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

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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:

WKRClocal12NNewsFrame72dpi640x328

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

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

THANK YOU BiOWiSH Technologies

Imagine a routine trip to your children’s doctor to check out and treat acute symptoms. But results are not routine, they forewarn a crisis. Immediate and extended hospital care required. Hardly a time to think about taking up a musical instrument.

Yet, music offers power to cope, nurture and heal –– especially when guided by music therapy professionals. Music instills normalcy and an expression of feeling. It counterbalances the confinement of illness, dreading tests and treatments, waiting.

That conundrum sums up the True Joy Acoustics mission. We leverage our sales proceeds to donate FLEA ukuleles to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. At no added cost to purchasers. And without bothering parents nor hospital budgets as their resources focus on the health crisis.

FUN STRUMS is a program that invites individuals and businesses to accelerate such donations. We thank the following organization for their heartfelt support:

BiOWiSH Technologies

Please click on name above to learn about their comprehensive research and biotechnology applications for Environmental Management, Agri-Business and Consumer Products.

Brian Schreck & Chris at CCHMC, 08 July 2013

Brian Schreck, MA, MT-BC (music therapy coordinator at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) and my son Chris –– posing with three brand new FLEA ukuleles and accessories sponsored by BiOWiSH Technologies


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

THANK YOU to Individuals Sharing Ukulele Joy

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. Hundreds of miles away from their own home. Among children “stuck inside of four hospital walls” where days are filled with tests, procedures, waiting and hope.

It is there where strumming away on a colorful little instrument with a music therapist at your side brings a special joy.  Learning a simple tune. Creating a song for mom to let her know how much she means to you. True music played on your own time and terms –– not the endless monotone of a monitor going beep, beep, beep, …

Brian Schreck & Sarah at CCHMC, 30 Oct 2012

Brian Schreck, MA, MT-BC (music therapy coordinator at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) and my daughter Sarah –– trying out FLEA’s sponsored by individuals

Thank you to an anonymous donor in the Northeast. A highly trained vocalist sponsored a FLEA ukulele in honor of a health practitioner helping her regain her voice due to elusive illness. She discovered the expressive power of ukulele while her voice was hindered, and our hospital donation program via the powers of Google.

Thank you to Brad Boydston in Arizona. He ordered a concert FLEA on Amazon. The ukulele arrived fine thanks to much internal cushioning, but the external carton appeared to be part of a crash test of some sort. The only such mishap encountered after shipping hundreds of FLEA’s across the USA. The shipper took responsibility and issued a credit. But rather than scrapping his original instrument for a replacement to avoid any hidden risk, Brad chose to direct those funds to a hospital ukulele donation. He transformed a one-time mishap into a crescendo of musical smiles at CCHMC.


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

Music Therapy + FLEA Ukuleles on WLWT Channel 5

What is music therapy (MT)? What credentials are required to become a MT? Who are their patients? How does music therapy make a true difference in their lives?

Answers and lively FLEA® ukulele demos were featured on “Issues” … an early Sunday morning show produced by local NBC affiliate (WLWT-TV5) in Cincinnati. THANK YOU to the show’s producer, Mr. Jeff Moran, for helping build awareness of this fascinating field. Click here or image below to view the segment:

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ amazing recovery from gunshot head trauma has been credited heavily to music therapy. Helped her re-assimilate speech skills, cope with intense frustration, smile again. Spotlighted on ABC News by Diane Sawyer and Bob Woodruff in November 2011, plus Nightline with host Terry Moran.

Music therapy “magic” abounds in Cincinnati. Family members that witness the impact of a music therapist working with their autistic child, an elderly parent becoming listless with Alzheimer’s disease, a relative recovering from traumatic brain injury, or a hospitalized child deprived of “just being a kid” as they face a bone marrow transplant know such magic. True Joy Acoustics proudly connected with Channel 5 and these highly skilled MT’s to broaden public awareness.

Our ukulele program is privileged to connect with this profession, especially the two co-stars:  Kathryn Yeager (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) and Mimi Sinclair (Music Therapy Services). Click names for direct contact info.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

MUSIC THERAPY PRACTITIONERS – Want to promote local awareness of your profession and “magic”?

View the Mini Press Kit PDF prepared for above feature by clicking here:

TJA Music Therapy Press Kit

 

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

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