Our Story

Using Music To Cope

In 2013, Corey Bergman, a life-long musician, began volunteering at local hospitals in Miami, Florida as a way of coping with the tragic loss of his son, Jared. As he played guitar for young patients and their families, he says, “I could plainly see that the act of listening to and playing music, and holding an instrument, has a deep positive effect on a child. All the anxiety and fear of the hospital just fades away and this kid becomes a kid again.

Then, two developments quickly brought the future UKC sharply into focus. First, Corey connected with music therapists at Miami Children’s Hospital, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and others, and gained exposure to the field of music therapy. Through music therapy, certified professionals help patients use music to achieve clinical goals, which in the case of young children might include lowering anxiety and stress, improving vital signs, and a multitude of other results. Second, the simplicity and small size of the ukulele made it seem like the ideal vehicle for music therapy with even the smallest patients. In 2014, Corey and his wife Edda incorporated the UKC. Our mission was, and remains, to support medically fragile children by gifting them a ukulele to use during their hospital stay and to keep when they go home. Each year, we deliver thousands of ukuleles, to a growing network of more than 300 music programs in the U.S. and in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia that are working with vulnerable children.

Meet Our Founders

Corey Bergman

Founder | Director

Corey Bergman founded the Ukulele Kids Club Inc. in 2014 . In his TEDx Coconut Grove talk “Music Heals“, Corey explains how music helps and inspires, even in the toughest times.
Watch “Music Heals” on YouTube

Edda Bergman


Senior Manager, Talent Business Advisor for Deloitte Services LP, retired.

National Board Of Directors

Our board members are the fiduciaries who steer Ukulele Kids Club Inc. towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as making sure that we have adequate resources to advance our mission.

Tom Bales

Board Chairman

President Symbiosis Foundation

Lynda B. Scearcy


MST, CPA Member of the Board of Directors at Bank of the Sierra BSRR

Meg Kerr


Judge of Compensation Claims, Miami District Division of Administrative Hearings

Steven Burghart


President SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital Saint Louis, MO

Connie Ryan


Registered Nurse RN, BSN
TEDx Organizer Volunteer

Jay Lichty


Luthier, Lichty Guitars

Ann Hannan


Director, Riley Cheer Guild and Music Therapy MT-BC Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health Affiliate Faculty, Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics

Casey Paton


Co-Founder Encore Apparel Co.

Samuel Borbor-Sawyer


Attorney, Phillips Lytle LLP

Kallie Velazquez


RN, BSN, UKC Parent


Marlén Rodriguez-Wolfe

Chief Executive Officer

M.M Music Therapist

Stephanie Epstein

Director of Programs

Amber O’Leary

VicePresident Operations & Development

Samantha Hassold

Outreach & Programs Manager

Larry Agovino

Website Administrator

Advisory Board

Kristiana Miner

Advisory Board

Creative Arts Therapist
Neurologic Music Therapist

Ruth Fehilly

Advisory Board

Salesforce Strategist

Stephana Sneed

Advisory Board

Director, Partner Engagement with International Justice Mission or IJM

Neal Chin

Advisory Board

Ukulele Musician Teaching and Recording Artist

Abby Jaros

Advisory Board

Director UKC Broadway Professional actor, dancer and singer

Laura Benanti

Advisory Board

UKC Broadway Tony Award Winning Actress

Eric Kraus

Advisory Board

Partner, New York City Phillips Lytle LLP

Joe Zenas

Advisory Board

Owner/CEO Thinkwell Group thinkwellgroup.com

Tom Duffy

Advisory Board

Broker Associate Berkshire Hathaway HS Verani Realty

Jay Della Valle

Advisory Board

Owner & Event Producer Spinners Entertainment

Owls & Lions NJ/NY & Montreal

Gena Rositano

Advisory Board

Stage Manager Saturday Night Live

New York City

Ashley Orlando

Advisory Board

Musician Lead Singer for Vintage Point Leader of Houkulele, Houston’s Ukulele Club

Corrie Woods

Advisory Board

Lichty Guitars Tryon, NC

Jeffrey Noll

Advisory Board

Global Head, Connected Devices


Music Therapy Advisory Board

Jasmine Edwards

MT Advisory Board

Bachelor of Music in music therapy, FSU Master of Arts in music therapy, NYU

Kimberly Bell

MT Advisory Board

Board-Certified Music Therapist Neurologic Music Therapist Children’s Hospital of New Orleans

Amy Furman

MT Advisory Board

Past President of the American Music Therapy Association Lead Music Therapist Minneapolis Public Schools

Marial Biard

MT Advisory Board

Board-Certified Music Therapist Texas Children’s Hospital Houston, TX

Kelli McKee

MT Advisory Board

Music Therapist SM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital St. Louis, MO

James R. Maxson

MT Advisory Board

Music Therapist Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center

Jeniris Garay

MT Advisory Board

Licensed, Board Certified Neurologic Music Therapist and Clinical Educator

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