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May 26, 2020

GITC COVID WORKAROUND - SAFE UKE PORCH PICK-UPS!

Dear Friends,

Making music for ourselves is a form of self expression, and a way to connect with others, and every child deserves the chance to participate. Every child in a GITC program whose life opens up to music gets a key to creating their own happiness.

Your donations have helped us grow our capacity to serve more students in need and train teachers from all around the U.S. online during the pandemic!  Because of your support we have been able to get ukuleles into small hands by providing safe porch instrument provisions for kids in our highly engaged classrooms. We call these Safe Porch Pick-Ups. Thank you for helping to make this possible! This is allowing us to continue the positive impact we are making for teachers and students through our new online programs. It was even covered by our friends at CBS 8 - San Diego News Morning Extra, who recently featured Ms. Gingerlily and, representing their classmates, two of her 2nd grade students who wrote new verses to Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy".  They talked about healing and staying positive by playing music while sheltering at home.

Also, the impact on teachers from the work you are supporting cannot be overstated. We are immensely grateful to you. Teachers have openly shared that this work has helped them to overcome the initial fears many felt as first time adult music makers. Through their participation they feel they have developed greater grit and are now experiencing success, and this is having a profound effect on their students! Your support of our work has empowered them to build more creative online learning environments and classroom communities filled with authenticity, trust, care and interdependence. These important qualities are helping teachers carry their students through COVID-19. We thank you for your blessings and gifts to do this work. 

Your ongoing support is so important to help us continue to make an impact. Please consider contributing to our Keep Music Alive Online GlobalGiving Project.  Thank you! https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/keep-music-alive-online/

 We deeply appreciate your generosity and care for children. With your ongoing participation, we will continue to make a huge impact this school year, together. We look forward to creating more opportunities for you to be able to improve children's ability to learn enthusiastically and to make music at school.

With heartfelt appreciation,

Jess

Links:

May 26, 2020

TAKE A LOOK AT AN AMAISE-ING CLASSROOM!

Dear Friend of Exceptional Children,

Thank you so much for your phenomenal support of GITC's efforts to make music accessible to ALL learners. We wanted to share a story about an AMAISE-ing classroom with you.  These are classrooms with highly engaged teachers who have completed our AMAISE training and learned how to adapt music for achievement in inclusion and special education classrooms through GITC.

Shortly before schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic we went to visit an AMAISE-ing classroom for the first time. We brought the REMO Comfort Sound giant tabletop drum and set it up so every student could approach it at an advantageous height. One by one, the students worked through their initial uncertainties and came over to try it out.

Within half an hour the students who would normally remain disengaged or unfocused had each come to the drum, made sounds, built rhythms together - an enormous social and emotional feat - and were playing together. The wonder, joy, and connection were astounding! 

To top it all off, when parents and grandparents came to pick up their students at days end, they were introduced to the drum by their excited youngsters who were ready to perform for them. Their teacher said, for one student in particular, this was the first time he had ever received a positive report.

Music reaches into deeply receptive and creative places inside of each of us. It inspires and makes us capable in ways we never before imagined. We each possess this gift and unless we know this, we need someone caring to help us find it. Your support and generosity make this possible.

We hope you will continue to support this effort and share the good news of your involvement with your friends. Each of us has the power to encourage the people around us and these days, a little encouragement can go a very long way to make someone's day or give them hope. You are helping us spread the light and we are very grateful.

With you, for the children,

Jess

Links:

May 14, 2020

Students & Teachers Help Write the Book!

Porch Pick Ups Bring Happiness & Music to Life!
Porch Pick Ups Bring Happiness & Music to Life!

Greettings, Project Supporters!

 

I am excited to write to you with some definitive news. We are beginning the production process on this wonderful songbook at long last. Our senior faculty trainer and music educator, Dan is working on song charts, our book creation team of Ronny and Charylu are ready to take the material and spin it into a rainbow of music, and we are beginning the work of clearing copyrights for a number of the songs you'll find in between the covers. 

Ronny and Charylu are the dynamic duo who brought our SmartStart Ukulele for Beginners book into the world. They've worked together forever and make truly beautiful child-friendly music books. I trust that the faith you placed in GITC with your donation will be rewarded with an outstanding outcome!

With the onset of COVID-19, nation-wide school closures, and families needing to shelter at home, this book could not be more timely. The fact is that children are having a very tough time all the way around. Trying to learn online can lead to feeling lost, detached and frustrated. It's really a medium much more easily managed by teens and adults.  Teachers tell us "the only thing that's working is music."  So they are writing songs with their students to help them cope with the loneliness and fear. And some of these songs will appear in this songbook!

"Why make a physical book?" you may wonder. In this digital age, is it important? We agree that electronic docs are brilliant. And reading online saves trees. But everyone has screen exhaustion just about now. And a book is tactile. It comes with you to a quiet corner or a spot beneath a tree. You can hold it, feel the pages, color in it, share it with a family member and sit close together. Books have a way of comforting and grounding us. This is why it needs to be made in both formats. Also consider all the children without Internet access and computers. We can help any child with a real book to send them.

I will let you know how things are coming along very soon- we won't wait a whole 3 months to update you again.

In the meantime, please have a look at what GITC is doing to get music into the hands of the children in our participating classrooms by enjoying the video below from CBS yesterday, and visiting our blog page at https://www.guitarsintheclassroom.org/blog/creativity-songwriting-to-express-student-stress-mrs-lowes-second-grade-sings-dont-worry-be-happy. GITC Porch Pick-Ups are pretty special and heartwarming. 

If you feel like you want to help GITC do more, we hope you will either contribute again to this campaign, or visit our GlobalGiving campaign to support our ability to keep training and supporting teachers with online training.

We are thankful you empower us to make it possible. You are love in action, and we are pleased to be your messengers.

With love, hope, help and healing,

Jess

Porch Pick Ups Make Dreams Come True!
Porch Pick Ups Make Dreams Come True!

Links:

 
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