UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital – Music Therapy In Action

Last May, a Sapphire Blue FLEA ukulele was donated to Maya Charlton, MA, MT-BC and her music therapy team at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Made possible by generous GoFundMe sponsors. While “basic” ukuleles are used, Maya wanted to try out a FLEA ukulele in her intensive care work given its special features.

Her response below shares what this innovative ukulele can achieve.

“We are so very grateful for your very generous donation of the beautiful ukulele. It has had constant use since it arrived and has brought so much joy and relaxation to patients, families and staff.

I’m attaching pictures of a young patient of ours who was in both intensive care and rehabilitation. In the ICU the ukulele brought him great joy and relaxation in my work with him. His mood was very low, pain management was a big issue.

When he moved to rehabilitation our music therapist, John Mulcahy, MT-BC, continued use with the ukulele to help strengthen his motor skills, motivate him in meeting his physical therapy goals and give him success-based experiences. Today he finally gets to go home, having met all his rehabilitation goals. Thank you again for all you do and having such a positive impact on so many!”

– Maya Charlton, MA, MT-BC, July 2017

Watch and hear the power of this program. Not just described by Maya, but many testimonials from MD’s, RN’s and PT’s. Kathryn Garcia-Rivera sums it up well at 4:20: “When I see kids participating in music therapy, I see them come out of their shell, they lose their fear, and it’s replaced by joy”.

Maya would love to have a larger set of FLEA ukuleles to reach more patients from Oakland, San Francisco and broader California region. Each instrument lasts for years, reaching hundreds of patients. Contact me directly (info@truejoyacoustics.com) or visit GoFundMe page below if you or your organization would like to help.



Celebrating 5 Gold Stars for FLEA Ukulele Sales


True Joy Acoustics earns 5 Star Customer Ratings on Amazon and eBay

A strong predictor of your online purchase satisfaction is the experience of prior shoppers

The experience of prior shoppers is a strong predictor of your satisfaction

Some shoppers have limited experience purchasing a musical instrument over the internet, even though it is quite common to do so. Ukuleles are a fast growing segment … mainstream music popularity, easy to learn among all age groups, not too big, not too pricey, growing abundance of brands and model options to choose.

True Joy Acoustics has sold hundreds of FLEA® brand ukuleles. Primarily on the internet, but also by direct sales at professional expos and local customers. We, and our growing customer base, believe a FLEA® is simply the best ukulele for beginners plus advancing players.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out what our buyers have posted directly on the largest e-commerce channels. Simply click each icon below to see ratings and reviews:

eBay Customer Ratings

eBay Customer Ratings

Amazon Customer Ratings

Amazon Customer Ratings

Red FLEA Reviews on Amazon

Red FLEA Reviews on Amazon

Natural Reviews

Natural FLEA

Blue Reviews


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!


Blogging for Ukuleles

Looking for a fun musical instrument … a ukulele?

A dizzying number of options exist at your fingertips. The challenge is knowing where to search … deciding what’s best … making a confident purchase.

We keep it simple. Durable FLEA® ukuleles made in the USA. Three models. Perfect for beginners and pros. An easier alternative or stepping stone to playing guitar, too.

Three new “ukulele shops” in the blogosphere help others discover us.

Please click “shops” below and see. Helps train the search engines! Share with others looking for a terrific ukulele – or easier alternative to guitar.

Greg, True Joy Acoustics founder

Ukulele Shops on WordPress – http://ukuleleshops.wordpress.com

Ukulele Shops on Tumblr. – http://ukuleleshops.tumblr. com

Ukulele Shops on Blogger – http://ukuleleshops.blogspot.com

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

Join our Facebook Community

Just 2 clicks away. Visit our new Facebook page by clicking anywhere on the photo below, then click the “LIKE” button on our welcome page.

What’s in it for you?

  • fresh insights related to making music, emphasis on ukulele and guitar
  • tips and links to specialized resources that help you learn ukulele
  • early scoop on future sweepstakes – FREE ukulele gear & songbooks
  • pride in turbocharging our community outreach – pediatric hospital donations
  • insights and happenings that originate “off the wall of others”

Greg, True Joy Acoustics founder

We’ll help you strum Ukulele LEFT Handed

Love to strum, whether LEFT or RIGHT handed

Upon written request prior to shipping your order, we’ll re-string your ukulele for FREE to strum left handed.

