Ukulele Mele On Maui
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Testimonials From Private Students

Hear what a student has to say about her experience

Ukulele Mele teaches private lessonsHelga Kaefer - New Jersey
11 December 2017 (lesson 11 December 2017)

"Thanks for a great lesson today! I really enjoyed it a lot. I appreciate all your insight and help in learning the ukulele. It was great to finally learn the correct way to hold it and try out the hand position you use for chords. I'm also looking forward to learning new strum patterns and letting them lead me to new places in my songwriting!!"

Mariann Hendricks - North Carolina
29 November 2017 (lesson 3 November with daughter and then by herself on 10 November 2017)

"Five stars for Ukulele Mele on Maui! I hadn’t played a musical instrument for over 30 years and had never played strings, but after just one lesson with Mele I was playing a song! She is a skilled professional, very entertaining and an excellent teacher. Her method is very easy to learn and with her online programs and video lessons I can continue to learn anywhere. Thanks, Mele!"

Karen takes lessons from Ukulele MeleKaren Marcus - New Jersey
13 May 2017 (attended The Hawaiian Serenaders show 26 April, lesson 27 April and 3 May 2017)

"As an educator myself, I can fully appreciate Mele's excellent teaching style. She has great communication skills and a genuine desire to spread joy through music. Mele helped me to identify my strengths and weaknesses in a loving and supportive manner. I look forward to working with her again!"


Connie takes lessons from Ukulele MeleConnie Peabody - Portland, Oregon
13 February 2017

"Had my first in person ukulele lesson with Mele today, and I think I may never forget it. Mele was so patient, cheerful and engaging, I felt totally at ease with my awkwardness. I learned so much today. Mahalo nui loa Mele!" 


Sean takes Ukulele Mele workshopSean Schmidt - Seattle, WA
22 December 2016 (posted 5-star review on page after 17 December workshop and 20 December private lesson)

"Had a fun and instructive time at Mele's Bailey House Museum workshop and follow up private lesson. In just a few minutes I had learned all the basics, strumming, and some initial chords. Mele was flexible with a wide range of students but also had an eagle eye for detail when it came to doing things right from the start so not to pick up bad habits."

Eddie takes lessons from Ukulele MeleEddie Vargas - California (posted 5 Star review on YELP)
6 November 2016 (lesson 31 October 2016)

"This was my first private lesson I ever took for the ukulele. I took advantage to take a lesson on our trip to Maui. After googling on the Internet for someone with vast experience, Mele's name kept coming up. She is a very talented musician and I was very impressed with her. She catered the lesson to where I lack knowledge and provided me insight of my weakness. The best part is, I will continue my private lessons with Mele through webcam. The books Mele provide are easy to follow with the aid of a DVD."

Monique takes lessons from Ukulele MeleMonique Jones - California
2 November 2016 (lesson 11 October 2016)

"Had an excellent time with Mele. I went from zero experience to feeling comfortable knowing how to hold the uke and how to have a little fun. A bit of history and cultural context rounded out the hour, and a simple sing along. A fantastic experience to add to any visit to Maui -- and she offers online follow-up lessons!"


Judy takes lessons from Ukulele MeleJudy Ervien - Texas
1 September 2016 (lesson 31 August 2016)

"Loved my experience! Mele is the best. Easy to learn and enjoy. Very relaxing / the Hawaiian way. I also love her options for continued learning and support. I highly recommend her for a beginner experience."



Deanna takes Ukulele Mele lessonDeanna Cleaveland - Washington state
8 August 2016 (16 lessons January-March 2016 and lessons in 2012)

"My twice weekly private lessons with Mele in Jan/Feb 2016 were 4 years after my first 7 weeks with Mele in 2012. Basically starting over, I surprised and pleased us both at how much easier it was for me and how much further I progressed this second time around. Mele is a wonderfully patient and skilled teacher plus she is just fun to spend time and talk story with! I now know I can pick up my ukulele any time and go back over the lessons with more confidence and joy when playing. Mele is a terrific teacher for either beginners or experienced players! Make your time on Maui more memorable with ukulele lessons the Mele way!"

Matilda takes Ukulele Mele lessonMatilda Olimuthu - Texas
31 May 2016 (lesson 7 November 2015 on Maui, plus 2 February, 15 March, and 10 May, 2016 via webcam)

"I was so lucky and blessed to have met Mele during my visit to Maui in 2015 and had my very first ukulele lesson with her. I was lucky again to have had three more Skype lessons with Mele which was given to me as a gift from my Son. I had so much fun doing the lessons with Mele. Her smiling face and patience made me so comfortable. My favorite part of her style was the way she taught the strumming method. It was very easy to follow. I also really enjoyed playing and singing along with her. During my next trip to Maui I will defintely take more lessons from her. She is definitely a natural teacher. I really admire her God given talent and name her 'The Queen of Ukulele'. Thank you for everything!"

Jack takes Ukulele Mele lessonJack Leibert - Phoenix, Arizona
25 March 2016 (lesson 24 March)

"I enjoyed my ukulele lesson with Ukulele Mele. I have always wanted to learn to play the ukulele and was fortunate to find Mele through an Internet search while visiting Maui this week. I arranged for a private lesson and was amazed how much I learned in one lesson.

Mele is a great instructor, patient and thorough. I intent to continue lessons with her via the Internet when I return home. Thanks, Mele, for getting me started." 

Casey takes Ukulele Mele lesson Casey S. - Windsor, CO
25 November 2015 (lesson 16 November)

"I was given ukulele lessons with Mele for my birthday. What a fantastic gift. Mele was energetic and passionate about teaching me to play the ukulele. She is very organized and systematic in her teaching and I would highly recommend lessons with her."

Jessica took private lessons from Ukulele MeleJessica Owen - Vancouver, B.C.
27 September 2015 (2 back-to-back lessons September)

"Thank you so much!!! It was such a pleasure and I am so glad I did it! You are so wonderful to work with! I will be continuing with your website!"


Deb took private lessons from Ukulele MeleDeb H. - Yellowknife, New Territories, Canada
26 July 2015 (6 lessons July, plus March 2015 Ukulele Strumming Workshop)

"Ukulele Mele ... no ka oi! Mele is the best!

I purchased a ukulele 2 years ago when I was on Maui because I totally enjoyed listening to ukulele music and thought it would be fun to play. It was my way of bringing a little piece of Maui and the "aloha spirit" home to Canada's great white north. As winter set in, it was the perfect time to hunker down and learn a few tunes. And I did just that...slowly! Using a "Jumpin' Jim's" songbook, I was able to figure out some basic chords and a few strumming patterns. But, every song I played sounded the same!

A year and a half later, I returned to Maui and this is when I started to seek out opportunities to play with others. I participated in one of Mele's strumming workshops and returned home wanting more! I played on and off again, but the self-teaching gig just wasn't doing it!

To Maui I must go! I contacted Mele, booked some lessons and the rest, as they say, is history. I took 6 private lessons over a two week period and have learned more than I ever did in the past 2 years. More importantly, Mele was able to help me sort out my improper left hand technique that was leaving me with a pain in my wrist! My time spent playing ukulele and talking story with Mele was a pleasure. So much so, that I intend to continue to take lessons with her via webcam from my home in Yellowknife. When in Maui, I highly recommend taking ukulele lessons with Mele." 

Jim took private lessons from Ukulele MeleJim Thompson - Fremantle, Western Australia
25 May 2015 (2 lessons April, plus 1 workshop April at Steel Guitar Festival)

"When I visited Maui, I arranged to have ukulele lessons with Mele Fong. I also attended one of her workshops. I had been playing for a little while in Australia. Mele is a great teacher. She is very patient and inspires confidence in players of all levels. Mele's method gives you a strong foundation to improve your playing and really enjoy the ukulele.

If you can't visit, then try the online or video lessons. If you can visit Maui, make sure you contact Mele. Apart from being a wonderful teacher, she is a lovely person."

Goz took private lessons from Ukulele MeleGoz Asai - California (review by father George)
1 May 2015 (1 lesson April, plus 1 workshop April at Steel Guitar Festival)

"Our 12-year-old son had an amazing learning experience with Mele during his one-on-one private lesson at the Bailey House Museum and then was lucky enough to attend one of Mele's workshops at the Maui Steel Guitar Festival. Our son initially learned to play ukulele as part of his Fine Arts Block at school on the mainland and when that completed he started doing some online lessons, so he already had a healthy appreciation for the ukulele and was eager to learn. All of the tunes he had learned were recent pop songs, which he tended to play pretty "hard" (i.e. volume and speed were more important than the rhythm and melody), so we were hoping to get some island sensitivity instilled in his playing.

