I gave a PowerPoint presentation on Highlights of 2018 at the 6th Annual Ukulele Mele Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 19 at Kaunoa Senior Center in Spreckelsville, Maui. This was my 9th year of teaching ‘ukulele classes and more at the Center for adults 55 and better. Here is a summary:
A highlight of the year was having hula dancers from Na Kupuna O Kaunoa participate in the two shows The Hawaiian Serenaders (our duo) gave as part of the Picnic for Poki Hawaiian Music series on the grounds of Ka’ahumanu Church in Wailuku. It is an honor to be asked to perform. Our show themes were Nostalgic Hawaiian music on June 21 and Hawaiian Style Christmas on December 20. One of my ‘ukulele students also danced hula in both shows – she is so talented!
I offered 90 classes for the year, but actually taught 67. Twenty-three classes were cancelled due to Maui County closures due to Hurricane Lane in August and Tropical Storm Olivia in September, not enough sign-ups, my poor health, or my summons for federal jury duty on Oahu for the month of November (when I had to cancel 7 classes that month alone).
My two continuing classes (unadvertised) – Advanced ‘Ukulele and ‘Ukulele Strumming 202 – met twice a month on alternating Wednesdays throughout the year. Students received emailed song sheets of my arrangements and could play along to our audio recordings produced by my husband and I on my website’s online Fan Club, with a new song curriculum every quarter. Advanced ‘Ukulele class met for 15 classes and ‘Ukulele Strumming 202 class met for 16 classes.
Anyone could sign up for the following open (advertised) ‘ukulele classes:
- January. ‘Ukulele Strumming 101 for 4 classes used my Sing-Along Songs Vol. 1 set of book/DVD/CD for the curriculum.
- February. ‘Ukulele Strumming 101 for 4 classes used my Sing-Along Songs Vol. 2 set of book/DVD/CD for the curriculum.
- April. ‘Ukulele Mele Basics Online for 4 classes used my online course for 30-days for the curriculum.
- June. New one-day ‘Ukulele Workshop introduced my unique method and included navigating my website to learn outside the classroom.
- July. Hawaiian Songs for ‘Ukulele for 4 classes used my Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 1 set of book/DVD/CD for the curriculum.
- August. Hawaiian Songs for ‘Ukulele for 4 classes used my Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 2 book/DVD/CD for the curriculum.
- September. New one-day ‘Ukulele Workshop introduced my unique method and included navigating my website to learn outside the classroom.
This year I updated the Sing-Along with Mele Fong monthly series that I started in 2016. I changed the background colors and font in the PowerPoint templates to be easier to see from a distance. In addition, my husband added our personal wireless headsets and wireless instrument pickups for my ukulele and my husband’s u-bass so we could move away from the amplifier. I love this program because students could sing their hearts out and/or play along on their ‘ukulele. Monthly themes were hapa haole, paniolo, Maui nui, hula, flowers and lei, small kid time, patriotic, island songs, pop hits of the 50s and 60s, Hawaiian party, and Christmas songs.
NEW this year I started a Hawaiian History and Song series (lecture and sing-along) scheduled on the 5th Wednesday of the month:
- January. Queen Lili’uokalani included her compositions.
- May. State Holidays included songs about King Kamehameha and Prince Kuhio.
- August. Legacies of Hawaiian Leaders included songs honoring Queen Emma, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, King Lunalilo, Queen Kapiolani, and Queen Lili’uokalani.
The Maui Ukulele Pops Band performed at the 11th Annual Maui ‘Ukulele Guild Exhibition on Saturday, November 10 at Queen Kaahumanu Center. My husband and I led my students from my Advanced ‘Ukulele class in singing and playing 9 songs for our 30-minute set. New this year, I did not staff a display booth all day and the Maui ‘Ukulele Jazz Trio (my husband and I and a master student) did not perform.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele