“Today was challenging, but fun. The lady next to me said she had taken your ‘ukulele class in the past. I noticed she was playing an imaginary ‘ukulele and told her she should bring her ‘ukulele next time. She gave me a big smile. Maybe she will…” – email from student Lee Shigezawa.
Fourteen people signed up for my NEW Island Sing-Along Series on Thursday, May 12 from 10:00 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults age 55 and better. The fourth program of the series was about the Hawaiian island of Oahu. I used PowerPoint to project the lyrics and chords for 8 songs up on the screen so everyone could see. The presentation of 57 slides took 1 hour and 25 minutes. As I introduced each song, I told the story behind it in keeping with Hawaiian oral traditions whether the song was Hawaiian or not. For songs in the Hawaiian language, I taught how to pronounce the lyrics and the translation. We all had fun singing while I played my ‘ukulele and my husband accompanied the group on his u-bass. About a third of the audience brought their instruments and played along.
Here are the 8 Hawaiian and hapa haole songs we learned:
- ‘O Ka Leo – by Richard Iliwa’alani.
- Henehene Kou ‘Aka – traditional.
- On the Beach at Waikīkī – by Henry Kailimai and G.H. Stover, 1915.
- Kaimana Hila – by Charles E. King, 1916.
- Royal Hawaiian Hotel – by Mary Pula’a Robins, 1927.
- Honolulu I’m Coming Back Again – by F.B. Silverwood and David Lindeman, 1919.
- Beautiful Ilima – by Princess Emma Alexandria Kanoa DeFries.
- Hawaii Aloha – by Rev. Lorenzo Lyons, 1800s
New this time I used the laser pointer feature on the remote control to advance the PowerPoint slides. It sure came in handy to show people where we going on the map of Oahu, and to show the line of the song we were on as we learned to pronounce the Hawaiian words.
Another first was my new method of showing the Hawaiian song lyrics on the screen while telling the translation and the source, and pointing out familiar words to help people get the just of the story. This was better than my previous method of telling the translation of the song while people looked at the cover image for the song’s title.
After the program, someone asked, “Do you have handouts?” My response – no, take lessons.
Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along program coming on June 16 about Hapa Haole songs.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele