Family Lesson and Concert

6 family members ages 13-80 had a private lesson

“You must make a lot of people happy with your music,” commented the elderly Dad after our private concert for his family at their Polo Beach Club condo in Wailea last Thursday, June 16th. “You’ve gone beyond our expectations, “said Kim, his daughter who had hired us to give a ‘ukulele lesson for 6 family members ages 13-80 years old, and then give a 1-hour concert for the entire group of 11. This was a surprise birthday celebration for Kim’s 80-year-old mother Lee (her actual birthday is in November) since everyone was all together on vacation. Kim and her 2 siblings were originally from Portland, Oregon, and now live in California and other places with their children.

During the small group ‘ukulele lesson, the two older grandsons caught on faster as they play guitar and bass. I brought 6 instruments from my private collection for them to use as everyone was new to the ‘ukulele. Rich accompanied us on his u-bass as we had fun playing 1-3 chord songs during their 45-minute lesson, while the non-players sang along and moved to the music.

During our 1-hour concert, we played the following songs showing our mix of musical genres:

  1. Kupa Landing – Hawaiian
  2. Beyond the Reef – Hapa Haole
  3. There’s No Place Like Hawaii – Hapa Haole
  4. Wahine Ilikea – Hawaiian
  5. Blue Hawaii – Hapa Haole
  6. Fly Me to the Moon – Jazz
  7. Lovely Hula Hands – Hapa Haole
  8. Medley: Tiny Bubbles/Pearly Shells – Hapa Haole with Hawaiian lyrics
  9. Under the Boardwalk / Palm Tree – Pop with local style version
  10. Could I Have This Dance – Pop
  11. Uwehi Ami and Slide – Hapa Haole pop
  12. Hawaii Calls – Hapa Haole
  13. Nanakuli – Hawaiian

The birthday girl and her husband enjoyed a private concert

We offered an audience participation song (Tiny Bubbles/Pearly Shells) and invited Lee and her husband to get up and dance to Could I Have This Dance and they did both. It was so cute to hear Lee tell us how she and her husband met during high school. I was pleased at how our audience kept clapping to show their appreciation of our performance songs.

As the sun was setting, we all got up to see the glow over the ocean, and then we took family photos for them. We concluded our 2-hour program by teaching everyone how to sing Happy Birthday in the Hawaiian language as everyone joined in singing to Lee in Hawaiian and English. This was the second time we had a special request for a private lesson and concert for a family at their vacation accommodations. We are lucky to meet nice people by sharing our music.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele


Mele Fong is a professional singer, song arranger, and master of multiple strumming styles for the 'ukulele. She is an experienced educator with over 50+ years experience playing the 'ukulele and entertaining worldwide. Mele performs with her husband in the duo "The Hawaiian Serenaders" and leads student groups. In 1996, the duo represented the State of Hawai'i in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mele and her husband Richard Tom were both born and raised on Oahu and now reside in Maui.