“Singing these songs brought back memories of my sister learning hula when we were growing up,” commented one lady after the Hula Songs program. June Jones visiting from Arizona commented how excited she was to take ukulele classes again from Mele Fong after many years (see photo).
Twenty-three people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Hula Songs on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.
During the new “Hawaiian history moment of the month” I talked about April 1-7 being the 55th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long event in Hilo, Hawai’i that features an internationally acclaimed hula competition and more dedicated to the memory of King David Kalākaua, also known as the “Merrie Monarch” for his fun loving ways and support of Hawaiian music and hula. Read more by clicking here.
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! New for this program I changed the graphic layout, background color, and font to Arial after learning this font is the easiest to read at a distance. These changes were in addition to a slide showing the strum graphic and ukulele chord shape images before each song. We continued the routine of learning how to pronounce any Hawaiian words in the songs, the story behind each song whether it was Hawaiian or not, and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.
We sang all ten songs that we had prepared for the 75-minute program including Hawai’i Aloha (in the Hawaiian language) that is traditionally sung to end a public event in Hawai’i. Here is the song list with my unique ‘ukulele strums:
- Keep Your Eyes on the Hands – I Wanna Rest Strum and 4And Strum.
- Papalina Lahilahi – ‘Ōlapa Strum.
- Hula Lolo – I Wanna Rest Strum and 4And Strum.
- Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai – Latin Strums.
- Hukilau Song – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- E Huli Makou – ‘Ōlapa Strum.
- My Little Grass Shack – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Sophisticated Hula – Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum.
- Lovely Hula Hands – I Wanna Rest and 4And Strum.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Flower and Lei Songs on Thursday, May 3.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele