Individuals Sharing their Greatest Gift – Ukulele Therapy

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our retail mission serves ukulele players on a national scale. Sales proceeds help us drive a steady donation of FLEA® ukuleles into hospital music therapy programs –– the heart of our community mission. External sponsors (businesses + individuals) help us accelerate donations to reach even more hospitalized children.

INDIVIDUALS can make a world of difference. Even if hundreds of miles away. Among children “stuck inside of four hospital walls” where days are filled with tests, procedures, waiting and hope. The music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center also reaches children via StarShine home palliative care. This post recognizes several individuals “giving a portion of thyself”.

Herb Eichen generously sponsored a full set of 4 FLEA ukuleles. One ukulele gets shared and played by many children, one at a time. Ukulele sets greatly extend the reach, plus they enable patient + family ensembles! Click on the story below if you want to discover just how powerful that can be.

Herb’s gift is made in honor of Ms. Mindy Heithaus. Mindy is a friend, an actress, a recent discoverer of the fun and expressive power of playing ukulele. She provided the inspiration for Herb to extend that joy to many children and families served by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. This joy will resonate for many years to come.

Melanie and Bob Gallagher topped off this donation round with a 5th ukulele. It too has already “gone to work” and signifies our cumulative donations reaching a milestone of 60 FLEA ukuleles. Reaching our Golden 100th ukulele goal is within sight! Contact me soon if you want to be the one who leaps us to 100. It will be special.

Karen Krueger’s family chose to purchase a new FLEA ukulele for Elias Wendland, a little boy featured in the story below. Special child, special family. They are an inspiration for how a family can work together via the power of ukuleles and music therapy to create joy. With Karen’s generosity, Elias will now have his very own ukulele.

EnquirerFeatureHeaderDec2014

CLICK HERE or the IMAGE to read the Cincinnati Enquirer story about Elias and his family. The newsprint edition featured a 3 PAGE story on Christmas morning, extra special!

I deeply appreciate Janelle Gelfand writing this heartfelt story. You can tell her also at jgelfand@enquirer.com.

It is an honor and privilege to help these individuals connect and share their “greatest gifts” via these little instruments. What kind of world could we live in if everybody followed their lead –– whether ukuleles for music therapy or any similar act of kindness.


Wanna’ PLAY or PLEDGE a FLEA® ukulele? Visit www.truejoyacoustics.com to learn more plus connect to Amazon and eBay listings. Purchases are convenient, secure, delivered FREE (continental USA) and backed by Buyer Protection Programs on these two well established e-commerce stores.

Email me at info@truejoyacoustics.com if you would like to sponsor a donation of one or more FLEA ukuleles to the music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It’s easy and will certainly bring joy to your heart as well as many kids spending weeks in a hospital.

click to visit our website

Bloggers, visit us on: WordPress (True Joy Acoustics – Community), WordPress (Ukulele Shops), Tumblr (Ukulele Shops) and Blogger (Ukulele Shops). Comments and connections welcome!

Greg, TRUE JOY ACOUSTICS

Note by Note – Inspiration at the Library

Taking an occasional stroll down the public library aisles can be a fruitful (and free) way to discover fresh inspiration.

Here’s one for anyone involved in the music learning process: Note by Note – A Celebration of the Piano Lesson, written by Tricia Tunstall, ©2008.

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Source: Hamilton County Public Library. CLICK IMAGE for YouTube interview of Tricia Tunstall.

The context is PIANO. But readers need not be piano students, teachers or classical music enthusiasts to savor the author’s musical passion, insights and intellect. Her observations transcend to learning and loving any instrument.

Tricia Tunstall shares many stories on the ritual of lessons and the teacher/student relationship; diverse student personalities and learning styles; the discipline required to master skills and classical works; interesting examples on deciphering and respecting the complexities (and simplicities) in today’s pop culture music; persevering through recital performance; creating original works and improvisation.

She describes her advanced students (pp 126) as those making a discovery about themselves: “They are in this because of an attraction to the act of playing that is compelling, deep and inarguable. They have experienced the sheer physical pleasure of technical facility and soul-stirring elation of expressive power, and they have discovered that these satisfactions are somehow essential to their lives … it comes entirely from within.” Universal for any form of musicianship.

The book goes beyond reflections on music pedagogy. Tricia wraps it up with a very personal and tragic aspect within her own family life. But don’t jump ahead! The book’s 214 pages are an easy, engaging and rewarding read.

Wanna’ PLAY or PLEDGE a FLEA® ukulele? Visit www.truejoyacoustics.com to learn more plus connect to Amazon and eBay listings. Purchases are convenient, secure, delivered FREE (continental USA) and backed by Buyer Protection Programs on these two well established e-commerce stores.

Email me at info@truejoyacoustics.com if you would like to sponsor a donation of one or more FLEA ukuleles to the music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It’s easy and will certainly bring joy to your heart as well as many kids spending their holidays in a hospital.

click to visit our website

Bloggers, visit us on: WordPress (True Joy Acoustics – Community), WordPress (Ukulele Shops), Tumblr (Ukulele Shops) and Blogger (Ukulele Shops). Comments and connections welcome! Greg, TRUE JOY ACOUSTICS

Ukulele Therapy: WKRC Local 12 and Hamilton Journal News

What makes our FLEA ukulele donation program special this month? The instrument count zipped past the 50th instrument milestone at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Our single largest donation was spiced up with many unique colors. The tally (since 2010) soared to 55 FLEA ukuleles!

