“I’d like to take ‘ukulele lessons from you, but I am a caregiver for my mom so it’s hard for me to get away,” commented a lady after my monthly Sing-Along program. No problem. I told her to visit my website and take online lessons from home at her convenience.
New this month, we led a spontaneous play-by-ear session to “Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “My Girl” for ‘ukulele players who came early to the program. My ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop season starts this month on October 21 at the Bailey House in Wailuku and these two songs are what we have played at past workshops because they are familiar to sing and easy to play with 3-chords of C, F, and G7.
Twenty people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Na Lani Eha and more on Thursday, October 5 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. We sang a Hawaiian song from each of the four royal composers known collectively as Na Lani Eha, plus a hapa haole song (in English) in between. The composers were also siblings: David Kalākaua (oldest brother), Lili’uokalani (oldest sister), Miriam Likelike (younger sister), and Lot Leleiohōku (youngest) who lived in the 1800s-early 1900s. They helped to perpetuate Hawaiian music and culture and are patrons of the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.
The “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room, and having my husband provide the u-bass line to fill in the lower tones to the higher pitched ‘ukulele worked great!
Here are the 9 songs we learned:
- By Kalākaua – Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Singing Bamboo – Latin Strum.
- By Lili’uokalani – Sanoe – 2 Waltz Strums.
- Lovely Hula Hands – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- By Likelike – Ku’uipo I Ka He’e Pu’e One – Pick in 4/Latin Strums.
- Hukilau – Swing Strum.
- By Leleiohōku – Hawaiian War Chant – I Wanna Rest /Latin Strums.
- Song of Old Hawaii – Swing Strums
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – American Classics on Thursday, November 2 at Kaunoa Senior Center.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele