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.
Dec 21, 2011

Thank You for Expressing Your Love of Music!

Together We Can Make a Difference
Together We Can Make a Difference

 Dear Friend,

Thank you so very much for helping Guitars in the Classroom to train teachers to lead musically enriched lessons in their regular K-8 classrooms in 2011.  Together we have helped them bring creativity, success, and hope for the future to students around the nation. As you express your love of music through your charitable contribution, you empower others to discover music's power, beauty, and healing properties as well as its capacity to help children learn and grow. All of us at GITC are immensely grateful to share your conviction and give it a place to grow.

Now as the work gathers strength & academic impact, the need for music in the schools is burgeoning as the result of budget cuts to education and the arts. Your gifts here on Global Giving are mattering more than ever before

This coming year, in addition to reaching preschoolers, and students with special needs,  also those learning English as a second language and children at risk in Title I schools, your contribution will empower GITC to provide guitars and support music programs in neighborhood YMCAs, reaching more kids after school. GITC can do this now because you have been with us all the way!

Wishing you a New Year of true peace, health, and happiness! Let's get 2012 started out right. If you wish to make an end-of year contribution, we invite you to visit our Holiday Tribute Card campaign right here on Global Giving! 

With immeasurable thanks for your empathy and partnership,

Jess

Teachers in Training
Teachers in Training
Student Teachers in Training at UC Berkeley
Student Teachers in Training at UC Berkeley

Links:

Oct 17, 2011

Change Lives thru Music this Wedn with a MATCHING Gift!

children engage!
children engage!

Because of YOU, classes for teachers of children at risk are now beginning in communities with tremendous need this month.

Thanks to your gift to Guitars in the Classroom, thousands of students are beginning to learn through music in Victorville, California, in Oceanside, California, on Oahu, Hawaii, in Lee, Massachusetts, and in Phoenix, Arizona beginning in October. This Wednesday the 19th is GlobalGiving's bonus matching day. Whatever you give on Wednesday is going to do twice as much good. A gift of absolutely any amount will matter twice as much.

So please allow me to encourage you to take a moment right now to imagine the sheer joy that is about to flourish in the hearts of impoverished children this month when a most surprising thing happens- their teacher brings out a guitar and says, "Children, I am just learning to play so I hope you will join me in singing a song today."

Please imagine this in a classroom where not enough money in the school budget exists to buy the most basic supplies- paper and pencils. Where that teacher must teach every subject including physical education because all the specialist positions have been eliminated. Where the library is barely staffed and there is no counselor for the children save the one that administers tests all over the district and cannot stop to talk. Where there is no school nurse. Where there are 32-48 students stuffed into classrooms that once held 20 students. Now imagine that guitar and that teacher inviting everyone to sing and you will know what relief, hope, and joy you are empowering GITC to create.

In the high desert region of California, some families are barely subsisting and others are homeless, living in encampments without running water or electricity. Their children come to school exhausted without enough food in their bellies to keep focus. In Oceanside, home of Camp Pendelton, hundred of kids say good-bye to one or both of their parents for months at a time as they are deployed for service in Iraq. These children feel such stress. They are hungry in ways only children whose parents go to war know. In Hawaii, many of the students are living in real poverty. In the previous school year, the state set 17 furlough dates- no school every other Friday. No money to pay the teachers. 

This is where your dollars are being spent this fall. On kids for whom music is more than a pleasure- it is a life line to learning, to hope, to happiness, a reason to wake up and come to school. A way to simply connect. Lessons they receive through music give them a time when troubles are forgotten and the happiness can fill their souls.

Wednesday of this week is a MATCHING Bonus Giving Day at GlobalGiving. If you give to GITC then, GlobalGiving will do the same. Please help us reach many more these children with music, love, and learning. Please give now so your gift allows us to do twice the work on your behalf. We are all the same here, working toward this cause together- I am so personally grateful that you care, and I hope our work gives you a deep sense of pride.

With warm wishes that you will receive many times over the love you give to others,

Jess

Sep 7, 2011

Play Guitar with GITC! Yes You Can!

Jessica Baron
Jessica Baron

Dear Friend of Making Music,

Guitars in the Classroom would like to invite you to make music with us! For free! Online!

Just as is true for teachers and school staff who learn to play with GITC, you do not need to have any previous musical experience. Heart and soul are the magical ingredients that can help any of us progress from shower or car singer to musician. 

Around half of the teachers who train with GITC qualify themselves as shower singers and non-musicians when they get started with us, That tells you how much they want to make music- how grateful they are for GITC's assistance. It's a big deal for an adult to start with music. But with your help, GITC is making it happen- and children are the beneficiaries.

Maybe you are like about a quarter of the teachers who sign up for training. They took a few guitar lessons and stopped because it hurt, or they felt they couldn't change chords fast enough, or there were other things that came easier so they let it go. The saddest thing is those who stop singing or playing because someone has embarrassed them. Don't even get me started about this. It has a whole lot to do with why I started this work in the first place- reversing the damage of cruel comments.

Our approach is very gentle and painless at GITC and you can learn with us. We start in Hawaiian taro patch G tuning. This is super easy. The guitar sounds beautiful right away and you can begin to make music with just one finger. Think Hawaii and you'll understand. GITC provides beginners with a relaxing guitar experience. Is there any reason at all why you shouldn't also have a musically enjoyable, meaningful, successful experience, too?

You have helped us raise funds so more teachers have the special chance to discover their musicality with GITC, and they will share music with thousands of children who might otherwise miss out because you care to make this possible! Thank you so very much. So please, treat yourself to playing with us.

Guitars in the Classroom is partnering with a very ethical, well-run, positive. and stable online guitar instruction company called JamPlay. The website can be found at jamplay.com. At this site, about 50 guitar instructors including me (Jessica Baron) are teaching video guitar lessons, chatting with our students, and holding Q & A sessions. The JamPlay faculty covers a broad range of styles and levels. I feel very very blessed to be the newest instructor at the site!

Last April, I recorded 35 sequential guitar and voice lessons with JamPlay in the style of GITC so that teachers, friends, parents, volunteers, anybody can learn with us. JamPlay is currently editing these lessons and they are uploading about 2 per week... so far there are 11 of my lessons available at the site.

Would you like to see- for free? The folks at JamPlay have given us a special code so you can go to the site and take as many lessons as you wish- from me or from any of the teachers- and as many different teachers as you wish- for a week. There are no strings attached at all.

To access the free week- ANYTIME- just go to jamplay.com/gitc and sign on. 

To watch any of my lessons to see the special ways we train the teachers with Guitars in the Classroom, just search for Jessica Baron and you'll find my lesson set.

To see if there is a teacher at the site who really appeals to you, feel free to visit any of us and watch as little or as much of any of our lessons. Ask questions, make requests, have fun!

If you wind up wanting to join at the end of the week, you'll get the chance and it will cost $20 for a month of unlimited lessons and JamPlay will donate $10 of this to free teacher training programs with GITC!

If you don't, then you can just sign off, and that will be that. Simple. And you will have experienced firsthand what our little organization is up to in teacher training classes.

So please join GITC in taking a positive musical step with us - whether it's just a quick peek or the beginning of a beautiful romance with playing the guitar. Since making music is important enough to you to give the chance to children, I hope you will also give this gift to yourself as part of the Guitars in the Classroom community.

Thanks for considering joining us in this new way. www.jamplay.com/gitc.

And oh! We have a new video to watch at our homepage, too... it's short and shows you our programs in action. Wanna see? www.guitarsintheclassroom.org !

Thank you for joining me in this awesome endeavor to keep the music alive in our schools and in the lives of children.

Gratefully,

Jess

Links:

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