Music Is Good Medicine (MIGM), the nonprofit organization supported by Jake Shimabukuro and his management company, TOASTMAN INC., is pleased to announce the creation of a brand new ukulele developed by the renowned musical artist and the world-famous Takamine guitar company. The newly minted instrument will play a key role in supporting “Four Strings for Kids,” a program dedicated to making the ukulele available to children all over the world.

A portion of the proceeds generated from the on-line only sales of the MIGM ukulele will support the organization’s outreach programs, but its greater contribution may be in helping to expand MIGM’s mission “to use the power of music to heal, influence and inspire people to improve our community, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and pursue their dreams with a positive attitude” to a broader worldwide audience.

“Ever since my mother gave me my first ukulele at the age of four, this magical instrument has been a positive force in my life,” said Shimabukuro. “By fueling my passion for music, it has helped me to develop in mind, body and spirit.”

Ukulele are typically available only in limited, high-end models, or poorly made souvenir or “toy” varieties. When Shimabukuro originally envisioned the “Four Strings for Kids” program earlier this year, he wanted to develop an ukulele that was affordably priced without sacrificing quality – an ukulele that could be manufactured in sufficient quantity so that everyone who wanted to could own one.

Thanks to Takamine Guitars, Shimabukuro’s dream has now become reality. Nestled at the base of the Takamine Mountain in Sakashita, Japan, for over 40 years, Takamine has been turning out exquisite

guitars prized by such musical giants as Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Bruce Springsteen, and Glenn Frey of the Eagles, among others.

“I am thrilled by the development of this new ukulele, because it will serve as a powerful tool to help me share my message with young people to have passion, set goals, and learn discipline in their lives,” states Shimabukuro, who has dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours performing and leading workshops at schools, youth organizations, and senior centers.

The new MIGM ukulele will be unveiled to the public at the Musical Instruments Fair Japan 2009, November 5 – 8, in Yokohama, Japan. While additional details still need to be worked out, MIGM projects that the ukulele will be available for sale to the public early next year. Sponsorship and donation opportunities are also planned for individual and/or corporate contributors, donors and investors.

“I am extremely grateful to Takamine Guitars for developing and producing this beautiful
new MIGM ukulele for our ‘Four Strings for Kids’ program. Although I will continue to use the Kamaka ukulele in my own artistic endeavors, I believe that this new program will allow us to reach out and touch children’s hearts around the world through the power of music, shared experiences and the gift of aloha.”

For more information about “Music Is Good Medicine,”