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.
Nov 3, 2016

Thank You for Bringing Music to Education for Traumatized Students

Becca and Jess
Becca and Jess

Hello Friend,

Thank you for your support of students in need by giving to our programs. Through your continued generosity, we have been able to increase our impact in classrooms in the U.S. serving children from every walk of life. To highlight some of your impact, we would like to share GITC classroom teacher Becca Zauderer’s story of service.

Becca is a new teacher, in only her third year in the classroom. The summer after she graduated from University of California, San Diego, she trained in music integration with Guitars in the Classroom in a 1 week intensive class. She was a quick study with our simplified playing method and in the fall, she took her ukulele and guitar to Korea where she used music to teach English to young Korean students.She was encouraged by the students' success and sent videos of them back to us at GITC to share her excitement. 

When Becca returned from her year teaching abroad, she accepted a position at Cherokee Point Elementary. Located in City Heights, San Diego, a community that has become home to many political and economic refugees, Cherokee Point has been designated a trauma informed school. Every child has been through a traumatic event. Teachers are trained in restorative practices that nurture the children's emotional and physical recovery. Classrooms become safe places that teach children constructive ways to express themselves, build trusting relationships with their peers and teachers. For the past two years, Becca Zauderer has made singing and making music an integral part of that process.

This year, Cherokee Point was given the opportunity by the San Diego Unified School District to participate in a revolutionary initiative to address the needs of impoverished students through the arts, integrated into academic study. Becca advocated passionately with her principal and fellow faculty members to bring our work to the school. After some very careful deliberation, 7 more teachers made the commitment to train with us. GITC teaching artist, Jody Mulgrew is already co-teaching with kindergarten and first grade teachers there.

Without your support, these students would not have access to music education. Your gifts have helped us put training, educational materials, supplies and ukuleles these classrooms.

Then, just last month, Becca and her Cherokee Point second and third grade class had the privilege of welcoming more than 30 principals from Hawaii tp their room to observe the role of music in boosting student literacy. The children welcomed these esteemed visitors by them singing “Aloha Oe” as they entered the classroom. The song brought smiles and a few happy tears to the visitors and helped the students see their own ability to become friendship ambassadors through music.

You can read more about Becca’s advocacy and her adventure using GITC methods to teach in Korea, by reading our blog: http://www.guitarsintheclassroom.org/2016/09/meet-rebecca-zauderer-gitc-classroom-teacher/ 

We hope you've enjoyed reading this singular story of how training one willing teacher led to a transformative movement within an elementary school. Your support allows us to continue to infuse schools and classrooms with musical learning.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have allowed GITC's compassionate faculty members to accomplish. Together, we are making a remarkable difference for kids. We hope you will stay with us during the holidays and that you will continue to give your support to these efforts so more children can learn, grow and thrive through creative self expression and music in 2017!

With you in service,

Jessica Baron

Hawaiian Principals visit Cherokee Point
Hawaiian Principals visit Cherokee Point
Students in San Diego County
Students in San Diego County

Links:

Aug 15, 2016

Looking Back, Looking Forward with You!

Children lead songs for their families in June!
Children lead songs for their families in June!

Hello Musical Friend,

Thank you so much for your support of our work with Guitars in the Classroom. You’ve made the 2015-16 school year and summer one of great empowerment and change for teachers and students. Your support has fueled hope and given new abilities to hundreds of teachers. We are excited to look back and also look forward with you into the new school year.

More Teachers Trained than Ever Before

The impact of your contribution has made it possible to train almost 700 teachers in Southern California alone, quadrupling our reach to include hundreds of early childhood educators. You sustained us to keep the music alive in towns and communities of every kind and size- from remote Jasper County, South Carolina to the heart of Brooklyn, NY, from the flooded river banks of West Virginia to the public schools just outside of remote Yosemite.

New Receptivity to Integrating Music

We are seeing new schools and school districts of all kinds overcoming confusion about what it means to integrate the arts with academic instruction. Thanks to advocacy on the national scene, education leaders are getting actively involved in promoting music as a learning strategy. This means we must work harder than ever to maximize on this new openness and bring the programs to those who care.

Thanks to you, in eastern and southeastern states, GITC doubled its programs last school year as more and more teachers sought the chance to learn and teach through the power of music. Without charitable support it couldn’t have happened.

In many GITC communities, education is badly underfunded and teachers are so poorly paid they can barely afford to stay in their jobs. But your kindness has made it so we can help out. Just last month we were able to give ukuleles and instruction to students in a school for homeless youth and a child development center so poor they depend on selling churros to pay for supplies. You are creating "miracles" with every dollar you give.

Thanks to you, every week we hear from a grateful teacher who says, “This changed my life and my teaching!”

Now as we move into a new school year, we will be focusing our efforts to grow more programs throughout the country and to coordinate them better from our main office in San Diego. The key is to keep existing programs strong while opening new ones! To do this, we need help funding staff and infrastructure. Programs are only as strong as the foundation that supports them to function.

Special Education Inclusion

Because many of you gave to our microproject for providing music making in special education, this spring and summer GITC was able to initiate a pilot program for classroom teachers in Clay and Kanawah counties, West Virginia, San Diego county, California, and Los Angeles Unified Schools! Working with The Beamz, an engaging technological instrument, the teachers are receiving specialized training in setting up, operating and integrating the Beamz with all areas of academic study as well as social/emotional development! The Beamz gives children with limited dexterity, motor coordination and with cognitive impairment a way to make music using whatever mobility they can manage including eye movements ! You can learn more by watching the video.

New- GITC Teaching Artists

Something new that you can look forward to in the fall – GITC is expanding the role of teaching artists in Title 1 classrooms. Visiting GITC teaching artists will be partnering with classroom teachers to help them gain confidence and mastery of weaving the music into literacy and math lessons where it can strengthen comprehension and abilities. For teachers new to music, this makes a tremendous difference.

Courage to Play Campaign

If you can imagine the prospect of becoming a strumming song leader for learning for a classroom full of children, you know it takes courage to play. So we are starting a support campaign for teachers called #CourageToPlay throughout the 2016-17 school year. Please look for that at our facebook page this fall!

Music for Learning Serves Juvenile Offenders

Finally, after a year of exploring the role of music with teens in crisis, we are expanding our work in juvenile court schools to bring the hope, passion, discipline and potential of music to teens in transition between incarceration and education. We are providing guitar classes in alternative county juvenile court schools helping these at risk youth while they work to earn their GEDs. This effort has our teen specialists constantly improvising and creating new curriculum to respond to their students.

More Instruments Needed!

Can you please help? As always, we are asked to help provide more instruments for schools than we can afford. But donors helped us award 1300 instruments to school programs last year alone! Your generosity is essential to the success of this effort. You can make a difference here. At subsidized prices from our sponsors, just $25 buys a ukulele. $60 buys a guitar. Every gift you give makes real music making possible.

Thank you for choosing to change the world through your support of Guitars in the Classroom!

With you for the children,

Jess Baron

Links:

Jul 5, 2016

Thank you for including special needs students!

Students explore ukulele as part of learning
Students explore ukulele as part of learning

Hello, Friend,

Thank you so much for your recent support of this endeavor to fund musical inclusion for students with special needs. The support for this effort shows what a large need there is and how the issue has touched so many of our lives. Who among us is not related to a child or teen facing some sort of major school-related challenge? For this reason, we are going to launch a new microproject to address the same issue in a new way so please stay tuned to Guitars in the Classroom on GlobalGiving.org to keep this effort alive and expanding. Our next focus will be specifically geared for students on the autism spectrum.

I am excited to tell you a part of what your charity has already made possible. We are looking forward to accomplishing a lot more in the month ahead.

Just last week in one of our year around sites, Fay Elementary in City Heights, the two dedicated special education teachers Tony Nguyen and Val Simons got BEAMZ devices working with their students in their special education classrooms. These are rooms where some students are so severely challenged that the teachers have to be hyper vigilant at all time for safety. When kids are severaly brain impaired or are dealing with serious chemical imbalances, every student can be subject to their spontaneous episodes and violent behaviors. But as William Congreve said in eighteenth century, "Musick has charms to soothe a savage breast," and so it is true.

At Fay Elementary, thanks to a phenomenal faculty and administration and the generosity of the GITC community, we are well on our way to moving music outward not only into separate special ed classrooms but into "inclusion" classrooms as well. Now there are 6 BEAMZ devices at Fay and the early success reports are rolling in. Where previously we had started with singing, guitar and ukulele, there are now new ways for students to affect and control the individual instrumental sounds in one of thousands of pre-programmed songs. Check out the photos!

Tony has shared that his students LOVE the ukes and playing with the BEAMZ. They feel "like real DJs." Val sent us 2 videos that we are hoping to share at our facebook page soon. Her students' responses to this first musical exploration are incredibly joyful! She is getting started using the musical system to help students learn everything from self regulation to lesson content.

Thanks so much for your caring, for giving, and for staying connected to our work. You can touch base anytime on facebook and we'd love to see you there, or write to us directly. Your input and engagement are always encouraged.

Sending most grateful regards, Happy Fourth of July!

Jess

The sounds are soothing!
The sounds are soothing!
What sounds can my hands change?
What sounds can my hands change?
I
I'm a DJ!

Links:

 
   

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