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Intended Audience

All members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers.

Program Description

This music program is designed for anyone, including those with little or no experience playing this simple delightful instrument. In this program, members learn and begin playing at the very first session, and within weeks many are adept at the skills of accompanying and singing along with familiar songs using chords and a rhythm strum. Reading music is not a requirement, nor is having your own ukulele, as there are some available to be signed out at Wellspring, and some city libraries also have them on-hand for borrowing. Those who do have a ukulele are encourage to bring them (and a clip-on tuner) to class and get ready for a whole lot of fun! Alumni are always welcome to repeat this program in order to make new connections and keep up their skills.

Benefits and Impact

Music has been shown to play an important role in the lives of people living with cancer. Recent studies find that art- and music-based therapies can have a broad range of beneficial outcomes for cancer survivors, including pain relief, reduced anxiety, decreased fatigue, and improved quality of life (Bosman et al., 2021; Bradt et al., 2016; Köhler et al., 2020; Wood et al., 2011). One study from 2017 found that even simply listening to music may reduce the incidence of pain, anxiety, and drowsiness (Bilgiç & Acaroğlu, 2017). 

What to Expect at a Session

Members gather to learn the basics of music practice and theory, how melody and chords work together, and they are taught a variety of simple well-known songs to begin with. Within the four allotted weeks, many are hooked and can play along instrumentally or in combination with singing! These sessions become a great source of joy and uplift, as members gather and let music take them away.

Program Leaders: Local professional musicians are invited as instructors, mentors and performers in Wellspring’s instrumental programs such as ukulele and guitar, and also Wellspring’s House Music and Open Mic programs. Their life experience, combined with their dedication to teaching and supporting, builds fellowship, friendship and confidence within the group. 

“Music speaks to my soul. Music heals.”
“It has brought joy into my life and helped me “de-focus” on my problems”
“Music brings peace to my life.”
“I believe in stories and music!”
“Music is a way to balance joy and sadness. I seem to be able to sing after all.”

Program Details



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