As soon as he met Mele they hit it off and went right to work. The private lesson focused on improving our son's fundamentals, so Mele had him play something of his own choosing and used that as a starting point to work from. Emphasis was placed on techniques that could be mastered and stay with our son as blocks to build upon, so that he could always return to these anchor points to keep him on track. Back at the hotel that night our son was practicing some of his pop songs and they all sounded significantly better: the tonal quality was much improved, he wasn't struggling with chords and he had a much more relaxed style in his strumming.

Goz took ukulele workshop from Ukulele MeleLater in the week our son attended Mele's workshop at the Steel Guitar Festival; he was the only kid in a tent full of adults but he was able to hold his own. The improved fundamentals from the private lesson set up a good foundation for this environment in which Mele focused on a few songs to teach to the group. In just over an hour, Mele had the whole group strumming along to "La Bamba" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," with our son being a fast and eager learner.

Overall, Mele provided a great range of instruction for our son, running the gamut from fundamentals to songs, sprinkling in a little bit of Hawaiian culture and history to keep everything tied together and interesting. As a professional performer, she had credentials that resonated with our son so that he came in with a healthy bit of respect for her, knowing that he was learning from a true professional. On a personal level, Mele is very approachable and has a wonderful upbeat presence that makes learning from her and enjoying her music a true joy. If we had more time on Maui, our son would have definitely have wanted another lesson with her - I guess we'll just have to wait until the next trip."

Barbara takes lessons from Ukulele MeleBarbara Shields - Victoria, B.C.
18 April 2015 (after 1st lesson April, plus 8 April Ukulele Mixed Plate)

"It was our second day in Maui and we went to see the entertainment at the shops of Wailea on the Wednesday night. Mele and her husband entertained us for the first hour with Hawaiian singing, playing the ukulele and Hawaiian dancing that was a fabulous show! Then Mele gave a Ukulele lesson. She is a fabulous teacher and makes it seem so easy to learn. She had the whole group of us playing and singing songs very quickly and I had so much fun!! I realized then how easy it was to learn to play the Ukulele. I had always wanted to play one but never believed that I could do it but after that lesson with Mele, I realized that I could play and have a lot of fun doing it!! I made the decision that I was going to buy one and take a lesson from Mele. I spoke to Mele after that lesson and she recommended that I purchase my Ukulele upstairs in the Mele Ukulele store right at the shops of Wailea, so upstairs I went and I came out with my very own ukulele. I made an appointment for a private lesson with Mele and learned a lot in my one lesson. I am going for my second lesson next week and I am really looking forward to it. Thank you Mele. You have been a real inspiration to me and made me realize that I could do it!!"

Carol takes lessons from Ukulele MeleCarol Rae Fox - California
23 November 2014 (2 lessons November)

"I had been practicing the ukulele on my own for nine months and developed some bad technique habits. I scheduled 2 private lessons with Mele during a recent visit to Maui. She worked hard with me to correct these problems and helped me move to the next level. She is a delightful person and made learning a lot of fun. She can teach the beginner or the advanced ukulele student. I recommend her and plan to schedule lessons during my next visit to Maui in the spring. Mahalo Mele!"


Susan H. takes lessons from Ukulele MeleSusan Helm - Germany
19 July 2014 (4 lessons November - December 2013)

"We've been in Maui for two months and it was a great experience taking ukulele lessons. This was my personal souvenir. Mele was a very patient teacher and explaining things very well and easy to understand. So in a short period of time I was able to get a good overview even though I have never played a ukulele or guitar before. Definitely a good thing to take a personal lesson if you want to learn something. My ukulele, which I took home, now reminds me of that wonderful time we had on Maui. I also brought home a booklet with a DVD to play along and learn some more."

