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.

Marlén Rodriguez-Wolfe

M.M. Music Therapist

Stephanie Epstein Vice Chair
Director of Programs

Henry Ristuccia


Venture Capitalist, Business Advisor, Risk Management Leader

Jessica Munch-Dittmar

Executive Director

Executive Director
Greater Miami Youth Symphony
Feb 2020 – Sep 2023

Kira Turchin
Kira Turchin


Broadway Producer

Connie Ryan


Registered Nurse RN, BSN
TEDx Organizer Volunteer


Larry Agovino

Website Administrator

Advisory Board
Tom Duffy


Broker Associate
Berkshire Hathaway HS Verani Realty
Licensed in NH and Massachusetts

Stephana Sneed

Advisory Board

Director, Partner Engagement with International Justice Mission or IJM

Neal Chin

Advisory Board

Ukulele Musician Teaching and Recording Artist

Kristiana Miner

Advisory Board

Creative Arts Therapist
Neurologic Music Therapist

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

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

Jay Lichty


Luthier, Lichty Guitars

Gena Rositano

Advisory Board

Stage Manager Saturday Night Live

New York City

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

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

Evan Privoznik

MT Advisory Board

Board-Certified Music Therapist
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

Head shot
Susan Mehall

MT Advisory Board

Board-Certified Music Therapist
UC Davis Health | Children’s Hospital

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