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 30, 2012

The Ukes Have Landed in Two Preschools!

Hello Project Supporters,

Thank you so very much for having a heart for young children and music with your recent contribution to Guitars in the Classroom's early childhood programs. Your kindness is already shaping the daily learning of children in early childhood centers in Oxford, Michigan and Pascagoula, Mississippi because early this month, we were able to purchase three ukuleles for children to share in each of two preschool locations!

Now that their teachers have been learning to make and lead music with Guitars in the Classroom, these students can engage in thoughtfully facilitated instrumental and vocal experiences that will set them on the path to becoming life long music makers. They will be playing and singing along with their teachers, taking turns, making up new songs, and developing talent, confidence, and a positive outlook about school. 

As you may be aware, musicality and language development go hand in hand in the early years. Given a chance to strum and sing, the little ones in these centers have a greater chance of making rapid gains in both while feeling the beat and playing creative rhythms with their songs for learning. Your gift may ultimately lead some of them to become the inspirational artists of the future, but most importantly, you are empowering them right now as their minds, habits, and attitudes about school, music, and themselves are forming. A child who succeeds in "making a joyful noise" will wish to continue along that path of healthy, creative self expression. 

We still have a long way to go. If you'd like to continue helping GITC provide early musical learning in preschool programs, I hope you will keep us in mind when you are ready to make a new tax deductible gift. Thank you fso much for being the first people to get behind this special campaign! We hope to get some ukuleles into the preschool in Mililani, Hawaii so the children there can begin to learn the musical traditions of their heritages.

Sending very best wishes and much gratitude,


May 14, 2012

A New First for GITC- Summer Classes!

Iris Vacante shows locally painted guitars
Iris Vacante shows locally painted guitars

Dear Friends,

I am writing with wonderful news. For the first time, Guitars in the Classroom is going to break the mold of teaching just during the school year and a handful of our programs will actually be training teachers around the country this summer because of you! In the past, we've held back from teaching in the summer nut we are hearing from the teachers this year LOUD and CLEAR that they want this opportunity and are willing to commit to training even during their "off" months. Since schools have become more pressured environments in the past year with increasing pressure from testing and massive budget cuts to education all around the country, many teachers have felt limited in their ability to learn something new. Summer is becoming"their time" in several places now. We are eager to adapt.

In Traverse City, Michigan, trainer Chris Kuchuris will be working with the teachers of students whose parents are migrant farm workers. He will be teaching them songs in Spanish and English so they can help their "newcomer" students acquire important new vocabulary and the ability to communicate in their second language.

In Madisonville, Louisiana, veteran GITC trainer Iris Vacante will be training teachers who have been to busy and burdened with test pressure and environmental stressors to make time for music during the school year. Iris always finds a way to re-engage the teachers in her community, just 30 minutes away from New Orleans.

In Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Kate Macmahon will be training Head Start teachers to lead music with their young students and with your help she can reach out to teachers in Pascagoula in the fall.

In northern California, trainer Alisa Peres will be training student teachers in University of California, Berkeley's Developmental Teacher Education program!

In the Boston area, GITC will be offering its first ever 1 week intensive for teachers who want to explore learning to make, lead, and write music in a short period of time. Hosted by the Passim School of Music in Cambridge, we will be developing a curriculum we hope to share around the country NEXT summer. If you know teachers in the Boston area, please write or call them about this special opportunity. We will cut off enrollment at 8 teachers so we can study and refine the pace of teaching with this small group.

We are also in the final stages of completing our new website which we hope to launch on May 1. You will get an update about that very soon, and when our donor page is ready, you will find your name there among those special individuals who are making GITC possible.

Thank you for standing strong with us for the arts, for children, for education, and for the quality of training our teachers receive. It is all so important and we are truly in this endeavor together each step of the way.

Sending much gratitude,


Jessica Baron, founder, executive director

Alisa Peres tunes teachers
Alisa Peres tunes teachers' guitars in San Jose
Student Teachers at UC Berkeley learn to play
Student Teachers at UC Berkeley learn to play
Children of Agricultural Workers Learn thru Music
Children of Agricultural Workers Learn thru Music
Music makes learning fun!
Music makes learning fun!


May 8, 2012

Mother's Day Cards for Preschool Music Making!

Jamie and Angelica at Phoenix Learning Center
Jamie and Angelica at Phoenix Learning Center

Hi, Global Giving Friends,

Happy glorious springtime! Mother's Day is almost here, and in the spirit of motherhood, we want to tell you about a wonderful new development at GITC. More early childhood educators than ever have been asking GITC to help them make music with their three to five year old students!

Early childhood is such a magical time for musical learning, isn't it?

We hope you will find this news very encouraging because this means those little ones getting ready for school are going to begin first grade with music as a part of what they love and how they learn.

Getting a sense of pitch and rhythm before age six is such a gift as it comes at the most essential time in children's development. Musicality and language learning occur in our human brains in the same 2 places and at the same time. So if children have this musical access and learning before age six, they are going to be more able to express themselves verbally and understand language better as well as becoming predisposed to making music well.

Will you please consider helping GITC get some ukuleles into the classrooms of participating teachers so little folks can strum and sing at school? Our friends at Hohner are behind this effort and as long as we can cover the bare bones cost of the ukes and handle the shipping ($25 total for each uke and shipping), we can give pre-schoolers hands on musical experience right away.

GITC set up a special Mother's Day campaign for this project and you can find it right here:

If you like, you can let us know if you'd prefer the uke be given to a program in Michigan, Hawaii, Mississippi, California, Massachussets or Illinois where we are developing our Early Childhood Education model at the present moment. Just drop a line to me at and your ukulele gift will be on its way to your desired destination.

Thank you for considering helping GITC do more for the youngest students.

Warm wishes and special gratitude,


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