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.
Oct 14, 2013

We're Strumming into Fall!

Music Makes a Difference in learning!
Music Makes a Difference in learning!

Hello, Supportive Friend of Music!

We want to give you a quick note to catch you up with the good things your gift has made possible already this school year! It’s an exciting time and I am so grateful you are with us!

The school year is off to an exciting (and somewhat controversial) start around the U.S. with the introduction of the Common Core Content Standards. These standards bring critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication skills to the forefront of America education. Instead of focusing primarily on units of test-able factoids and quantifiable memorization, the Common Core attempts to help our kids employ their bright minds in collabroative, creative and useful ways that will lead to long term understanding and success.

While many teachers agree it’s a move in “the right direction,” it also steps up the work load for teachers everywhere and increases the expectations for our students. Much discussion about these standards is underway everyday. Not everyone agrees on their value or viability but in general the buzz is positive. At its’ best, the Common Core is asking teachers to engage students in compelling activities and projects that build not only core subject area knowledge but also help them develop lasting life skills for the 21st Century.

With your support, GITC can make the process as joyful, artistic and effective as possible this year! Music will absolutely help. The power of music to engage everyone and lift spirits is undeniable. Please find the link to a great article about why music makes things so much more enjoyable with this report.

This week GITC will be sharing at our website a NEW how-to powerpoint that breaks the goals of the Common Core down within a framework of 21st century skills, and weaves the whole process through collaborative student music making and songwriting for learning. This should make connections clearer for teachers and also make it easier for any teacher to show her or his administrator how and why music has a helpful place in the general classroom!

Please stay with us to help us launch new programs - in alignment with the Common Core- this fall. We already got started in Hampton, Virgina, Clay, West Virginia, Oxnard, CA, Vista, CA, and in a few weeks we start in Lansing, MI!

Guitars in the Classroom needs your continuing support to give teachers the training and supplies to make music in the general classroom possible. Together, let's empower teachers to boost student engagement and success through writing, playing and singing songs with new vocabulary and better language fluency. Let's give them music that improves student reading comprehension and the ability to decode language syllabically. (Remember that song lyrics really emphasize the different syllables in each word as it scans across musical notes.) Let's pour music into our schoools together.

Your donation of any amount makes a difference not for one or two but for 240 30 children at a time!

These darling students in the photo you are seeing are only in their second month of third grade at Sandburg Elementary School in Mira Mesa, Ca. Their teacher trained with us - and they can each already play four chords on ukulele! As a class they have already written five songs for math, language arts and science lessons! In this photo they are playing “The Earth is Our Mother” as part of their study of the Kumayay people in preparation for Thanksgiving. You can see the engagement and joy in their faces- they power of the music in their hands.

Please give now and make this magic possible for children in classrooms all over the United States. You are helping us change so many young lives when you take action on right here on!

Thank you for your awesome support. Together we are making a difference every day.




Oct 11, 2013

The Ukes Have Landed!

CJ loves making music!
CJ loves making music!

Dear Supporter,

Thank you for playing a key role in changing the lives of young children through our combined efforts! This project has been a total success, bringing a special focus to the effort to place ukuleles in preschools, early childhood and primary grade classrooms. This is the last report you will be getting about this campaign because, amazing as it is, together we've succeeded!

Please meet some of the special children whose lives your generosity has touched. Before this project, these kids would come to school everyday while their parents went off to work, some parents working not just one, but two or three part time jobs to keep groceries on the table. Their classrooms had enough funding to provide basics. But not enough to make music a reality. And we agree, I know, that music deserves to be a "basic." But sadly this is no longer the case in early childhood and primary classrooms. It has been defunded on a widespread basis.

But you are joining GITC to make a difference! With your gift of funding for a ukulele, combined with funds raised in our other campaigns on GlobalGiving that train teachers to lead music, these students have been singing to learn- and strumming along, to not just sometimes but many times each week!

