore the same gold garland leis as last year which added a sparkle to our Band formal white or pink attire. After our performance it was rewarding to see people waiting to talk to me to express their appreciation for our music. “Tourists like hearing songs they are familiar with,” commented MC Kathy Collins.

The Maui Ukulele Pops Band is comprised of students from my Advanced Ukulele class at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Most students have been with me since I started teaching at Kaunoa in January 2009. This year’s Band members who performed were: Andrea, Beverly, Charles, Eileen, Janet, Linda, Maricruz, and Sandy who sat in one row on stage.

Here is the Maui Ukulele Pops Band’s 30-minute set with the name of the strum:

  1. Medley: Yes Sir/Five Foot Two/Baby Face – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  2. Dahil Sa Iyo – Bossa Nova Strum
  3. Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai – Latin Strum, plus hula by Beverly
  4. Proud Mary – Tom Tom Strum
  5. Medley: Tiny Bubbles/Pearly Shells – Hum Ding-Ah Strum, 2 keys
  6. Que Sera, Sera – 2 Waltz Strums: Chicken Pluck/Thumb Strum Up
  7. Sukiyaki – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  8. Lahaina – Latin Strum
  9. Be My Baby – Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum
  10. Medley: La Bamba/Twist and Shout – Latin Strum

New this year, I decided not to have a Ukulele Mele On Maui display booth and the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio did not perform a set. This meant we showed up in time to perform just one show from 1:20 -1:50 p.m. and left afterwards instead of staying for the entire event from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. to talk to people and perform again. No other ukulele teacher performs twice. This year was also the first time Queen Ka’ahumanu Center coordinated the event with Maui Ukulele Guild and marketed the event in the newspaper.

We are committed to performing again as the Maui Ukulele Pops Band next year in the same time slot on the second Saturday of November.

You can hear my husband and I perform as our professional duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders, at our Hawaiian style Christmas concert coming up Thursday, December 20 in Wailuku. It’s free and our gift of music to the community.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Ukulele Show November 10

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele Mele On Maui students present a show on November 10 at 1:20 p.m. at Queen Kaahumanu Center on Maui.

My husband and I will accompany some of my advanced ‘ukulele students performing as the Maui Ukulele Pops Band at 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, November 10 at the 11th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului, Maui. These students take classes from me at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. We will play and sing a variety of popular songs including songs from different ethnic groups (Japanese, Filipino, Hispanic, Hawaiian) in Hawaii. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features performances from community and school ukulele groups along with displays of how the instruments are made by ukulele builders.

New this year, we will not be having a display booth and will not be at the event all day.

Come to our performance of fun songs with unique ukulele strums presented by no one else at 1:20 p.m. and talk story with us afterwards.

See photos from past performances at Queen Kaahumanu Center.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Hawaiian Party Songs

“You brought tears to my eyes – tears of joy – as I recalled songs I used to sing with my parents,” commented a new participant after the program. Three new people from Kaunoa’s Assisted Transportation program joined our monthly program. A returning participant gave us fragrant puakenikeni leis that she sewed.

Thirty people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Hawaiian Party Songs on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. This was the largest turnout we had so far during the year.

During the new “Hawaiian history moment of the month” I talked about Princess Ka’iulani’s birthday on October 16, 1875. She was second in line to the throne of the Hawaiian kingdom, but never became queen. Ka’iulani broke the stereotype of Hawaiians being “savage” as she as a beautiful hapa-haole woman (part Scottish and part Hawaiian) who wore elegant Paris gowns and spoke English eloquently as she gave public speeches denouncing the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893 and pleaded to no avail with U.S. President Grove Cleveland to restore the monarchy.

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 worked great! Our wireless headsets and wireless instrument inputs made it possible to move around without being attached to cables to the amplifier. We continued the routine of telling the story behind each song and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.

