Ukulele Mele On Maui opened for business on 01 July 2011, and this website launched in November of that year.
The business idea sprung from classroom students who enouraged Mele to expand into the virtual classroom. In January 2009, Mele saw the need for formalized 'ukulele instruction at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Mele wanted to challenge retirees to expand their horizons, set higher expectations, and do more than they thought they were capable of doing. Thus, Mele developed a music education and 'ukulele curriculum to fulfill that need for adult lifelong learning. Mele has expanded to teaching ukulele, singing, and Hawaiian history classes in addtion to leading a group of students who perform in the community as the Maui Ukulele Pops Band. (Read more).
Here is a timeline of Ukulele Mele historical highlights over the first three years:
Jump to the year of interest:
May. First Akaku TV studio video taping of “Aloha From Maui to Japan” concert by the Maui Ukulele Pops Band (in lieu of tour to Japan that was cancelled due to March 11 tsunami)
July. Ukulele Mele On Maui business license in the state of Hawaii obtained.
October. First Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio (with master student Hinano Kaumeheiwa) debut at County Senior Fair.
November. Business website launched.
November. Facebook business page established.
November. First private student lesson at Bailey House Museum (Susie Kusagaya, CA, see testimonial)
November. First performance as Maui Ukulele Pops Band and Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio at the Annual Maui Ukulele Guild community event (at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center organized by Club President Hinano Kaumeheiwa).
2012 (Highlights of Past Events)
February. First Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs, Vol. 1 songbook/DVD/CD sold and mailed (to TN).
February. First review of Past Events (fundraiser luau).
March. First webcam student lesson (Harvey Leong, MA, see testimonial)
March. First small group lessons with teenagers (Kris & Nick Moore, Adam Corlet, CA, see testimonial)
March. First monthly subscription paid for online lessons (download PDF, view lesson video, listen to audio, and view video story behind the song) after trial period of first month free (Susie Kusagaya).
March. First teaching and performance at 1st Annual Ukulele Explosion at Kalama Intermediate School.
April. First teaching opportunity at Henry Allen’s Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival (in Kaanapali).
May. First show by The Hawaiian Serenaders at historic Iao Theater for the 1st Annual Sam’s Jam Upcountry Style Masters Series (organized by Benny Uyetake).
July. First Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop (fundraiser event) at Bailey House on the second Saturday of the month (that continues today).
November. First Gift Certificate purchased (for friend relocating from Hawaii to VA).
November. Honolulu Star Advertiser writer John Berger autographed the book that he recently revised and updated, titled "Hawaiian Music & Musicians An Encyclopedia History." Originally written by Dr. George S. Kanahele, it is considered by many to be THE reference book. Mele uses the book to write scripts for the Hawaiian history videos that are available by subscription on monthly online lessons. Mele first met John in January 2012 at the University of Hawaii Maui campus where she mentors students at the Institute of Hawaiian Music.
December. First Mele’s Kalikimaka, Vol. 1 songbooklet/DVD/CD sold and mailed (to CA).
December. First radio interview of The Hawaiian Serenaders on KNUI AM 900 Maui Breakfast Club.
2013 (Highlights of Past Events)
February. Largest small group lesson for 6 women from Australia (celebrating their 50th birthdays together).
May. First Sing-Along Songs, Vol. 1 songbooklet/DVD/CD sold and mailed (to Australia).
June. Online Fan Club started with 21 songs including PDF and audio files available for download and more, free.
August. First “Workshop Will Travel” to Homer, Alaska Ukulele Players Event.
August. First Event Calendar posting embedded on website.
October. First review on YELP from a student from Colorado.
December. First monthly e-newsletter "UKE News You Can Use" launched via Mail Chimp app, with "Meet Your Ukulele" 7-page publication offered for free at sign-up.