Carol Ridlon, Former Public School Teacher
“Before the pandemic, Ukuleles Heal The World provided a wonderful opportunity to lessen the language barrier for our students who had recently arrived from Angola. The children ages 5 through 12 who attended Portland Public School’s Summer in the City summer school program experienced the joy that music brings through the strumming of ukuleles led by the founder of Ukuleles Heal The World, Lee Urban. The smiles on the faces of these children as they first held their ukes and then learned how to strum and sing a simple song were something to behold.
“Language didn't matter or the difficulties they and their families endured while on their journey to a better life. What mattered then and there in that moment was the beautiful music they were making and listening to. They were no longer newcomers; they were all musicians in a ukulele band feeling the power of music and song.”
Caitrin Monahan, Portland, Maine Public Schools
“Thank you, Lee and Ukuleles Heal the World, for working closely with my students and me over the years. I was first introduced to Ukuleles Heal the World when they came to teach over 75 students who had recently sought asylum in Maine. The students had been on a harrowing journey to get to Portland and Lee's class was just what they needed.
“For the time Lee was in our classroom, our students got to just be kids. They laughed and enjoyed playing and got to learn new songs and have fun along the way. It was a beautiful experience.
“I worked with Lee years later during a summer program for kids enrolled in special education. It was beautiful to see our students, many of whom have never attended a public school music class, learn and discover their musical talents. When I asked my students, ’What did you like the most about playing uke with Lee?’, one responded, ’I am a musician now!’ It brought a smile to my face to hear that.
“Thank you, Lee and Ukuleles Heal The World, for all you do for our community, for teaching kids the joy and healing of music, and for having a blast while doing it! I highly recommend Lee and Ukuleles Heal the World for anyone looking for creative ways to bring joy and hands-on learning into the classroom.”
Katy Sargent of LearningWorks, Porttand, Maine
"You might think that the organization name 'Ukuleles Heal the World' is hyperbole, but... is it? At LearningWorks, we've seen a 21-inch ukulele produce rooms full of laughter and smiles. That's not to mention the confidence that little instrument can build.
We all know the incredible power of music. The opportunity for a child to hold music in their hands and produce it with their own fingers is enormous, and it’s one that not every kid necessarily gets to enjoy."
Peggy, Susie's mom
"Oh, the fun the folks at STRIVE, which provides people with physical and developmental challenges or mental health diagnoses a community of support and assistance, had with Lee Urban and his friends as Ukuleles Heal The World brought music, singing and endless smiles to everyone there. My daughter squealed after one song, “I did it! I played a song”, and still talks about the day Lee and his friends came to play with them.
"For some folks, this was their first time actually making music or playing an instrument, and getting a chance to play with their peers brought it to the next level. Lee made it super accessible and fun, no matter the skill level.
Lee got these folks with such wide ranges of abilities and disabilities playing songs and loving their ukes in no time at all; and he and his friends brought the universal language of music to STRIVE participants and managed to bypass many obstacles that usually impede artistic expression."