Making it all the more special was a news spotlight by Liz Bonis at local CBS affiliate (WKRC Local 12 News)Click here or image below to view the magic of FLEA ukuleles and Music Therapy:

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A “sneak preview” of the donation set was displayed at the Liberty Township campus of CCHMC. Jenn Selely, a board certified Music Therapist and Certified Child Life Specialist, joined me to host a Q&A session with the Hamilton Journal News. Click here or image below to view the story:

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Donations on this scale would not be possible without generous support from individuals and businesses.

For this round, extra recognition goes to Sharon and Dave Kitzmiller who set an impressive record for an individual pledge. Their generosity alone enabled SIXTEEN colorful FLEA ukuleles to go into the hospital’s music therapy program! It all started with casual conversation at our Anderson High School reunion this summer. What an impact they chose to make. Thank you Sharon and Dave!

Wanna’ PLAY or PLEDGE a FLEA® ukulele? Visit www.truejoyacoustics.com to learn more plus connect to Amazon and eBay listings. Purchases are convenient, secure, delivered FREE (continental USA) and backed by Buyer Protection Programs on these two well established e-commerce stores.

Email me at info@truejoyacoustics.com if you would like to sponsor a donation of one or more FLEA ukuleles to the music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It’s easy and will certainly bring joy to your heart as well as many kids spending their holidays in a hospital.

click to visit our website

Bloggers, visit us on: WordPress (True Joy Acoustics – Community), WordPress (Ukulele Shops), Tumblr (Ukulele Shops) and Blogger (Ukulele Shops). Comments and connections welcome!

Greg, TRUE JOY ACOUSTICS

FLEA Ukuleles on Amazon Wish List

FLEA ukuleles make a FUN GIFT … whether giving or receiving.

The wish list feature on Amazon makes either role easy.

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Click here to start your list, see others

CLICK HERE to choose our Amazon store listings for your list. Whether desiring just a FLEA ukulele, a FLEA uke paired with a designer case, or a FLEA packed within our exclusive kit to get you playing quickly … let others know precisely!

Maybe it’s for that special birthday or holiday gift. You’ve wanted one of these colorful ukuleles for some time now. Or you’re looking to share the special “gift of music” with a friend or family member versus the latest clothing and electronic fashions.

Perhaps a wedding is on the horizon and the registry is coming together. You and your fiance are planning an adventurous, great outdoors honeymoon. You’d rather take along a pair of FLEA ukuleles (in rugged FUSION designer cases) versus receive more place settings and toasters.

Or your school music teacher, camp leaders or music therapy team may be looking for high quality, rugged instruments that anyone can play easily, especially in groups. Express your wish and let fundraising volunteers help bring it all together.

If you want to skip wishing, jump right into playing (plus help hospitalized children cope with their challenges), see below!


Wanna’ PLAY or PLEDGE a FLEA® ukulele? Visit www.truejoyacoustics.com to learn more plus connect to Amazon and eBay listings. Purchases are convenient, secure, delivered FREE (continental USA) and backed by Buyer Protection Programs on these two well established e-commerce stores.

Email me at info@truejoyacoustics.com if you would like to sponsor a donation of one or more FLEA ukuleles to the music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It’s easy and will certainly bring joy to your heart as well as many kids spending weeks in a hospital.

click to visit our website

Bloggers, visit us on: WordPress (True Joy Acoustics – Community), WordPress (Ukulele Shops), Tumblr (Ukulele Shops) and Blogger (Ukulele Shops). Comments and connections welcome!

Greg, TRUE JOY ACOUSTICS

What a Bunch of Smart Apps (and Ukuleles)

imagerymajestic, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

imagerymajestic, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The world is brimming with APPS and UKES. While biased toward the latter, one must respect the power of how portable electronic gadgets and software can truly enhance safety and quality of everyday life.

This post highlights two clever examples, especially in managing risks that dwell in college learning & living environments: Just In Case and SeeClickFix

Most college students carry a smart phone. That’s why an APP is a terrific tool to reach the majority of this target population, regardless of campus size or enrollment. Empowerment is available –– literally at their fingertips.

Just in Case recognizes that stress, anxiety, depression, mental health crises can strike college students anywhere, anytime. It empathetically connects students with guidance easily, on demand, with privacy –– supplementing and facilitating existing resources, not replacing them.

SeeClickFix “crowd sources” awareness to proactively improve a community on non-emergency matters. For example, road hazards can be spotted and addressed before they worsen to create loss or injury.

Learn more from their creators by clicking the titles. You can also click PDF summaries below to see how they are particularly suited for large college settings:

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Just In Case – Miami University (OH) Application

Just In Case – APP Developer (eReadia, LLC)

SeeClickFix – APP Developer

Whether a student, parent, school or community leader, please share with others. Contact APP providers directly to see how they may help your community.

What does this have to do with ukuleles? Community outreach is at the heart of True Joy Acoustics. We take it serious, ukuleles make it fun. Our main focus is selling, donating and creating FLEA® ukulele sponsorships. These particular APP tools were discovered during a “spin off” volunteer effort to identify practical solutions to improve student welfare at University of Cincinnati:


Wanna’ PLAY or PLEDGE a FLEA® ukulele? Visit www.truejoyacoustics.com to learn more plus connect to Amazon and eBay listings. Purchases are convenient, secure, delivered FREE (continental USA) and backed by Buyer Protection Programs on these two well established e-commerce stores.

Email me at info@truejoyacoustics.com if you would like to sponsor a donation of one or more FLEA ukuleles to the music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It’s easy and will certainly bring joy to your heart as well as many kids spending weeks in a hospital.

click to visit our website

Bloggers, visit us on: WordPress (True Joy Acoustics – Community), WordPress (Ukulele Shops), Tumblr (Ukulele Shops) and Blogger (Ukulele Shops). Comments and connections welcome!

Greg, TRUE JOY ACOUSTICS

Dumb Ways to Die – UKULELE not included

Dumb Ways to Die is a video gone PANDEMIC. 59 million views on YouTube in just 10 months. Cute characters, clever animations, catchy tune, short 3 minute show.

Playing ukulele is NOT one of the examples.

Simply entertainment? No. It is actually a Public Service Announcement campaign in Australia to promote safety around trains. At 2:20 into the video, you see 3 examples of how real people die by avoidable mishaps around train tracks. Take a look:

Community outreach is at the heart of True Joy Acoustics. We take it serious, ukuleles make it fun. One of our current projects was highlighted in a recent post: College Student Safety – Can Ukuleles Solve This Problem?:



Dumb Ways to Die exist in a college environment. Anywhere really. Wandering into high risk places. “Smart gadgets” stealing your attention. Commuters rushing to an 8:00 am class. Evening jogs around campus streets without reflective apparel.

Ignoring first alert beeps of a smoke alarm, or worse, disabling it altogether. Even mental health: sleeping off or drinking away the early signs of stress or depression, keeping it all to yourself, versus seeking help.

To be clear, I do not mean the literal meaning of the catchy cartoon title. College students are not dumb. Rather, they face risks where safe tools, services and practices do exist. Clever marketing makes a huge difference. The SlideShare above has not (yet) received 59 million views!

Nobody likes being lectured on safety nor told what to do. Dumb Ways to Die is powerful inspiration. Hopefully it sparks creative ways to bring “SCI’s” to life.

Many thanks to Michelle Read from Google for pointing me to this example.


Wanna’ PLAY or PLEDGE a FLEA® ukulele? Visit www.truejoyacoustics.com to learn more plus connect to Amazon and eBay listings. Purchases are convenient, secure, delivered FREE (continental USA) and backed by Buyer Protection Programs on these two well established e-commerce stores.

Email me at info@truejoyacoustics.com if you would like to sponsor a donation of one or more FLEA ukuleles to the music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It’s easy and will certainly bring joy to your heart as well as many kids spending weeks in a hospital.

click to visit our website

Bloggers, visit us on: WordPress (True Joy Acoustics – Community), WordPress (Ukulele Shops), Tumblr (Ukulele Shops) and Blogger (Ukulele Shops). Comments and connections welcome!

Greg, TRUE JOY ACOUSTICS

College Student Safety – Can Ukuleles Solve This Problem?

FLEA® ukuleles are little instruments with big hearts and strong vibes. Their USA manufacturer (Magic Fluke) has a great motto: Uke Can Change the World.

Community outreach is at the heart of True Joy Acoustics. Sales proceeds and sponsors (business, individual) drive a steady donation of FLEA® ukuleles into pediatric hospital music therapy. See sponsors by clicking FUN STRUMS Outreach.

Special applications help us leverage these instruments beyond hospital walls, too. Ukulele Prom Packs enliven a safe prom night event with a fun raffle prize.

And we bring attention to other important community causes. In this example: helping college students lessen fire and crime risks. More a matter of living Magic Fluke’s spiritual motto versus ukulele serving as the literal tool. Check out the slides.


I truly hope you took the time to view the 9 Fires video link on slide 38. If not, please watch below. Feel the intensity. Let the word spread, not fire.

Powerful message. Please make others aware.


Wanna’ PLAY or PLEDGE a FLEA® ukulele? Visit www.truejoyacoustics.com to learn more plus connect to Amazon and eBay listings. Purchases are convenient, secure, delivered FREE (continental USA) and backed by Buyer Protection Programs on these two well established e-commerce stores.

Email me at info@truejoyacoustics.com if you would like to sponsor a donation of one or more FLEA ukuleles to the music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It’s easy and will certainly bring joy to your heart as well as many kids spending weeks in a hospital.

click to visit our website

Bloggers, visit us on: WordPress (True Joy Acoustics – Community), WordPress (Ukulele Shops), Tumblr (Ukulele Shops) and Blogger (Ukulele Shops). Comments and connections welcome!

Greg, TRUE JOY ACOUSTICS

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