“I’m going to extend my vacation on Maui just so I can complete your ukulele class,” said Patricia Hans from New York whom we first met at my February 10 Ukulele Strumming Workshop at Kaunoa. At the workshop Patricia told me she had signed up for my Ukulele Strumming 101 class from February 12 – March 12 at Kaunoa. Patricia’s original travel plans had her leaving Maui before class ended, but after experiencing how much fun it is to learn to play ukulele from me, she chose to extend her trip. What a great testimonial!
Patricia was one of twenty-nine people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Paniolo Songs on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Paniolo is the Hawaiian word for cowboy, so we sang a mix of Hawaiian cowboy and American cowboy songs. 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 this year for the “Hawaiian history moment of the month” I talked about the significance of February 23, 2003, the date a flatbed trailer carrying an enormous bronze statue of Ikua Purdy roping a steer was pulled into the Parker Ranch Shopping Center in Waimea on the Big Island. In 1908, Purdy stunned the American West at the World Championship in Wyoming by winning the steer-roping contest. Read more about Ikua Purdy, the first Native Hawaiian voted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame by clicking here.
New this year I also added an additional slide showing the strum graphic and ukulele chord shape images for each song. We continued the routine of learning how to pronounce any Hawaiian words in the songs and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.
We sang ten of the eleven songs that we had prepared for the program including Hawai’i Aloha (in the Hawaiian language) that is traditionally sung to end a public event in Hawaii. Here is the song list with my unique ‘ukulele strums:
- Paniolo Country – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Ulupalakua – ‘Olapa Strum.
- Could I Have This Dance – 2 Waltz Strums.
- Hey Good Lookin’ – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Kaula ‘Ili – 2 Waltz Strums.
- Ring of Fire – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Wahine Holo Lio – Pick in 4/I Wanna Rest Strums.
- King of the Road – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Country Roads – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Maui Nui Songs on Thursday, March 15.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele