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.
Jul 29, 2013

A Summer of Musical Opportunity for Young Children

GITC in St. Catharines, Canada
GITC in St. Catharines, Canada

Dear Friends,

Thank you for helping GITC (git-see) come such a long way this summer. It's amazing how far your show of love can go when you want to help little children through music! We are seeing so much improvement, hope and joy in the schools.

This summer thanks to you, we have taken early childhood musical training to Ontario, Canada- our first official international program! We have also been able to work with early childhood educators in Boston and San Diego, bringing our new collection of songs for the early childhood classroom into preschools, kinders and Head Start programs! We expect to distribute 600 ukuleles to classrooms between now and December. Everyone in our programs is now learning to play ukuleles with their young students- in addition to guitars- and the kids have been making the most amazing discoveries as a result.They love to strum and sing together and are finding they can not only make beautiful music and share it, but they can teach it to their siblings and parents- a surprising find, indeed.

This past week, teachers in San Diego wrote 2 beautiful new songs for kindergarteners in order to help them overcome their nervousness on the first day of school. Both teacher groups worked with the melody of Ben E. King's song "Stand By Me." One group with teachers Kelly Creeden and Sarah Carvahlo wrote words about feeling scared and not knowing who your friends are on the first day of school with the chorus, "I won't cry, I won't cry, no I won't shed a tear just as long as someone plays with me. Some someone, someone play with me, o-oh play with me, oh Someone won't you play with me." The teachers will substitute the name of each student for the word Someone when school starts.

The second group of teachers including Wendy Aardappel, Belen Jacot and Joanie Hartman wrote these beautful lyrics:

When the day has come for the
first day of school and your
family says goodbye to you
Oh don't be afraid – ohh don’t be afraid
You'll make friends and have lots of fun, too.

Chorus:

So Children, Children  you'll be okay  cause our class is a team. We'll learn together and become a family

We'll read books and sing songs and play together too.
We'll eat lunch and learn about our school
We'll be kind to our friends and listen to them too
Our teacher will be proud of us*

Chorus:

So Children, Children  you'll be okay  cause our class is a team. We'll learn together and become a family!

Thanks for being a part of the Guitars in the Classroom family. Let's keep making this vision of musical access for all children starting in preschool a reality everywhere. Together we can make a tremendous difference for the children when we train, inspire and equip their teachers to shape their lives every day through song.

With gratitude, wishing you happiness,

Jess

St. Catharines morning class
St. Catharines morning class
Kelly and Sarah in San Diego
Kelly and Sarah in San Diego
Hsuiping, Ellie and Susan in San Diego
Hsuiping, Ellie and Susan in San Diego
Wendy, Belen and Joanie in San Diego
Wendy, Belen and Joanie in San Diego

Links:

Jul 1, 2013

Highlights from the 2012-13 School Year!

students play guitar during social studies
students play guitar during social studies

Hello, Friend of GITC,

Thank you for putting your encouragement and power into our work this school year! Your gift made a magnificent difference for over 70,000 children in public schools around the nation this year! Your kindness has been particularly life changing for those students in disadvantaged a.k.a. "Title I" schools where musical opportunities have grown scarce.    

Thanks to your good will, we were able to train almost 800 school teachers this year to lead and integrate music into daily lessons in Pre-K through 8th grade classrooms from San Diego to Boston, from Oakland to Biloxi, MS.

With your assistance, children played guitars and ukuleles to accompany the songs they wrote about multiplication, division and fractions. With their teachers' guidance, they wrote new lyrics to memorize spelling words. They created story songs about scientific discoveries. They performed for their classmates and parents. We even have heard stories of children teaching their younger siblings at home to play because you provided them with a chance to learn. The students learned lessons through music, yes, and they felt passionate about learning because of the music. There is no question that these musical experiences will stay with them throughout life. A child who strummed a ukulele for this first time this year because of YOU may get music lessons next year because your generosity has sparked a keen interest. One who showed another child how to play a chord may decide one day to become a teacher. These formative experiences are essential to the success our our kids.

We also got some very special visits from artists this school year. Teachers at Pacheco Elementary in San Luis Obispo, California and EARTHS magnet school in Ventura County and CAPE Elementary in Camarillo, California got to perform with Laurence Juber or Drew Taubenfeld and his band, all visiting GITC artists.This is something we want to see lots more of next year and we hope you will stay committed to GITC and will keep making musical dreams come true!

With your help, this has been a time of growth, creativity and hope for many people who had not made music before, and also for teachers who had started training with us but wanted the chance to continue. You made it possible. Let's keep going together! Let's make the 2013-14 school year a time when even more children discover their potential, thrill to the sound of learning through music, and experience the joys of having a guitar in their classroom.

With you in service and with gratitude,

Jess

Teachers Rock with Drew Taubenfeld
Teachers Rock with Drew Taubenfeld

Links:

Jun 26, 2013

Thanks to You it was a Very Good School Year!

Teachers get ukuleles for their classrooms!
Teachers get ukuleles for their classrooms!

In Pre-school and Kinder classes around the nation, it has been a very musical school year thanks to your generous donation to this project! Children in the earliest grades have been playing ukuleles along with their teachers to learn their letters, numbers, colors and more. They have been singing about friendship, nature, love and family and sharing their songs at home because you supplied their teacher with the training to lead and the instruments to share. What a wonderful start to learning to learn you have given them, and next fall you can do more when we start new programs. We will be sure to let you know about our plans in August! In particular, the children in Mississippi and Alabama, in Georgia and South Carolina have been strumming and singing with their classmates and teachers because we put a special focus on the Gulf Coast region. But children throughout California and in Phoenix, Arizona got this benefit too when we got a surprise donation of 900 ukuleles from the KALA Brand Music Company this spring!

Thank you for leading the way and helping us start this powerful campaign to boost the chances for success in school for children in disadvantaged communities. You are our angels, bestowing the indellible gift of music into the hearts and minds of our youngest children.

With gratitude,

Jess

Links:

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