December Ukulele Workshop Review

We played Christmas songs at the December Workshop

Seven people came to my 38th ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop on December 17, 2016 at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. This brings the total to 499 people I have taught since my 2-hour workshops began on July 14, 2012. Participants came from Argentina, Seattle, WA, and from Maui.

Since it was December, I thought it would be fun to play Christmas songs at the workshop. Thus, I quickly moved people from learning the basics to playing 5-chord songs in different keys. There is a fine line between challenging and frustrating people to do something beyond their abilities. I suggested that people focus on what they want to learn, such as just form the chords or just try strumming the different rhythms rather than trying to put both hands together right away. My goal for the workshops is to introduce people to the Ukulele Mele Way so will want to learn more. Two people scheduled private lessons after the workshop which made me very happy.

We played the following:

Part 1: (4 different strums)
1. Horse with No Name – Chalang-alang strum (Am, A7sus)
2. Lion Sleeps Tonight – Chalang-alang strum (C, F, G7)
3. Jingle Bells – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (C, D7, F, G7)
4. Silver Bells – 2 Waltz Strums (F, F7, Bb, C7)

Part 2: (4 different strums)
5. Feliz Navidad – Latin Strum (F, Gm7, C7)
6. Silent Night – in 4/4 all downs and then in waltz/Pick in 6 (F, F7, Bb, Bbm, C7)
7. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code strum (C, C7, F, Fm, G7)

“Had a fun and instructive time” –S.S., Seattle, WA

The next workshop is scheduled for January 21, 2017. Sign up now and then pay the $10 non-member or $5 museum member fee at the door-of the museum.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele


Mele Fong is a professional singer, song arranger, and master of multiple strumming styles for the ukulele. Mele plays ukulele, guitar, and piano, dances hula, and teaches Hawaiian history. She performs as a soloist, in the professional husband and wife duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders, and in the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio. In 1996, the duo represented the State of Hawaii during State Days at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mele and her husband Richard Tom reside in Maui.