Guitars in the Classroom

Since 1998, Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) has been inspiring, training and equipping classroom teachers to integrate music making across the academic curriculum through "song-based instruction" so students of all ages have educational, musical access & opportunity at school every day. Our work prepares educators to lead music, employing it as a dynamic tool for reaching all learners, teaching all subjects, and building character, creativity and community.Programs & materials are free.
Apr 28, 2014

You Are Changing Lives through Music!

Ellie Wong, Zhao Peng and Susan Krier GITC 2013
Ellie Wong, Zhao Peng and Susan Krier GITC 2013

Dear Friends,

Thank you so very much for funding our project for children facing exceptional economic challenges in urban Los Angeles. Because of you, we are preparing to deliver more ukuleles and guitars to the schools and programs in South Central Los Angeles and nearby communities in early May!

This week, we are placing an order for 18 guitars and 15 more ukuleles with the funds you have given. Music Educator Ellie Wong is eager to receive these ukes. She has already moving 30 of them between schools in Carson, Watts, South Central and Carson since last Septemeber, providing musical learning for an amazing 800 students! We have 15 more in gig bags at the office, ready to deliver and we will add 15 more as soon as this campaign is finished. We are only $550 away from reaching this goal, together.

Ellie is astounding. A music educator for 5 decades, she rolls down the road to all 4 school sites and hauls instruments in her little car as she goes - all week long. Can you imagine doing that at 70? She is an uber angel. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could raise enough for her to have ukes at EACH SITE? Included is a photo of Ellie during her GITC training class last summer. What a difference 1 week of instruction can make. The photo of Ellie with this report (she is standing in the center) also includes San Diego educators Zhau Peng and Susan Krier who both performed yesterday with 15 students at the San Diego Earth Day Festival at the Children's stage. What an accomplishment!

We have been waiting for a shipment of guitars from Asia to deliver to the Fernando Pullum Community Canter. I will be making a personal trip to the center to bring the guitars to the program in May and we'll take lots of photos. Special thanks to Donor Jim O'Brien for his fantastic gift to that center through this project! The teachers and students there are doing beautiful, life affirming work. Included in this report is a photo from the center's recent successful production of the Frog and the Princess.

Thank you for helping us make music a reality for inner city children. If you can give a little more to help us complete this campaign, it is rated NUMBER ONE right now at the Global Giving website! Now THAT is something to feel great about- thanks to each of you for making this happen.

With you for our children,

Jess

Frog and the Princess
Frog and the Princess
Pullum Dancers!
Pullum Dancers!
Children in the Guitar Program at Pullum Center
Children in the Guitar Program at Pullum Center

Links:

Mar 13, 2014

Thank You for Making Winter a Warmer Experience!

Teachers at Vista Academy
Teachers at Vista Academy

Dear Friend,

This winter you helped Guitars in the Classroom provide musical training, new songs and musical instruments for teachers and children in some chilly places through our micro-project during GlobalGiving's Bonus Matching Day and beyond. Thank you from all of us at GITC for caring about the quality of education and most importantly, for giving preK- through 8th grade students valuable and positive learning and community building experiences in their classrooms.

Not only did you assist us by funding programs in chilly Massachusetts and frozen Michigan, you motored us through the beginning of creating online videos to train teachers at a distance! With your support, videographer Bryan Ingraham and I got the supplies we needed and made the preparations to observe and video tape GITC teaching in programs in the San Diego area. We were joined for videotaping and observations at the Vista Performing Arts Academy by GITC's Director of Education for our board of directors, Dr. Joan Maute. It was great to learn from her experienced perspective of 30 years in the classroom and doing staff and curriculum development! 

While she was in town, Dr. Maute also stopped into one of our classrooms at Sandburg Elementary and conducted a songwriting workshop with 3rd graders. Together, she and the children wrote new verses to Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" which the students had just learned to play on their ukuleles. She guided students in creating a GITC version of that song to teach primary graders the differences between states, counties and cities. They made many verses celebrating their own and fell in love with playing it. Then, when we were contacted by FOX 5 News asking to come videotape a program, the students shared this song just a week later. That videotape is included in the link below.

So far we have videotaped 15 talented classroom teachers in 4 different elementary schools leading music with their young students. Now these videos are being evaluated, scripted, edited and finished up with a little help from staff and students in the high school media classes at Huntington Beach's Performing Arts Academy. We look forward to sharing them this spring, thanks to you. 

In addition to all this, we were able to begin providing direct instruction in ukulele to 3rd graders as an offshoot of our teacher training model. Our trainer, Bari Zwirn has been meeting with the students every Friday! This work was partially funded by a grant and partially by all of you! It's an honor to serve in new ways with your support.

Thank you so much to each of you for caring, for giving, and for saying YES to musical learning for our children. Your kindness and solidarity with our cause is making a magnificent difference in classrooms every single day.

With infinite gratitude,

Jess

Bari Zwirn and 3rd Graders from Dewey Elementary
Bari Zwirn and 3rd Graders from Dewey Elementary
Teachers in Worcester, Massachusetts
Teachers in Worcester, Massachusetts
Dr. Joan Maute
Dr. Joan Maute

Links:

Mar 3, 2014

Going Uke Crazy at Challenger Middle School!

Challenger Middle School Ukes!
Challenger Middle School Ukes!

Dear Sponsor and Friend,

Thank you so much for helping Guitars in the Classroom bring more joy, energy and engagement to learning in grades K-8. Your gift has been helping child after child become a more musical person while enjoying learning everything from math to social studies. More and more these days, our classes are including hands-on ukuleles for the students to play. They strum to accompany the songs they are composing as a part of learning every subject.

This time, please meet the musical students at Challenger Middle School. Their teacher, Cathy Green has been teaching academics and music, both, and she loves to combine the two. When your donation helped us fund trainings that Cathy could attend, she learned to lead songwriting with her 6th-8th graders and she also learned to play and teach ukulele. At a time when life can be very confusing, her students are positive, involved, and doing well. Some of this is because Cathy's own positive spirit finds expression by bringing music into everything she does in the school.

That is one reason GITC is making a difference in education; because the teachers find a way to be authentic, creative and spontaneous in their teaching through music. This restores in their spirits the passion that originally drove them to become teachers in the first place. And it flies in the face of over-testing and fear of failure that became so rampant in many American classrooms as a result of No Child Left Behind. Singing requires breathing and breathing reduces stress. Strumming is a form of movement, and movement calms the mind. Music is in this way, a kind of natural medicine. Strumming a beautiful chord and singing together begins to change everything.

Thank you for helping GITC make the music possible in the schools. Together, let's make sure more teachers learn to lead so more children have this chance to learn, live and feel better everyday.

With gratitude for all you do,

Jess

Links:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Guitars in the Classroom

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Guitars in the Classroom on GreatNonProfits.org.