Ukulele Strumming Workshops

Public playing the Ukulele Mele Way

Ukulele Workshops

Ukulele Workshops 2012-2018

Mele presented 46 2-hour ‘ukulele workshops serving 546 people from July 14, 2012 – March 10, 2018 at a historical Hawaiian place – Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House in Wailuku, Maui.

The two hour ‘ukulele workshops were the only one of its kind on island to offer an introduction to learning the Ukulele Mele Way by forming ukulele chords with minimal muscle strain and strumming different rhythm patterns to fun, sing-along songs without looking at music in a group setting. Participants learned Mele’s song arrangements and progressed through songs with one to four chords using different strums to songs of different musical genres. Mele’s husband, a professional ukulele-bass player, kept the beat as he played and sang along with everyone. Break time was priceless as everyone sat around and kanikaplia (play music) informally.

Cost was $10 or $5 for museum members and included admission to the museum. Mele provided rental instruments upon request during early online registration that was free to save-a-seat.

At the front of the room, participants could see a large display board with pictures of ‘ukulele chord shapes and what numbered finger goes where on the instrument. Display samples of Mele’s six packaged song sets of Book/DVD/CD for beginners to advanced ‘ukulele players were also available to flip through and purchase to take home to continue learning from Mele.

Some workshop participants scheduled private lessons for another time at the Bailey House and some returned to workshops Saturday after Saturday (residents) or year after year (visitors) when back in town. The workshop season was eventually scheduled for October-March at the height of visitor snow bird season, but more local residents (including Mele’s ‘ukulele students from Kaunoa Senior Center) came to the workshops.

Listen to a radio interview about ‘ukulele lessons and workshops that Mele did with Travis, Bailey House Executive Director, on February 20, 2013 at KAOI AM 1110.

TESTIMONIALS – CLICK ON A PHOTO for the story behind it

MEMORABLE MOMENTS – CLICK ON A PHOTO for the story behind it


  • 14 July 2012. 1st “Play Along with Ukulele Mele” Workshop began on Saturday with a 2-hour format at the Bailey House. The purpose was to help the Bailey House’s Executive Director Travis with fundraising efforts to get them out of the red.
  • January 2013. Workshops scheduled for every second Saturday of the month to make it easier for planning purposes.
  • 8 June 2013. The new incoming Executive Director of the Bailey House Donald Craib (starting July 1st) treated workshop participants to pastries and coffee as a goodbye to the outgoing Executive Director Travis who was leaving at the end of June. Mele started the “Play Along with Ukulele Mele” workshop program with Travis a year ago on 14 July 2012. What had started as an experiment has continued into an ongoing monthly commitment with the museum.
  • 8 February 2014. New wireless mini headset and small portable PA to amplify Mele’s voice and ‘ukulele so everyone “could hear me now” over the collective sound of many people playing their ‘ukulele and singing. This was also the first time the new Executive Director of the Bailey House, Sissy Lake-Farm, heard us during the workshop and now knows how much fun it is “raising the rafters” with music.
  • 15 November 2014. Name changed from “Play Along with Ukulele Mele” to “Ukulele Strumming Workshop” as suggested by a participant. One person came from Australia (Jim Bills) and later we talked about the possibility of us going Down Under to participate in Brisbane’s annual Ukulele Festival SPRUKE. First blog review written including photos about the workshop in November 2014 that continued for every workshop until the last one in March 2018.
  • 19 December 2015. 1st online registration for workshops using . We had tried to use the Event Booking feature on Mele’s website for November but it didn’t work when the back end software was updated and thus we went with another option that was free to use. In October 2015 we changed the workshop schedule from the second to the third Saturday of the month for the season.
  • 10 March 2018. Last workshop with a couple from California.

ARCHIVES – CLICK ON THE MONTH AND YEAR for a review with photos

7th season October 2017 – March 2018. 31 ‘ukulele players came to six 2-hour workshops held every second Saturday of the month. The largest number at one workshop was seven participants in January. October 2017, November 2017, December 2017, January 2018, February 2018, March 2018.

6th season October 2016 – February 2017. 50 ‘ukulele players came to five 2-hour workshops held every second Saturday of the month. The largest number at one workshop was 17 participants in October 2016. October 2016, November 2016, December 2016, February 2017,

5th season October 2015 – March 2016. 96 ‘ukulele players came to six 2-hour workshops held every second Saturday of the month. The largest number at one workshop was 27 participants in March 2016. October 2015, November 2015, December 2015, January 2016, February 2016, March 2016.

4th season November 2014 – March 2015. 48 ‘ukulele players came to five 2-hour workshops held every second Saturday of the month. Name changed to “Ukulele Strumming Workshops.” The largest number at one workshop was 15 participants in November 2014. November 2014, December 2014, January 2015, February 2015, March 2015.

3rd season January – May 2014. 46 ‘ukulele players came to five 2-hour workshops held every second Saturday of the month. The largest number at one workshop was 13 participants in April 2014. January 2014February 2014, March 2014, April 2014, May 2014.

2nd season January-December 2013. 168 ‘ukulele players came to 12 2-hour workshops held every second Saturday of the month. Sometimes the location was moved from to the museum’s art gallery which was smaller space and felt homey, like being in someone’s living room with couches and chairs. The largest number at one workshop was 20 participants in August 2013 and 20 participants in November 2013.

1st season July – December 2012. 107 ‘ukulele players came to seven 2-hour “Play Along with Ukulele Mele” workshops held twice a month during the summer plus a special holiday workshop in December. The usual location was inside the separate building that was formerly used as the old dining room. The largest number at one workshop was 21 participants on 28 July 2012.