We sang all ten planned songs during the 70-minute program. Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums:

  1. Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  2. Manuela Boy – Latin Strum.
  3. The Pidgin English Hula – I Wanna Rest/4And Strums.
  4. Tiny Bubbles – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  5. Princess Poopooly – I Wanna Rest/4And Strums.
  6. U.S.E.D. – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  7. Red Sails in the Sunset – Latin Strum.
  8. Pearly Shells – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  9. Ukulele Lady – Swing Strum.
  10. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

HERE’S HOW UKULELE PLAYERS CAN LEARN THE ABOVE SONGS FROM WHEREVER YOU LIVE:

LISTEN TO THE RECORDINGS IN THE FREE ONLINE FAN CLUB and then schedule private webcam lessons or private lessons on Maui to get the song sheets and lesson on how to play it.

  1. From the Hapa Haole Songs Category – Manuela Boy, Pearly Shells, Princess Poopooly, The Pidgin English Hula, Tiny Bubbles, and U.S.E.D.
  2. From the Pop Songs Category – Red Sails in the Sunset.
  3. See all categories of songs with over 100+ audio recordings that you can sing and play along with professional entertainers on voice, ukulele, and ukulele-bass.

DOWNLOAD A SINGLE SONG PURCHASE to your digital device. Get the song sheets, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song for only the song you select.

  1. Hawaii Aloha
  2. Koni Au I Ka Wai
  3. Ukulele Lady
  4. See all Single Song Purchases

SUBSCRIBE TO ONLINE LESSONS. Get the song sheets, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song for 16 songs with unique strumming styles for beginners to intermediate ukulele players. Select the One Month Trial or the Recurring Monthly Package.

  1. Advanced Online Lessons aka Complete Monthly Online Lessons – Hawaii Aloha, Koni Au I Ka Wai, Ukulele Lady and 47 other songs.

PURCHASE A PACKAGED SONG SET OF BOOK/DVD/CD. Get the song sheets, video lesson, and audio recording for 6 songs with 8 unique strumming styles for beginners to advanced ukulele players.

  1. Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 2 – Hawaii Aloha plus 5 other songs for intermediate ‘ukulele players.
  2. Hapa Haole Songs, Vol. 1 – Ukulele Lady plus 5 other songs for advanced ‘ukulele players.
  3. See all packaged song sets

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – (Early) American Classics on Thursday, November 8.

Visit my webpage about classes at Kaunoa and see photos from past classes for more information.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

2019 Island Stories and Songs Series

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele teacher Mele Fong announces the 2019 calendar for 4 classes for the NEW Island Stories & Songs Series at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.

My 2019 schedule has been set for my NEW Island Stories & Songs series from 10 a.m. – noon on the 5th Wednesdays of the month at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Class dates and descriptions in my online calendar are kept current on my upcoming events webpage. There are a total of 4 classes with themes as follows:

January 30 – Oahu
May 29 – Big Island of Hawai’i
July 31 – Kauai
October 30 – Maui Nui

Students will take a virtual tour of the selected Hawaiian Islands and learn about cultural and other places of interest. Plus we will sing some island songs and learn the stories behind them while following the song’s lyrics and ‘ukulele chords projected onto the large screen at the front of the room (similar to Sing-Along with Mitch Miller). ‘Ukulele players are invited to bring instruments to play along. Students are encouraged to wear aloha attire as we tour our island state without leaving home. After class, for those who pre-ordered lunch it is a nice time to eat and visit together.

Outside of class, students can listen to and play along with my song arrangements. My husband and I have produced over 100 audio recordings on vocals, ‘ukulele, and u-bass and made them accessible on my website’s Fan Club for free. The songs are listed alphabetically within 4 categories – Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs. Each song shows the title, key, number of chords, strum, and the length of the audio recording. Some of the songs presented in my new Island Stories & Songs series are also taught to my ‘ukulele students in different classes.

January 2019 marks my 10th year of teaching ‘ukulele classes at Kaunoa. Visit my webpage dedicated to senior classes for more information including links to past events and photo galleries. The journey continues as I pursue my mission to share the joy of making music, one ‘ukulele player at-a-time.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

2019 Ukulele Classes

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele teacher Mele Fong announces the 2019 calendar of 37 open ukulele classes at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.

