Thank you so much for supporting this project! Looking back at what your contribution and the gifts of other contributors have made possible, we have cause for celebration. Children in twenty-six states have been making music with Guitars in the Classroom this year. In particular, over the past few months, your charity has made it possible for pre-school students in Hawaii, Mississippi and Alabama to learn through music everyday. We've worked with students at every grade level in Boston, Massachussets, and have started new programs in Oakland, San Luis Obispo, and San Diego, California and Madisonville, Louisiana for elementary and middle school teachers and kids. In Clay County, West Virginia, students are making music before, during and after school with GITC. And your assistance has made it all possible!
There is still so much more to do- music programs everywhere have been reduced in recent years and in some districts, the cuts just keep coming. Please help us keep music alive in 2013 by visiting our charity auction online right now at http://stores.ebay.com/auctioncausestore/pages/guitars-in-the-classroom and bidding on a special musical item for yourself or someone in your life!
You can also subscribe to our regular enewsletter at www.guitarsintheclassroom.org or visit us on facebook at www.facebook.com/guitarsintheclassroom where our community shares ideas, humor, and inspiration.
Let's take a deep breath, appreciate the progress your good work has made possible, and create a bright new vision for 2013!
Wishing you health, harmony and happiness in the new year,
What a busy time this is for GITC as it most surely is for anyone involved in the schools these days. With September come brand new opportunities, challenges and dreams for children and teachers alike. Thanks to your magnificent support of the efforts of Guitars in the Classroom to bring hands-on learning through music to children from coast to coast, we are there this fall to meet those challenges, provide those opportunities, and feed those dreams. In Title 1 schools in Massachusetts, West Virginia, New York, California, Michigan, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, South Carolina, and more teachers will be making lessons come alive when they pull out a guitar, bring song lyrics up on the board, and count in the kids on a song for learning!
This is a near miracle, considering what Mother Nature has done around the US lately. Clay, West Virginia flooded this summer, lost power, and things were bad. Hurricane Isaac flooded the streets of Madisonville, LA and Pascagoula, MS. Heat made Boston a big brick over complete with sauna capabilities. But GITC keeps chugging because the people who run the programs locally are inspired, tough, and full of love. That is what it takes to make our little engine go. The music must go on!
Why? Because it makes a world of difference for the children. Nothing less than that.
Whether a homeless child gets his only two meals a day for free at school or enjoys a homemade deli sandwich neatly tucked into a lunchbag by loving hands from home, that child has great creative potential that can be mobilized, sparked, and channeled through making music with GITC at school..Everything will be provided to make music a reality at no charge to the budget-poor schools or cash-strapped families.
Whether a child is shy during class discussions or loves to be the center of attention, music will affect, inspire, and light up her mind. No special talent or money is required for her to participate meaningfully in GITC's music-infused lessons. GITC removes all the common barriers to musical access.
And whether a student has a profound learning disability or limiting medical condition or is the class math genius or star soccer player, making music can open a channel to deep learning that is surpassed by none; it can empower every kind of kid to excel. The music and rhythm open hearts and carry the facts, figures, ideas and messages in lessons to embed them magically in children's memory. And GITC sparks a passion for learning that grows brighter each day as children sing, strum guitars, invent new songs, write lyrics and perform together. That the songs deliver math, science, social studies, English, language arts and so much more is why their grades and test scores improve. But it is the love of learning and creating that matters most.
Thank you for helping us get to this point where we can offer training in so many places of need. Please stay with us. donate what you can, and let's keep making over-crowded classrooms where kids stress over testing into places where learning and jpy come alive, where teachers feel passionate and adventurous about their work, and where all students are creatively engaged and motivated to achieve. We are in this together, and the changes you've empowered so with your gift are making a difference! Please join us again to do more.
Thank you for being the change you want to see in the world,
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
Wednesday, March 14th is a special day for people who care about education and like the work of Guitars in the Classroom, namely YOU! During GlobalGiving’s spring Bonus Day this week, your gift will go 30% farther! GlobalGiving will match every donation up to $1,000 per donor, per project. To sweeten the offer to donors and charities, GlobalGiving will also reward $1,000 to the project that gathers the biggest total donation amount, and also to the project with the most unique donors. You can make sure many more children have access to music at school when you donate to GITC this week on WEDNESDAY. Please be with us in support of this special cause!
Here is a report about what your kindness so far is making possible in South Carolina.
The beginning of this month was full of surprise; when teachers on Hilton Head Island responded in droves to the offer of free music integration training, we suddenly found ourselves in need of 31 guitars! What to do?
We called Connie Christy, a trainer in our long-ago program up in Aynor, South Carolina and asked for help, knowing the beautiful Godins and Hagstrom guitars we’d loaned teachers were still in use in the schools after eight years.
We realized that most of them would need some work after 8 years, but when our dedicated faculty teamed up to retrieve those guitars and others from our program in Columbia, SC, we discovered that some had been badly mistreated by rambunctious middle schoolers when their teacher was out sick. Now we had a special problem 23 guitars needed help to one extent or another… and we had 1 week to make it happen. Classes were full and scheduled to begin on March 6.
