Summary of 2017 Senior Classes

2017 was the 8th year of Ukulele Mele classes at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. What started as a 6-month experiment in January 2009 continues to grow as I fulfill my business mission to “share the joy of making music one ‘ukulele player at-a-time.”

Highlights of the year included the filming of a professional video that five Kaunoa students (Beverly, Eileen, Kathleen, Peggy, and Susan) participated in the ‘ukulele strumming workshop, private student one-on-one lesson, student testimonial, and entertainment scenes on location at the Bailey House for my YELP business webpage.

New this year:

  • I taught classes that included subscription to my online courses rather than having a volunteer facilitator lead the course, and students did not join in the Ukulele Strumming 202 class on the last day of class for me to check on their progress because I taught them every class.
  • I put all 13 Christmas songs into the Sing-Along with Mele Fong PowerPoint format to make it easier for singers and ‘ukulele players at the 5th annual Christmas party open to all students.
  • No Hawaiian history PowerPoint presentations this year.

I taught 87 ‘ukulele classes during the year 2017:

  • 38 continuing classes (18 Advanced Ukulele + 20 Ukulele Strumming 202).
  • 11 Sing-Along with Mele Fong series.
  • 38 open classes (28 with packaged sets, 9 with online courses, 1 Christmas party).

Performances at the 10th Annual Maui ‘Ukulele Guild Exhibition Nov. 11 at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center:

  • Maui Ukulele Pops Band (10 songs for our 30-minute set) with Rich accompanying on u-bass.
  • Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio (my husband and I and a new trio member from a Kaunoa class) performed 10 difficult songs (that I don’t teach) for our 30-minute set.

In addition to offering the above classes and performances, my husband and I hosted our annual 4th of July party at our house where students from my Kaunoa classes were invited to bring their instruments to meet and play music together the Ukulele Mele Way. Fun!


38 continuing ‘ukulele classes. Students received emailed song sheets and could play along with the audio recordings to over 100 songs in my online Fan Club to practice the curriculum outside of class.

  • Advanced Ukulele. 18 classes. I taught 53 songs including 10 for show set (approx 10 quarter).
  • Ukulele Strumming 202. 20 classes. I taught 43 songs (approximately 10 per quarter).

11  Sing-along with Mele Fong series. Students learned the story behind the song and how to sing it. I used a PowerPoint format to project the song lyrics and chords on a screen in the front of the room (like sing-along with Mitch Miller). Rich accompanied on u-bass. Lunch optional during 2-hour class.

  • Maui Nui Songs (Jan)
  • Oahu Songs (Feb)
  • Big Island (March)
  • Kauai Songs (April)
  • NEW Flowers and Leis for May Day (May)
  • NEW Small Kid Time (June)
  • NEW Patriotic Songs (July)
  • NEW Great American Songs (Aug)
  • NEW Hawaiian Party Songs (Sept)
  • NEW Na Lani Eha (Oct)
  • NEW American Classics (Nov)

28 open classes used my packaged sets of book/DVD/CD of 6 songs with 8 unique strums. Students bought the sets from me (discount from website shopping cart price) to practice the songs outside of class.

  • Strumming 101 used Sing-Along Songs Vol. 1 set. 5 classes (Feb/March)
  • Strumming 101 used Sing-Along Songs Vol. 2 set. 4 classes (April)
  • Strumming 101 used Sing-Along Songs Vol. 2 set. 3 classes (May)
  • Hawaiian Songs 1 used Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 1 set. 4 classes (August)
  • Hawaiian Songs 2 used Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 2 set. 4 classes (Sept/Oct)
  • Hapa Haole Songs used Hapa Haole Songs Vol. 1 set. 4 classes (Oct/Nov).
  • Christmas Songs used Mele Kalikimaka Vol. 1 set. 4 classes (Nov/Dec)

9 open classes included subscription to my online courses for 30 days accessible on my website.

  • NEW Ukulele Mele Basics. 3 classes (January)
  • Ukulele Mele Basics. 2 classes (June)
  • NEW Ukulele Mele Beyond the Basics. 4 classes (July)

1 Christmas Party (5th annual) at Kaunoa that included a group play/sing-along of 13 Christmas songs from my online Fan Club.

Webpages are available for:

  • Senior Classes at Kaunoa Senior Center
  • Maui Ukulele Pops Band (performing group of Kaunoa students)
  • Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio (my husband Rich and I with Kaunoa master student)
  • The Hawaiian Serenaders (my husband Rich and I) as professional entertainers

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.