Ukulele Kids Club

 

UKC is a non-profit organization founded by Corey Bergman and his wife Edda Bergman. Its work is supported by volunteers and music therapy programs of hospitals. It is funded by the individuals and groups who resonate with the mission of UKC.

Mr. Bergman started the work of UKC several years ago after his 20-year-old son passed away unexpectedly due to a sudden illness. He felt deep sorrow and mourned over his son. Mr. Bergman lived in New York at that time and started participating in volunteer work sponsored by The Make-A-Wish Foundation to help heal his broken heart. To fulfill wishes for many children diagnosed with critical illness he had never met, he frequently took these children to Disney World as well.

Mr. Bergman eventually moved to Florida. One day a friend of his invited Mr. Bergman to visit a pediatric hospital together. While interacting with the children who were fighting with illness, a strong desire occurred to him to help them in any way, filled with a memory of his son who loved music and children.

Not long afterward, Mr. Bergman started volunteering at the family center of that hospital. When he played the guitar (he is a great guitarist), the children started gathering and dancing around while their parents were watching them with a smile. He realized that he found a place to belong.

One one of these days when visiting a pediatric cancer word, Mr, Bergman was walking down the quiet hallway playing his guitar softly, then one of doors was opened quietly.

A mother came out of the room and asked Mr. Bergman if he would come inside her son’s room and play his guitar. The mother’s 15-year-old son Jason was lying on the bed attached to many IV tubes on his arms, but once Mr. Bergman started playing the guitar, Jason slowly started to sit himself up in bed. Being told by Jason’s mother that her fifteen year old son is a guitarist of a rock band, Mr. Bergman handed Jason his guitar, but Jason could not hold it well as the IV tubes were tied on his arms were preventing him to do so. Mr. Bergman quickly went back to the room assigned for the volunteers, grabbed his small travel sized guitar, and placed it on Jason’s arms. Mr. Bergman started playing one of George Harrison songs softly, Jason joined him with playing the melodies as Mr. Bergman played cords. As they played the music together, a healing power of music started to fill the entire room.

Through this experience, Mr. Bergman learned the miraculous power of music played by the children and its positive outcome. He gradually started to give out ukuleles to hospitalized children and teach how to play the ukulele. Eventually, some of Mr. Bergman’s friends decided to get involved and started to make donations to purchase more ukuleles.

If you like to learn more about Mr. Corey Bergman’s story, please follow the link to his TED talk below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IgyDjFAxdg

About the work of UKC (Website: https://theukc.org/)

 
Toshiko Morris