Rolling up her sleeves and going without enough sleep, newest GITC faculty member Dr. Joan Maute rented a van, took to the road, and drove to Columbia where she was met by principal Sally Catoe, leader of the GITC program there, and Ms. Christy who had retrieved 18 instruments from the local schools in Aynor and driven them there herself, taking a day off work to make this happen quickly. Sally found 13 guitars she also could spare, and Joan hit the road back to Hilton Head that night, her van heavy with instruments in need of love.
Assessing the state of the instruments was tough. Joan and our executive director, Jessica Baron took stock together of the situation and made contingency plans. Next morning, Joan hauled the wounded warrior guitars off to John’s Music where expert repairmen John and Scott got to work rehabilitating the instruments. Some were missing parts such as bridge pins and end pins. One had lost its nut and another its saddle . Several had cracks in their tops. But thanks to the tireless and generous work of Janet and Robert Godin, a care package of needed parts went into the mail next day from the factory in Canada. By the time the part arrived, John and Scott, who had been working around the clock to clean, polish, set up, adjust, and restring this flock of guitars were ready to help the last of the instruments recover.
Guitars in the Classroom opened its doors to the teachers and volunteers of Hilton Head Island right on time, and everyone got the instrument they needed. In fact, Joan Maute had opened her home during the previous week-end so any teacher wanting to find just the right guitar could do so in a leisurely and comfortable way! We have never in 12 years seen this kind of personal touch given to the guitar loan process and Joan’s care for her students is beyond exemplary.
GITC would really like to thank this whole team- the trainers and the guitar builders and repairmen (luthiers); their voluntary dedication is utterly priceless and the children of Hilton Head Island will be singing to learn and also singing their praises for years to come as a result! This is what we mean when we say “Together we can make a difference!” Thank you for being an important part of the magic!
Please help GITC keep these programs growing and going around the country. Every day we are grateful for the miracles your kindness about. On Wednesday, let’s do it again! Please donate here:
We are really excited to announce that rising country star Tamaray has chosen GITC as her education charity! This talented young woman is a wonderful guitar player and singer who is planning to perform free concerts for GITC schools in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina in the weeks and months ahead. Her first stop is in Hilton Head!
Through her music, she will pass along a message of encouragement to the children living on the Gulf Coast and in affected southern states, spreading the joy and benefits of making music together wherever she goes.
Tamaray’s voice is often compared to music legends such as Reba McEntire or Dolly Parton and her music to Miranda Lambert. To hear Tamaray’s music and for more information, please visit her website: www.reverbnation.com/tamaray and her facebook page: www.facebook.com/tamaraymusic.
Thank you for reading about the developments in South Carolina and for sharing the success and happiness this work is already bringing to students there. You will love the feeling you get when you make a contribution this Wednesday, knowing how many kids your charity will touch! Your help is so crucial to the work of this organization, and is very much appreciated.
Wishing you an inspirational week, thank you for joining us in continuing to create change and excellence in our nation’s schools.
With deep gratitude,
Jessica Baron,Executive Director
Hello Global Giving Friends,
Let's start out 2012 with some great news! This month, artist advocates Laurence Juber and John Cruz, both GRAMMY winners, are stepping into the spotlight, where....? On elementary school stages, to bring live acoustic artistry to students free of charge. With the drastic budget cuts to the arts in our schools, these performances are extremely precious gifts, and GITC is very fortunate to have the support of these great artists who are donating their time to bring the music to GITC schools.
Last week, in Brooklyn at PS 230, Laurence Juber gave two spellbinding performances to raptly attentive elementary students while he was in the city to perform at Iridium Jazz Club. He and GITC emisary Christiane Cook drove out to Brooklyn to spend the morning making music with the teachers and students at what is also known as Doris L. Cohen Elementary. GITC trainer Dan Loomis was on hand as well, in addition to James Williamson who was GITC's first passionate advocate for bringing our work to the public schools in NYC. This was a downright "tribal" event with teachers strumming along and everyone singing.
In case you are unfamiliar, Laurence Juber is not a sing-along artist. He is the premiere fingerstyle guitarist in our midst, formerly of Paul McCartney's band Wings, and his music, much to the delight of the children, is featured in a movie most have actually seen- The Muppet Movie. Please can check him out at the attached website link if you like. He helped me found GITC 12 years ago, and has been donating his time and talent ever since in so many ways from good advice to free benefit concerts and also these special school performances.
This week, Hawaiian artist John Cruz begins his California tour in San Diego and working his way up the coast. John, whose music has achieved huge fame in Hawaii and has made it to hit status on American airwaves, will be playing in elementary schools all along his route, from San Diego and Encinitas, north to Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and Oakland. His tireless efforts to reach out to children with his passion for making music and living creatively is certain to touch many hearts and inspire lots of creative thinking.
Thank you for supporting our work and making the programs in all these elementary schools possible. The teachers are excited to play with such accomplished artists, and when their students see them onstage with the likes of Laurence and John, their admiration for their teachers absolutely soars.
Laurence, at my behest, created a packet to distribute to students before his assemblies so they could learn about him and his career before hearing him play. He did such a fine job that I have attached it FYI. We are asking every GITC artist to do the same so children can learn about their geography and journey in the arts. This is real live music integration!
Wishing you all a splendid rest of the month, and thanks for reading and caring about this cause.
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