“As a fledgling ukulele player, I knew basic chords but not what to do with them. I had no idea of simple strumming patterns, and my fingers kept getting tangled in the strings. Signing up for Mele Fong’s Beyond the Basics ukulele class in January 2009 was the best thing I did. She methodically introduced our class to fundamental strumming patterns – clapping the rhythm, air strumming, and eventually, actual “hitting the strings.” It worked. As our skill level and confidence increased, she began to incorporate more complex strumming patterns, along with “challenging” chords.
Today, I am amazed at the range and intricacy of the songs that we are able to play. It is not without work and practice; but with Mele’s instruction and encouragement, being able to play the ukulele with confidence and skill is definitely doable.” — Andrea Kaumeheiwa, June 2011 (first class of January 2009, original Maui Ukulele Pops Band member)