Warm their Winter with Songs for Learning!

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,


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


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Project Leader

Jessica Baron

Encinitas, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Warm their Winter with Songs for Learning!