Patrick Goh plays with Ukulele MelePatrick Goh - Sydney, Australia
16 June 2014 (1 lesson June)

"Many thanks for all your help and valuable tips for my 1st ever uke lesson as a 75 year-old long time self-taught uke player (by ear). To me, you are a good and a very experienced and knowledgeable teacher, particularly helpful for seniors like myself. Thank you so much for pointing out my incorrect techniques and correcting my hand and arm positions in holding and strumming the uke. Your approach and method to playing the ukulele is so much more natural and relaxed. Your explanation is also very clear and easy to follow. I shall certainly try out the different strumming patterns you have introduced and taught me. It was a most beneficial learning experience with you, and a real pleasure and joy for me to have met you and learn from you. I have no hesitation in highly recommending you to anyone desirous of improving their method and technique of playing the ukulele."

Katerina takes lessons from Ukulele MeleKaterina Belikova - Czech Republic
16 June 2014 (9 lessons February - April)

"I took several lessons by Mele Fong. I enjoyed the lessons in her house in Kula very much and looked forward to learn some new chords and songs from her every Tuesday. She taught me on a very pleasant way how to hold the instrument correctly, so that it doesn't hurt to play it for a longer time, she corrected my technique and gave me interesting background information to the songs. I learnt a lot of the common chords, various ways of strumming and finally played first some simple and later some more difficult songs. I really loved the variety of the songs that Mele teach. I enjoyed to play an American country music as well as a beautiful Hawaiian song, a black spiritual, traditional or another popular pieces. I practiced everywhere - sitting on the beach and waiting for my husband and son while surfing the huge waves in Ho'okipa, sitting in the car while traveling cross the awesome nature of Hawaii or just on the terrace of our house while waiting till it gets dark in Paia and our neighbors fall asleep. Soon I was able to reproduce Mele's song arrangements.

Very nice experiences were the two workshops in the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. It was very interesting to play together in a group of several other ukulele players. I had a lot of fun with Mele during my stay on Maui.

I hope I will find soon some opportunity to continue playing and build on what I have learnt with Mele.

I would like to say once more, "thank you very much for the beautiful time, Mele".

I can just recommend these lessons to everybody who would like to have fun, to make some experience with ukulele, improve technique or just learn some Hawaiian songs."

Willet plays with Ukulele MeleWillet Bushnell - Wasilla, AK
8 November 2013 (4 lessons October-November)

"I have taken lessons from others in the past, but within minutes of the first lesson, Mele spotted my bad habits and helped me learn the correct way of holding some chords and holding my Uke. I have played for about five years and play with others frequently.  The strumming methods she taught me will be great for Jam sessions and while playing Hula's for our Hawaiian Hui."

Donald Craib plays with Ukulele MeleDonald Craib - Alexandria, VA
29 October 2013 (1 lesson October)

"Mele is a great communicator and fabulous teacher! She has a wonderful teaching presence and is very encouraging and enthusiastic. The hour-long session flew by and she had me playing songs before my first lesson was over. I would recommend Mele for any and all levels of instruction!"

Note: Donald served as Executive Director of Maui Historical Society/Bailey House Museum during 2013. He took a ukulele lesson before returning to his home in Virginia.


MarilynN. plays with Ukulele MeleMarilyn Nagy - Sterling, Alaska
22 October 2013 (1 lesson October)

"It has been a great trip to come to Hawaii and bring my ukulele and learn more ways to enjoy playing. All of the festivals (Maui Ukulele Festival was October 12) have been amazing. The performers have been so inspiring too! The lesson I had with you was great! It was so good to see you again, and be able to work on some things that are just for me. It is good for me to keep working on the challenges of playing, there is no need to be bored. It has been magical the way all of the music and lessons have come into this trip to Hawaii. Thank you, it was good to include time with you, who knows, I may be able to come again."

Note: Marilyn participated in the Homer Ukulele Players Event held Labor Day Weekend 2013 in Alaska. 

Louis V. plays with Ukulele MeleLouis Varone - Centennial, CO
10 October 2013 (2 lessons October)

"I was playing the ukulele for about 9 months (self-taught) and I thought I was pretty good. While I was visiting Maui, I took a couple of lessons from Mele. I was a former guitar player and was holding and strumming incorrectly. She showed me how to hold, cord hand position and strumming techniques. What a difference. I play much more relaxed. And the strumming styles can completely change the way a song sounds. I also purchased two of her books and am honing my style every day. Highly suggest you take a couple lessons as a lot of us new players are probably self-taught through the internet like me."

