Gifted Music Therapists and Their New Instruments

Good things start with a warm cup of coffee.

In this case, meeting up with Brian Schreck, MA, MT-BC and Kathryn Bruno, MT-BC on Monday at Rookwood Commons Starbucks. Cold morning, icy streets. Kathryn walked over in between sessions at Eating Recovery Center Cincinnati. Brian braved a drive from Louisville, where he now serves adult patients at Norton Cancer Institute (NCI).

Brian Schreck, Kathryn Bruno - Rookwood Starbucks - 2018 01 08

We’ve met up routinely over the past decade. Usually to equip them with more FLEA ukuleles for music therapy at Cincinnati Children’s. And I always learn something new about the realm of music therapy (non-confidential info only!). Helps me help them.

FIFTEEN instruments were presented. Six were honorary donations to these gifted music therapists for personal and professional use. The remaining nine fulfill a special order funded by NCI’s new “Cancer Beats” program. Kathryn is posing with a Mango soprano FLEA ukulele. Brian is holding his new Rainsong graphite A/E guitar thanks to the generosity of Rainsong Graphite Guitars in Woodinville, Washington.

But beyond coffee, conversation and poses, the best is yet to come. Instruments of this caliber – in the hands of gifted music therapists – summon expression, hope and even joy despite a life threatening illness or condition.

The warmth of that coffee moment keeps pouring into the hearts of hundreds of patients, their family members, friends and caregivers.

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:


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:


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 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 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.

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


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