Sep 21, 2020

New Single Skill Residencies for Special Learners

Fun Items in GITC's Adaptive Music Kit!
Fun Items in GITC's Adaptive Music Kit!

Dear Friend of Exceptional Children,

Thank you so much for your caring support of GITC's efforts to make music accessible to ALL learners. This is such a big effort, really breathtaking when you think about how many decades students with exceptional needs have been left out of music education and denied access to opportunities to learn to play an instrument. We at GITC want to wake society up to every child’s ability to express themselves through music, and we intend this year to SHOW what this can look like this school year. 

Over the summer, more middle and high school special educators joined AMAISE through the online instruction, so our musical reach to students has expanded greatly. 

And this fall we have also opened a second level AMAISE online teacher training that provides individual coaching to the teachers participating in these teaching artist residencies now or who will begin later in the school year. 

We are now launching ten AMAISE-ing classroom teaching artist residencies. Our first residencies are taking place online as most districts are providing online or hybridized instruction. These are collaborative endeavors with highly engaged teachers who have completed our AMAISE training and are now ready to adapt music for their students with exceptionalities! Our teaching artists are now equipped with instruments to share with their classroom co-teachers and with students.  We’ll be keeping you informed about these residencies, called “Single Skill Teaching Artist Residencies” or SSTARs.  

Each SSTAR offers one-on-one music coaching from our teaching artist to a highly engaged AMAISE-ing special educator while they work with an individual student whom they have identified as being receptive to learning through music. In order to participate, each exceptional student needs a Home Music Helper (HMH) who will support them during the music session and continue to make music with them between sessions. In this way, not only will the special educator learn to lead important adaptive techniques with the student, but music can become a part of that student’s life at home everyday. In our three years of piloting this approach in person with students and HMHs, we have seen many families experience greater happiness as they develop new skills and appreciation for each other through the joy of interacting musically. 

Each one 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. Thank you for encouraging all of us at GITC with your generosity. Your participation helps us spread the light and we are very grateful.

With you, for all the children,

Gail 

Links:

Sep 11, 2020

We're Adding Songs for Social Justice

This Little Light with Student Songwriting
This Little Light with Student Songwriting

Greetings, Project Supporters!

I am excited to bring you up to date with the production of our songbook for hope, help, healing and comfort. In response to a series of brutal murders of unarmed Black Americans by police, our society has clearly entered into a time in which many citizens are sharing stories of suffering and loss as the direct result of racism and racial profiling. This is hard for any of us who understand the personal and social devastation these losses are causing. But for children, this violence is particularly hard to process.

GITC's answer is to add songs of resilience and empowerment to the collection as tools to aid the peaceful expression of a desire for racial reckoning in our society, Songs have a long history of supporting nonviolent protest for the cause of social justice. We have also begun offering teaching artist residencies that include these songs- and their history- as a part of musical learning.!

The songbook will be available for free as an online document with accompanying recordings and videos so anyone with access to a computer or smartphone will be able to learn to sing the songs, making a difference for teachers and students everywhere. These songs will stay with students in their memories throughout life, to be sung whenever challenges are great. You are making this possible.

In the meantime, please visit our blog pages listed below in links to learn more about how GITC music in helping to include all students and is addressing the important topic of social justice. 

We are thankful you continue to 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

Links:

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:

 
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