Ukulele Kids Club of Florida believes that children should own instruments they can keep and use to learn music for life.
1. It’s easy to learn
Ukuleles are an affordable, straightforward instrument perfect for music therapy sessions as it creates a lighthearted ambience while being small enough to fit comfortably on patients’ laps without interfering with tubes or electrodes.
Playing an instrument, like the ukulele, not only increases dexterity and hand-eye coordination but also strengthens brain muscles. Music requires brain activity to process rhythms, pitches, timing and melodic patterns all simultaneously – no wonder studies demonstrate people who play instruments have better cognitive skills and lower risks of dementia-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Learning an instrument also provides people with a satisfying sense of achievement. For example, when someone sets their goal to master a piece of music and persists through challenges to ultimately reach success, they gain immense confidence and competence that they can apply elsewhere in life – there’s no greater feeling!
Children with disabilities often find it challenging to establish a sense of independence due to being dependent on others for essential needs such as food and transportation. Ukulele can provide a valuable way for these kids to express themselves creatively and emotionally through engaging musical performance.
The Ukulele Kids Club provides thousands of ukuleles each year to hospitals around the country for anyone to play – no matter their physical or emotional abilities – making it a powerful instrument that anyone can enjoy regardless of physical or emotional limitations. They even take them home after leaving hospital to continue enjoying. This goal of their nonprofit was part of their raison d’etre.
2. It’s fun
Learning the ukulele can be fun and will help improve your hand-eye coordination, which is crucial in sports and other activities that require hand-eye coordination. Furthermore, playing music can enhance both memory retention and cognitive functions by helping us learn and retain information quicker.
Ukulele music therapy can be an excellent way to connect with others and build your confidence. Plus, practicing an instrument may give you a sense of accomplishment – plus it’s fun making friends who share similar interests!
After retiring from Procter & Gamble, Corey Huntington began searching for something meaningful to do with his life. Music therapy came into view and helped people meet clinical goals from reducing anxiety and stress to increasing vital signs. Huntington began researching musical instruments before discovering the ukulele – easier to hold than an acoustic guitar while remaining small enough not to interfere with IV lines or electrodes.
In 2014, he and his wife founded Ukulele Kids Club (UKC), a non-profit that distributes ukuleles to hospitalized children for music therapy sessions led by licensed music therapists; after each visit home they get to keep the instrument when leaving hospital care. Since the recent events in Ukraine have happened, UKC has expanded its mission and plans on offering music and hope to hospitalized children there by uniting the music community behind their campaign ‘Ukulele. Ukraine. U Kan’.
3. It’s social
Music provides a non-threatening social bridge for improving communication, learning, and expression regardless of pathology or disability. The rhythmic nature of music captivates and maintains attention which in turn can increase focus, cognitive function, emotional regulation and emotional regulation. Furthermore, group playing promotes socialization while decreasing negative self-stimulatory behaviors.
Ukulele music is typically associated with being joyful and upbeat; however, it can also be used to convey sadness or depression. A music therapist could use “I Got The Blues” by Sam Cooke as an example to explore how feelings of sadness can be depicted through sound and lyrics; clients might then be asked to name emotions elicited by specific sounds and melodies, or encouraged to write a song describing their experience.
UKC music therapists play an instrumental role in providing hospitalized children with instruments they can take home upon leaving hospitalization, like ukuleles with colored strings that make learning and keeping up with it easy for young patients and volunteers alike. By giving each child one, UKC shows its patients and volunteers that the ukulele is more than simply an instrument!
Adults with developmental disabilities find the ukulele an ideal instrument for therapeutic music instruction. With its lightweight design and straightforward chord structure, its accessibility spans physical as well as cognitive abilities; practising chord shapes helps improve attention and concentration. Deb’s Ukulele Support System includes a cradle to hold the instrument securely while arm splints slide onto each finger with felt picks for strumming strummed chords positioned for easy strumming.
4. It’s affordable
Ukulele music therapy has grown increasingly popular over time, opening up more resources and programs for individuals living with disabilities. Many music therapy programs now incorporate ukulele instruction as part of their services while community organizations and schools may provide adaptive classes tailored specifically to meeting individuals’ needs.
The ukulele is small and lightweight, making it easy for individuals with limited mobility to hold and play comfortably. Group performances of the instrument may also help people feel connected to their community and foster a sense of belonging. Furthermore, music playing has been shown to help develop cognitive skills such as spatial-temporal reasoning and motor planning; something particularly beneficial to children with disabilities as it helps them better grasp mathematical theories learned at school.
Ukulele music therapy has many physical advantages, as well as psychological ones. Studies have revealed that participants who participated in music therapy experienced reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as an overall increase in wellbeing due to engaging multiple parts of their brain with this form of music therapy which helps decrease pain levels, increase focus and promote cognitive function.
In 2014, Corey Bergman founded the Ukulele Kids Club (UKC) with the purpose of supporting music therapy in hospitals. Each year they distribute thousands of ukuleles so children in hospitalized facilities can take home these instruments when they leave. It gives medically fragile kids something tangible they can call their own in an otherwise overwhelming experience – providing something they truly own and control while giving their families hope that will carry through into adulthood.
5. It’s empowering
Music can be an empowering experience for individuals who may lack the physical or emotional strength to express themselves otherwise. Children with developmental disabilities such as autism or ADHD can use music as an avenue to feel secure in their environments while also increasing socialization and sense of community. Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can utilize learning chords and strumming patterns repeatedly in order to increase focus and concentration.
The ukulele is an ideal instrument for music therapy due to its small size, simple chord structure and lightweight design; making it accessible for individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities. Furthermore, its recent surge in popularity has spurred adaptive programs and resources designed specifically to aid individuals living with disabilities learn musical techniques more quickly and easily.
Duquesne law students recently introduced “The Power of Music,” an initiative using the ukulele to reduce stress and anxiety while strengthening relationships among classmates. Sessions held during lunchtime provide opportunities for bonding over music while creating connections among participants; those participating report feeling less stressed and more relaxed than those not engaged with this program.
Ukuleles provide powerful relief to children affected by war in their own country. Corey and his wife established Ukulele Kids Club (UKC), a non-profit to give hospitalized children an instrument they can continue playing even after returning home – something UKC has provided thousands of ukuleles worldwide through hospital donations. Ukuleles give children a sense of mastery and empowerment.