We’ll also suggest tips and materials designed for left handed players.

About 1 in 10 people are left handed. When it comes to playing some music instruments left handed, it’s not all that easy.

Take for example the traditional acoustic guitar designed for right handed play. You cannot just flip the instrument around, re-string or re-tune in reverse order and start playing. Many hindrances. One is the increasing string gauge. The 6th string is over four times larger in diameter than the 1st string, and guitars have several components designed around this parameter to play in tune. Left handed learners are often encouraged to play right handed. Or they must seek a guitar built for left handed play, among a very limited selection.

Good News! Concert size FLEA ukuleles packed with our exclusive Musician Maker Kits are very easy to re-tune for instant left handed play.

Just flip the ukulele around. Tune the strings in standard G-C-E-A order as you progress from the redefined top/4th string to the lower/1st string.

Why? Ukulele string diameters also vary, but to a much lesser degree. Plus, the ukulele’s reentrant tuning (4th string tuned an octive higher than following the natural sequence as you progress from strings 1-3) makes the string diameter pattern more symmetrical. Two inner strings have a diameter ranging 0.025 – 0.035″, whereas the outer two strings are thinner and have a diameter close to 0.020″.

To be more exact, you can re-string (when ready for new strings) in left handed order. Nut/bridge notches on the FLEA ukulele will accommodate the reversed sequence of string diameters without binding or making string fit sloppy.

We’ll even re-string your brand new ukulele for FREE to strum left handed! Send your written request prior to shipment. Email us at info@truejoyacoustics.com if buying direct. Or send your request by Amazon or eBay message AT THE SAME TIME you order from our online listings (we ship within 1-2 business days).

The challenge remains for finding instructional materials (e.g., chord diagrams) and music published specifically for left handed play.

Fortunately, much of the music written for right handed ukulele play (e.g., lesson materials in Musician Maker Kits) is about using basic strumming techniques with simple chords. Envision and learn the “mirror image” of chords diagrammed for right-handed play, then jump right into playing the songs. Strumming methods taught in Musician Maker Kits are versatile … simply use your “natural” left hand to master the same up/down strumming patterns and rhythms.

Several other resources are available online (just click titles below) and written specifically for left handed play. The chord charts let you see actual chord fingerings … skipping the need to envision “mirror images”. Technique books also provide chord diagrams, but are designed mainly to help serious players understand chord theory and master chords up and down the fingerboard. They do not provide simple song collections for beginners.

GOOTAR Four String Chord Generator website – this cool tool lets you quickly see and hear virtually any ukulele chord for “lefty” strumming

Left Handed Ukulele Chord Chart – a very nice set of chord charts posted by a ukulele club at a New York elementary school

“A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties” by Curt Sheller – a 54 page method book that teaches chord understanding and proficiency for left handed play, plus an intro to jazz chords; also available as an instant downloadable eBook/PDF

“Neck Anywhere, Lefty!” by Washtub Jerry – a 28 page method book for learning how to master “movable rhythm chord shapes” up and down the ukulele fretboard (book is listed near the end of page entitled “Music and Book Projects”)

Greg, True Joy Acoustics founder

Ukuleles for Summer Fun!

Q: What time of year is best for buying and learning ukulele?

A: For traditional school instruments, a new school year and holiday gift budgets often set the timing and means. It’s also hard to make progress on such instruments without private lessons or a professional classroom instructor.

We encourage ukulele purchases throughout the year with our everyday low pricing. More affordable than traditional band instruments and playable right from the start. Take advantage of FREE SHIPPING specials!

Warmer outdoor seasons provide ample opportunity to learn and enjoy ukulele: school break activity, vacation take-along, family & friend get-togethers, time spent with grandparents, workday child care programs, summer camps, church groups and more!

If starting up a ukulele club or interested in procuring ukuleles for fundraising efforts (e.g., school music programs), please send an email to info@truejoyacoustics.com for special pricing.

Greg, True Joy Acoustics founder

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