In a life filled with stressors induced by the economy and an ever competitive world, when you have helped us add music to the lives of these children, you have given then hope, happiness and new abilities. Thank you SO MUCH.

We are ready to close out this campaign because- with your empowerment and encouragement- enough help is now coming to supply our programs with ukuleles from three different musical instrument companies! They are not charging us for the instruments at all. These companies include Kala Brand Music Company, Hohner U.S.A., and Dana B. Goods. And we are hoping to include two more companies to this ukulele-gifting crew by the end of 2013.

Would you like to help us raise funds to open up more free teacher training programs for young children? This is where the magic truly begins- with a teacher who learns to share and lead the music. We really do want and need your assistance in this effort.

Please join us to make an especially BIG difference on OCTOBER 23 during Bonus Matching Day on Global Giving! That morning, would you please contribute to our forthcoming campaign called Songs in their Hearts and Strings in their Hands?

We’ll put that micro-project up online next week so it will be ready for your donation on the 23rd when Global Giving will match your gift at 30% while funds last. Please help us reach our goal of $3500 and when we do, two anonymous GITC donors will increase the campaign earnings by $1500!

Do you have other ideas about ways we can work together to bring music into the lives of more children in need? If so, I hope you will get in touch by writing to me here, or calling the office at (619) 578-2326. I look forward to sharing your ideas soon.

May all the goodness you have given to others come back to you many times over…

With gratitude,


Paul a
Paul a
Our 3rd Grade Buddies Play Too!
Our 3rd Grade Buddies Play Too!


Sep 26, 2013

Pre--5 Music Matters Most!

Reading Counts and GITC Helps
Reading Counts and GITC Helps

Hello, Friend,

This fall we are preparing to launch new teacher training programs from Virginia to California with classes in the middle in places like Lansing, Michigan and Longmont, Colorado. Wherever there are young children, you will find students who no longer have the opportunity to learn to make music in their schools because so many general music programs in the early grades have lost crucial support. GITC is here to help because you are helping us. Please keep going. Give us your vote of confidence. We are managing to make a difference each time you do!

Guitars in the Classroom's aim is to bring a guitar to every classroom and music to every child. We want each child to benefit from the power and beauty of making music together as a part of learning lessons in any subject area.It is a sure fire way for students to acquire new vocabulary and understandings. All learning hinges on these.

And just so you know, GITC is not meant in any way to be used as a substitute for music education. We believe a strong music education program as part of public education is good and important for child development and cultural preservation.We want to see music restored so children can have the full complement of musical opportunities from violin lessons to marching bands. This kind of music education is what makes some kids want to go to school in the morning and there is too little of it available now.

Yet- in these challenging financial times, GITC is filling a critical gap for children by helping their classroom teachers intelligently integrate hands-on musical experiences as a part of learning math, science, social studies, English and so much more. We are teaching them to help their students compose new Lyrics for Learning for every subject, everywhere we are present. This year, in hardworking communities like Vista, California, or in the high desert in Victorville where rural poverty is intense, down in Compton, Watts and Carson, CA where children face the threat of violent crime each day, and up the coast in Oxnard where many people work in the fields to feed the nation, we are excited to begin work helping teachers bring the power of song to their children. 

We want their music to carry hope, heart and important learning- new language, math equations, scientific processes, life saving practices, our American history, and messages of friendship, honesty, heroism. And so with our hearts filled with gratitude to everyone who has helped us move through the summer to the special month of October when supplies go out and classes start, THANK YOU!

Please donate again and help us do more to bring reading abilities up in the early grades by threading language through the beauty of songs and children singing. One day, children will successfully graduate high school because we have done this together today.

Together we can make a difference.

Peace and blessings from our office in San Diego,


Music Makring in Clay, WV
Music Makring in Clay, WV
Students in GA watch GITC artist Laurence Juber!
Students in GA watch GITC artist Laurence Juber!
Teachers trained in San Diego over Summer Break
Teachers trained in San Diego over Summer Break


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