Joan plays with Ukulele MeleJoan Albert - Kula, Maui
15 August 2013 (3 lessons since July 2013)

"I'm astounded how much more confidence (and fun!) I'm having with the ukulele after just my first few lessons with Mele. Her focus on the basics of technique has opened up all kinds of new capabilities that I can now explore and practice on my own (in between lessons).

As a musician, Mele's wonderful fluency and ease of playing give me something to aspire to. As a teacher, she demonstrates and guides with intelligence, kindness and humor. I find I learn more easily when I'm relaxed, and Mele put me instantly at ease. Her observations on how I'm holding the instrument, the position of arms, wrists and fingers have helped me overcome some incorrect habits and start playing the right way. It's interesting to find that better technique actually makes playing so much easier and more enjoyable!

And I really enjoy Mele's song arrangements. I purchased two of her sets (each comes with a song book, an audio CD and a lesson DVD) so I can continue learning when I'm away from Maui. The arrangements include a range of levels and a variety of strumming techniques. They make practicing fun.

I'm looking forward to participating in the next Play Along Workshop at the Bailey House. I highly recommend ukulele lessons with Mele!"

Jessica plays with Ukulele MeleJessica Rees - Austin, Texas
7 May 2013 (2 lessons back-to-back on 1 May)

"My husband presented me with a wonderful birthday gift - ukulele lessons with Mele while we were vacationing in Maui. I have never played a musical instrument in my life so I was a beginner in every sense of the word. Her method of teaching was very thorough and informative, including a brief synopsis of its history, types, and parts of the ukulele, and tuning and proper positioning of the instrument. I learned a lot in my two lessons with Mele and even more than I hoped to achieve given my lack of musical background. I had so much fun strumming and singing on the ukulele that I bought one before leaving Maui and plan to continue my lessons with her. My lessons with Mele were truly one of the highlights of my trip. I highly recommend ukulele lessons with Mele. Her method of instruction and musical techniques were both professional and very conducive, especially to a novice like myself. My experience with Mele far exceeded my expectations. It was a joy meeting her and learning to play the ukulele."

Mike plays with Ukulele MeleMike Gartner - Lahaina, Maui
1 May 2013 (lessons since March 2013)

"Although I have no musical background, I was given a ukulele as a Holiday gift. It sat in its bag for several months until I took it out, purchased several "How To" books and online course, and began practicing. Although helpful, I recognized that self-taught ukulele would take an inordinate amount of time and discipline (especially strumming). At that I time I made the decision to seek an experienced teacher who could get me through the basics to at least allow me to begin to play some songs. I found Mele online and signed up for my first lesson several months ago. Her relaxed style and friendly demeanor allowed me to feel comfortable as a raw beginner and she immediately went to work on improving/modifying what I had already learned in our first lesson. Since then, I have slowly but steadily improved, learned a number of chords and strums, and have worked with her in starting to put together a group of songs from my "younger" days (i.e. Beatles, Billy Joel, James Taylor, etc.). I now enjoy watching the sunsets while learning and playing some of my favorite tunes. They may not be perfectly played...but they're fun and beginning to sound like music. Mele's flexibility allows you to learn what you want while always reinforcing the fundamentals.

I also attended one of Mele's Saturday free workshops (at the Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival) and found it to be great especially in being with other ukulele players. Mele was able to get beginners who had never touched a ukulele to play several simple songs in a short period. And I felt great since I, with several weeks of instruction under my belt, sounded like an old timer. The atmosphere was again relaxed and focused on fun learning."

JB SmithJB Smith - Anacortes, Washington
2 March 2013 (6 lessons January-March)

"Hi Mele! Just wanted to send you a short note to thank you for the ukulele lessons while I was on Maui. Having tried for a year to self teach ukulele with no musical background, I found myself trapped in some bad habits. Your lessons helped me get the basics straight and then went on to teach me a number of new strum patterns that made playing so much more fun! You are a very easy going and patient teacher. Thanks again and hope to see you on my return or maybe sooner online!"