My 2019 schedule has been set for my ‘ukulele classes open to new students at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Class dates and descriptions in my online calendar are kept current on my upcoming events webpage. There are a total of 37 classes as follows:

NEW! Ukulele Mele Basics – January 3 – 28 except the 21st (3 classes).
‘Ukulele Strumming 101 – February 4-25 except the 18th (3 classes).
‘Ukulele Strumming 101 – March 4-25 except the 18th (3 classes).
Hawaiian Songs for ‘Ukulele – April 4-29 (4 classes).
Hawaiian Songs for ‘Ukulele – May 6-20 (3 classes).
NEW! Hawaiian Songs for ‘Ukulele – July 6-29 (4 classes).
NEW! Hawaiian Songs for ‘Ukulele – August 5-26 (4 classes).
Hapa Haole Songs for ‘Ukulele – September 9-30 (4 classes).
‘Ukulele Strumming 101 – October 14-28 (3 classes).
‘Ukulele Strumming 101 – November 4-25 except the 11th (3 classes).
Christmas Songs for ‘Ukulele – December 2-16 (3 classes).

Class materials include downloadable single song purchases from my website OR packaged song sets of Book/DVD/CD. Each song lesson includes the song sheet, video lesson, and audio recording. BONUS – video stories behind the songs available with downloadable lesson files only in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions whether the song is Hawaiian or not. Students have tools to practice the songs outside of class and then ask questions in class. Some of the songs are also presented in my Sing-Along with Mele Fong series and/or my new Island Stories & Songs series for further reinforcement and fun playing along with other students learning the Ukulele Mele Way.

January 2019 marks my 10th year of teaching ‘ukulele classes at Kaunoa. Visit my webpage dedicated to senior classes for more information including links to past events and photo galleries. The journey continues as I pursue my mission to share the joy of making music, one ‘ukulele player at-a-time.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

2019 Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele teacher Mele Fong announces the 2019 calendar of 11 classes for the monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong series at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.

My 2019 schedule has been set for continuing my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong series from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Class dates and descriptions in my online calendar are kept current on my upcoming events webpage. There are a total of 11 classes with themes as follows:

January 10 – Maui Nui Songs
February 21 – Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy) Songs
March 14 – Broadway Show Tunes
April 18 – Hula Songs
May 16 – Flower and Lei Songs
June 20 –  Small Kid Time Songs
July 25 – Patriotic Songs
August 15 – Songs of the Hawaiian Islands
September 26 – Rock and Roll Songs
October 25 – International Songs
November 21 – American Classics

In addition, our Annual Ukulele Mele Christmas Party is scheduled for Wednesday, December 18 from 9 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa. The party is open to all ‘ukulele players and singers and is a great event to make new friends and renew the old as we enjoy playing and singing Hawaiian style Christmas songs the Ukulele Mele Way and more.

In class, singers can follow the song’s lyrics and ‘ukulele chords projected onto the large screen at the front of the room (similar to Sing-Along with Mitch Miller) while ‘ukulele players can play along (or not). My husband plays his ukulele-bass to keep the rhythm and fill in the lower tones to the higher pitched ‘ukulele. Both my husband and I have our instruments and voices amplified to lead everyone in singing and playing my unique song arrangements. I also tell the story behind the song in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions whether the song is Hawaiian or not. After class, for those who pre-ordered lunch it is a nice time to eat and visit together.

Outside of class, students can listen to and play along with my song arrangements. My husband and I have produced over 100 audio recordings on vocals, ‘ukulele, and u-bass and made them accessible on my website’s Fan Club for free. The songs are listed alphabetically within 4 categories – Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs. Each song shows the title, key, number of chords, strum, and the length of the audio recording. Many of the songs presented in my Sing-Along with Mele Fong series are also taught to my ‘ukulele students in different classes.

January 2019 marks my 10th year of teaching ‘ukulele classes at Kaunoa. Visit my webpage dedicated to senior classes for more information including links to past events and photo galleries. The journey continues as I pursue my mission to share the joy of making music, one ‘ukulele player at-a-time.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele