Everybody Has A Story – Vanderbilt Music Therapy Project

Image from website of Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Image from website of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

Inspirational stories of Music Therapy are produced and shared at growing frequency.

Not just news headliners , e.g., congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ remarkable recovery from gunshot trauma, but stories of everyday folks facing crisis with music.

They enable an inside glimpse of what it’s like to be a child and their family facing a difficult health challenge. How sheer musical power can create connection, expression, hope –– even physical and spiritual healing –– during such times.

Here’s one featuring Jenny Plume, music therapist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Her Everybody Has A Story program enrolls the help of Nashville stars. Patients write their own songs with Jenny’s help, then watch their music come to “star power” life in the studio with Amy Grant, Alison Krauss, Faith Hill, Vince Gill and others.

Watch and share this 7″ video. Feel and share the inspiration!



True Joy Acoustics proudly donated the Red FLEA ukulele shown in the video (at :30) to Jenny’s pediatric hospital program a couple years back. Still going strong!


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

The Power of Music In Final Months – Zach Sobiech

Zach Sobiech. Incredible. A high schooler with only a few precious months to live, choosing to create and share his music. Helping everyone find joy and courage with his “Clouds” song. 2+ million views already. I thank CNN Student News for sharing his story, my daughter made me aware of this week’s school broadcast.

Click here for the CNN Student News feature. Zach’s story is 3 minutes (start 3:31, end 6:40). Starts with Zach on ukulele.

Our program continually advocates and donates FLEA ukuleles for music therapy, helping many kids deal with challenges similar to Zach.

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

Flea Ukuleles WIN Presidential VOTE

Freedom to vote. A wonderful privilege and one that we owe much to those who sacrificed to earn it. What’s that got to do with ukuleles?

A close presidential race. Over $2B in campaign funds have been raised and spent to influence our voting freedom. Those funds aim at “swing” voters (about 3-5% total voters), but we all get to view the endless ads and flyers. Not sure we’re wiser for it all. So here’s where ukuleles come in, and I’m talking the best, FLEA ukuleles.

If running for president, use your $1B to distribute FLEA ukuleles. Win over the swing voters with the world’s most uplifting music. How many concert FLEAs would that buy?

5,128,205

The ultimate presidential election tool

Let the other candidate spend their $1B in “paid talk”. Use social media for your “free talk” and distribute FLEAs nationally to “let your music speak”.

Or concentrate on OHIO, a swing state. That’s one FLEA ukulele to each of the 4.6 million households. Extra to spare. You, along side your running mate and family members, must strum, too! Voilàswing voters become loyal strum voters. You become president.

Doubtful? Ask any FLEA strummer if they feel better about themselves and where the world is heading. True joy.

Why FLEA ukuleles? Superb quality AND in tune with a politically correct agenda:

G: Grows our economy. Made in USA. 10 million FLEA’s (if both candidates wise up to this strategy) catapult the manufacturer’s total output to date by 200-fold.

C: Class connector. Everyone can play uke, regardless of W-2 Box 1 income or tax rate. Warren Buffet strums. So do many others of lesser means.

E: Energy independent. No foreign oil required. In fact, Magic Fluke’s manufacturing site deploys clean solar energy … in Governor Romney’s state of Massachusetts!

A: Academic Achievement. Musicianship enhances academic excellence, a well proven fact based on school music studies. And as president, ukulele classes/clubs will become a top priority in our schools.

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 if APPLE sold ukuleles

Apple alliterates. Well appointed devices begin with a little “i” and serve the world’s growing appetite for “we do it for you” APPs … now an everyday word.

It appeals. Apple revenues jumped to over $46 billion for the last 3 months of 2011. Thanks to shipping millions of iPhones (37M), iPads (15.4M), iPods (15.4M) and Macs (5.2M).

Wall Street applauds. Apple shares jumped 8%. Just one day.

Who wouldn’t appreciate Apple appliances and apps? Beautiful appearance overrides apprehension. Apply your wit. Appease your kids. Constantly append new apps.

I sell musical instruments. Ukuleles. Maybe a magical APP approach applies:

Experience iUke, iStrum, iSing … or simply iMM (short for iMakeMusic). No batteries. Powered by your hands, mind, heart and soul. All human. Express yourself beyond texts, updates, likes, links and apps.

Love your apps (what others create) but give your fingers a stretch, too. Young and old can MAKE MUSIC on our ukes. Revel in the true YOU. Visit our website. Order your iMM. Equipped to make you h-APP-y.

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 and The Beatles

Ukulele and guitar go hand in hand with many great musicians.

Many guitarists even credit their start to ukulele and ukulele-like instruments (e.g., banjolele), such as Chet Atkins and Peter Frampton.

Paul McCartney performs an inspirational ukulele tribute to his Beatles band mate, George Harrison. Just wowed a Cincinnati stadium audience with this performance. Here’s an earlier video in Quebec:

Do you aspire to become a great guitarist? Starting with ukulele makes an easy path to playing guitar. Who knows, you may also find ukulele a nice way to spice up your concerts, just like Paul.

Greg, True Joy Acoustics founder

White Sandy Beach – soothe your soul, learn to play it

Summertime. Soothing and refreshing sensations of a white, sandy beach. Maybe you can’t get to one this summer. Tighter budgets, job transitions, schedule conflicts, home projects, health matters, just plain too busy to catch your breath.

This short song takes you there: White Sandy Beach by the legendary spirit of ukulele music, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. Appeared on his “Facing Future” album in 1993, bestselling album of all time by a Hawaiian artist. It’s also the album where he debuted his famous rendition of “Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World”.

Grab a ukulele and learn how to play this simple yet elegant song. Ukulele Mike, the master of online ukulele lessons, makes it easy and inspiring to learn.

Enjoy the beach.

Greg, True Joy Acoustics founder

A Sonnet for Casey

Casey, 5 weeks old, July 2004

An Irish Terrier, my Casey came passing through,
     the truest companion, playful to the night;
So full of mischief, fun and handsome too,
     and never astray from Sunny's watchful sight.

So happy that he knew it, he'd wiggle his tail,
     yes Casey and Sunny were such a happy pair;
A song we strummed, a song we sang and hailed,
     my Casey and Sunny loved a tune to share.

But now our songs ring soft without glee,
     for Casey passed, his soul in God's safe keep;
It's Sunny and I who sing our ode to Casey,
     with joyful thoughts, yet tears shed quick and deep.

     My dearest, best of friend, my Casey soul above,
     Keep wigglin' that tail to strums and songs of love!

Sarah orchestrating a pose with Sunny and Casey, August 2010

If you love dogs, as I do, you know their gift of love and devoted companionship.

They enable us to savor simple joys, heartfelt lessons of life.

This week echoes that big picture loudly with Casey’s untimely passing.

I miss striking up a trio with Casey and Sunning playing a familiar tune:

If You’re Happy and You Know It … wiggle your tail!

Simple verse, simple strum … an ear-raising whistle added here and there for effect.

True music is a powerful connector and healer.

Greg H., True Joy Acoustics founder

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