Hiroko KawachiHiroko Kawachi - Kahului, Maui; moved from Japan 7 years ago
19 November 2012 (lessons since September 2012, and continues)

"I saw Mele's ukulele students perform on stage at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center on November 10, and I wish I can be there on stage next year. I know it takes a lot of practice. Before I started taking private ukulele lessons from Mele on September 10, I didn't have any confidence to keep on playing the ukulele. Now, each lesson is interesting and fun, and I am gaining more confidence in my abilities to play ukulele. I am so relaxed and comfortable with Mele as my teacher, which is the reason why I am continuing my private ukulele lessons with her. I totally recommend Mele as a teacher to anyone - especially people like me who come to Maui from Japan!"

Desiree takes ukulele lessons from MeleDesiree Dymond - New York, New York
22 September 2012 (lesson 29 August)

"Mele taught me more than any other ukulele lesson had ever achieved - A simple adjustment of my hand positioning on the uke that solved a major cramping of the hand problem that I'd been having for years. I've had a few different teachers, in New York city, where I live, and none have had the awareness or the sensitivity that Mele had in identifying this problem, and offering an instant solution. I will be eternally grateful to her for this. A lot of ukulele and guitar teachers just want to teach you how to play a song, which anyone who knows how the use the internet can figure out on their own. I was pleasantly surprised that Mele was teaching me technique, which is what I've always wanted, and is much more elusive if not impossible to find online. The internet cannot point out to you what you are doing wrong in your technique.

Not only was the lesson a great learning experience, but just hanging out with Mele in the Bailey House Museum was completely worth the hour-long drive from Wailea (where I was staying). When I arrived, she had this amazing vintage Martin & Company ukulele for me to play, since I hadn't brought mine on vacation with me, she had provided this rad instrument to me for the lesson. I had booked two lessons back to back to maximize my experience with a real, old school ukulele player/singer/songwriter. I was so glad I had done this. Mele looked the part even more than I hoped for, dressed in the most cool, almost 1940s black and white dress and red hat with matching shoes ensemble that I fell in love with instantly. She was the idyllic image of a stylish Hawaiian heritage from another time. I almost felt transported into another era with the special surrounding of the museum enveloping me with the ambience of time travel. The acoustics in the museum room made of stone, where the lesson was held, bounced off the walls with the bravado of an old opera house. This, by far, was the highlight of my trip to Maui. I recommend this to any musician visiting the island. It was an experience I will never forget."

Aya plays ukulele with MeleAya Tsujita - Japan
22 July 2012 (lesson 2 May)

"It was first visit to Maui from Japan and also my first ukulele lesson ever. I would like to say thank you very much Mele san, having with such a nice 1 hour. I've just got my ukulele one year before as my birthday present from my husband, since then haven't take any lesson, only learn by myself. So I'm the very beginner, even though Mele taught me easy to understand, finally she played "Pearly Shells" which I really want to play.

I was look for the ukulele lesson in Maui by internet, what make me decide to request was the photo with Mele's charming smile. It was correct, she was beautiful and great teacher.

I'd like to visit Maui again and join her lesson in near future. Thank you so much."

Ted takes ukulele with MeleTed Schut - Modesto, California
8 June 2012 (2 lessons May)

"Thank you so much for all of your help. As a long-time guitar player, my technique for the ukulele was totally wrong. You spotted this immediately and corrected both my left hand chording and my right hand strumming. I learned more from you in two lessons than I did from six lessons at my local junior college adult education program. I enjoyed singing with you even more. I will certainly contact you again the next time I am in Maui. I highly recommend your ukulele lessons at the Bailey House Museum to anyone, beginner or advanced musician, who is lucky enough to be in Maui and book you!"

Mark takes ukulele with MeleMark Morabito - Maui
29 May 2012 (lessons since March 2012, and continues)

"It was a great night watching The Hawaiian Serenaders perform at Iao Theater. Mele and Richard bring their own style to well known Hawaiian and hapa-haole favorites, and it's clear that this duo enjoys performing. Personally, it was a treat to hear the blues played on the ukulele. What a wonderful instrument. I'm looking forward to hearing them play in the Ukulele Jazz Trio.

As a new student, I can see where Mele's teaching style comes from. Good form and a focus on rhythm make learning fun and easy. I was playing songs right away. Mele brings out the simple joy of playing music."

Holly takes ukulele from Mele Holly Huelsmann - Maui
22 May 2012 - (lessons since January 2012, and continues)

"Friday night my husband and I attend Kimo Hussey's annual Ukulele Kanikapila at Kaunoa Senior Center. Last year was fun, but this year we were pleasantly surprised to see our ukulele teacher Mele Fong and her husband, Rich Tom, up on stage with Kimo's trio. Having Mele up there was a bonus to most of us in the audience because she knew exactly what we needed to know to really participate. And we did!! Can't wait until next year!

Duane plays ukuleleiwth MeleDuane Leib - California
13 April 2012 (8 lessons March-April)

"You are famous. Yesterday, as we traveled through the airport with my new ukulele on my back (6 string tenor like yours), lots of people asked me about it. After stating that I took lessons on Maui many asked "who with?" Mentioning your name brought instant recognition from many and I think some prestige for me as a student.

I can't thank you enough for your patience and skill working with an old dog like me (68 years-old). My 37 year-old daughter's reaction (she was blown away) to my rendition of "Happy Birthday" that I sang and played for her over the phone was a highlight for me. I expect my 7 year-old granddaughter will have a similar reaction to "You Are My Sunshine". The big surprise will be "Shayna's Song" that you wrote the chords for. It will be a surprise for my daughter Shayna when I sing it to her at our upcoming family reunion in June.

Hope all is well. You are indeed a very talented and classy lady. I will stay with ukulele because I like it."

Harvey takes ukulele from MeleHarvey Leong - Boston, MA
28 March 2012 (4 lessons January-February)
(he was the first student to continue lessons via Skype)

"I had so much fun learning ukulele from Mele, that I decided to continue lessons via Skype once I got home to Boston. "


Sachi from Japan takes ukulele lesson Sachi Kimura - Japan
12 February 2012 (8 lessons January-February)

"I came to Maui for 2 months to see my newborn granddaughter. I took 8 ukulele lessons from Kumu Mele and I'm happy to be able to play Aloha Oe now. I enjoyed her classes very much."


Bob takes ukulele lesson from MeleBob Schwab
12 December 2011 (lesson 30 November)
(he was the winning bidder at the silent auction at the Bailey House fundraiser 26 November)

"Dear Mele,

Just wanted to drop you a note to express my thanks. I want you to know that after my first ukulele lesson with you I was a hit at our family Christmas party on December 10th! I played the uke as a kid and hadn't picked it up for 25 years. My wife insisted that I start playing it again. So what better time then our family party. And that's why I needed a lesson - immediately! And you were there for me - two weeks later I am performing at our party (about 40 family and friends attend). I never had a lesson in my life until two weeks ago - as kids we just learned from one another (and we didn't learn much!)

You made my learning experience fun and interesting - I would recommend you to the World!"

Susie K, ukulele student with Mele on MauiSusie Kusagaya - California
9 December 2011 (5 lessons November)

"I was prompted to take ukulele lessons after my girlfriend asked me to go with her to a Ukulele Jam at a senior center near to where I live in California. I am a senior and have no prior knowledge of playing musical instruments, but always had a desire to learn something new.

The Ukulele Jam is not a place to learn, but a place to play along with everyone else as a group. Therefore, it was important for me to make sure that I was strumming and holding the ukulele correctly and this prompted me to take lessons before picking up bad habits.

Since my trip to Maui was coming up, I decided to take some private lessons while I was there and found Mele at “” on Google. I called and spoke with Mele and I instantly knew she was the one that would teach me how to play the ukulele. Mele is a wonderful instructor with lots of patience and she will teach you the proper way to strum and hold your ukulele with good posture. She will begin with a history of the ukulele, finger positions, types of strumming, etc. With practice and perseverance I was on my way to playing the ukulele. Although I am not proficient yet, it’s the only way to get started before “you pick up bad habits” on your own.

If you are looking for an instructor for ukulele in Maui or “on-line,” I highly recommend Mele Fong. She is the best instructor, a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice and lots of talent! It was well worth the travel time between Kaanapali to Wailuku. I loved the Bailey House museum where she teaches; it makes you feel like you’re part of the Bailey House history!"

For more testimonials from Mele's students
- small group students
classroom students at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better

Testimonials on YELP

Testimonials on Google+