Senior Classes in 2009

Highlights of the year 2009 at Kaunoa Senior Center included putting together a Christmas show with ‘ukulele players and with singers – a great accomplishment for my first year of teaching. It started as a 6-month experiment of developing my own curriculum for teaching ‘ukulele to adults. I enjoy seeing the “a-ha” moments and challenging my students to learn in a structured environment.

I taught 83 classes during the year 2009:

  • 80 classes
  • 1 Band show
  • 2 Hawaiian Serenaders shows

Here are the details:

40 new Beyond the Basics classes. Students received Xerox copies of song sheets and practice CD. Upon graduation from the 6th month course, students as a class demonstrated their abilities to play 6 unique strumming styles without me.

  • 1st group graduated in June. 20 classes (January-June)
  • 2nd group graduated in December. 20 classes (July-December)

20 new continuing classes. The Band (graduates of the 1st Beyond the Basics) met every Monday and focused on performing songs for Christmas (Mele’s Kalikimaka) program.

  • (July-December)

6 new continuing ‘ukulele classes. Alumni Club (graduates of 1st Beyond the Basics) met on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays and focused on using the He Mele Aloha Songbook with my arrangements..

  • (September-December).

12 new singing classes. Students learned songs to perform with Band in 1st Mele’s Kalikimaka.

  • Kaunoa Singing Seniors (September-December)

2 new Lunch & Learn class Historical Highlights of Hawaii and Maui in PowerPoint format.

  • At Kaunoa (October)
  • At West Maui Senior Center (December)

1 new Kaunoa Ukulele Pops Band show at Kaunoa with Kathy Collins as MC and a videographer.

  • 1st Mele’s Kalikimaka included singing class (December)

.2 Hawaiian Serenaders show “Classic Songs of the Hawaiian Islands” sponsored by the University of Hawai’i.

  • At Kaunoa (May)
  • At West Maui Senior Center (August)

In addition to offering the above classes and performances, my husband and I hosted graduation parties for the 1st and 2nd classes of Ukulele Beyond the Basics plus a Labor Day/Anniversary party all at our house. My motivation was to teach people so I have friends to play music with and I have succeeded.

Note: My first contact at Kaunoa was Lana Queddeng, Program Assistant, who arranged for The Hawaiian Serenaders to be sponsored by the University of Hawai’i in 2008. Our first show at Kaunoa was “Timeless Love Songs & Stories of Hawai’i Nei” on Thursday, February 14, 2008.

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.