Souvenir Photo Collage

Heartfelt Highlights

On Friday, 22 April 2016, Mele taught the largest private group – The Funstrummers Ukulele Group of 15 ‘ukulele players from Modesto, California. Mele corresponded with Lorrie Freitas, the group leader, since her initial inquiry in January, and designed a program specific to their interests.

What a kick when first the group sang and played “Be My Baby” sung by the Ronettes in 1963. (Mele later arranged a version of the song to teach to Kaunoa students and perform on stage)

As requested, Mele taught the following 3 songs:
1. Ku’u Pua I Paoakalani with Pick in 4 Strum
2. Kaimana Hila with Olapa Strum
3. Hawaii Aloha with Morse Code Strum

New for this group, Mele brought a laptop and connected it to the flat panel TV to use as a monitor to project the words and chords for the songs being taught (no song sheets). Plus, the chord shapes were placed on the Velcro board for reference.

Prior to the workshop, Lorrie had purchased Mele’s Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs Vol. 2 packaged set of Book/DVD/CD so she could introduce the 3 songs from that set. Mele wore a wireless headset and plugged in the ukulele into our small PA system to be heard over voices and strumming by 15 ukulele players.

“You are a fantastic teacher” commented one player after the workshop. Everyone went away happy. It was fun to teach a private group that already knew how to play and were open to learning new techniques and strumming styles. That way, we all had more fun.

(The above photo collage was designed by Carol of the Funstrummers group of 15 from California who took a private group lesson on 22 April 2016)

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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.