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Oct 8, 2018

Thanks for Helping GITC Reach More Classrooms!

Your Brain on Music!
Your Brain on Music!

Dear Musical Friend,

Thank you for your support for the Reaching Classrooms and the Community campaign. Thanks to your contribution and those of other like-minded individuals who understand the value of our mission, the GITC staff has been very busy packing ukuleles and music supplies to send to the teaching artists who will help bring music to school teachers and young students this fall. Gratitude also abounds for our wonderful sponsors who provide materials for the GITC programs, including KORG, KALA, All Parts and Alvarez.  We couldn’t do this without all of you - our strategic partners!

Do you know how this work is helping students?  At a recent conference sponsored by the Museum of Making Music, GITC Executive Director Jess Baron served on a panel, along with music therapist Julie Guy (Music Therapy Center of California), western regional director Letitcia Rogers (Music and Memory), and Andrew Belinsky (Yoga and Sound). The team shared how experiencing the power of music can help people of all ages increase memory, improve their over-all well-being, and gain skills, talents and knowledge.  Jess served the role of addressing the educational uses of music. She was honored to share how strumming an instrument and singing songs for learning lights up the whole brain, activates the whole body and inspires the whole child. The power of this activity during the school day also calms student anxiety, increases student focus, improves student listening and speaking skills, and brings happiness into the learning environment.

Your support of our efforts this fall is making a difference for almost 500 teachers who have signed up for free classes so far- and more are registering every day. For every teacher who learns to teach through music and the power of song, an average of 80 students gain the ability to play and sing!

Thank you very much for your generosity and care for children. With your continuing participation, we can 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,


Music Focuses Students!
Music Focuses Students!


Jul 25, 2018

Success at the Special Ed Adaptive Music Conference!

Sped Conference Graduates 2018
Sped Conference Graduates 2018

Dear GITC Supporter,

We are floating on a cloud after the successful launch of our annual Special Ed Adaptive Music Conference! Your generous donations and support made it possible for Guitars in the Classroom to facilitate a rich and inspiring weekend of learning for 45 special educators, paraeducators and specialists in Carlsbad, California.

The conference kicked off with a wine and cheese reception at the Museum of Making Music and an unforgettable performance by the Heartstrings Band from One Step Beyond in Phoenix, Arizona. Jared Woolsey, the leader of the band, gave participants a look into how he facilitates student jam bands for these talented and passionate youth with disabilities; there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Please check out our facebook page to see clips of the band. 

Over the next two days, participants cross-trained in 3 different areas: Remo Comfort Sound Technology with George Thompson, Beamz Interactive Music Technology with Tom Reidy and Strumming and Singing for Learning with Jessica Baron of Guitars in the Classroom. You can see the training in progress through the youtube links below. Thanks to videographer Anabelle Vo and the My Hero Project for their help filming the conference!

Educators who attended the conference left equipped and inspired to implement their learning in the classroom, ready to create more accessible and enjoyable learning experiences for the students they serve. We invite you to experience a bit of the magic of the weekend by watching some clips from the conference on our YouTube channel.

This week we submitted a grant that we hope will fund the second year of this conference and extend our work in special education classrooms in San Diego County. We'll keep you posted!

We can't thank you enough for your commitment to the students in our community with special needs. It makes our hearts full to see donors supporting the educators who work to help these students thrive and include them in learning every day.

With gratitude and excitement for the learning ahead,


Founder/Executive Director

Special Educator Deborah Anderson thanks NAMM!
Special Educator Deborah Anderson thanks NAMM!


Jul 25, 2018

The Songwriting for Hope & Healing Has Begun!

Friendship is a Circle of Love
Friendship is a Circle of Love

Dear Friend,

Thank you for giving this special microproject a wonderful liftoff!

Thanks to each of you, GITC has been able to raise enough funding to fuel some genuine song collecting and writing. We are starting by reviewing the songs in our huge library. Our first category of songs for this project are about friendship. In times of trouble, we need to be able to call upon people we trust- and also make new friends to help us through. As Mr. Rogers so famously said, "Look for the helpers." We have chosen three songs about the characteristics of friendship and compasstion with examples of what friends do when their friends need help. One is by the great Guy Davis. Please watch the YouTube video to hear it. This song comes from our Green Songbook collection.

The second song is the old Campfire favorite, "Make New Friends," and our teachers are going to write 2 new verses to the round to describe the details of what a new friendship feels like for a child in need.

The third song comes from teacher songwriting that took place four summers ago when teachers from all over San Diego including many from Lemon Grove and an equal number of new teachers graduating from UCSD with credentials joined the GITC family. Here it is for you.

Friendship's a Circle of Love

written by GITC Classroom Teachers

to the tune "Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight"


If you want to have a friend then be a friend, be a friend, be a friend!

If you want to have a friend then be a friend

‘Cause friendship’s a circle of love


A friend is a person who helps with a smile, helps with a smile, helps with a smile

A friend is a person who helps with a smile ‘cause friendship’s a circle of love


My friend accepts me as I am, as I am, as I am

My friend accepts me as I am ‘cause friendship’s a circle of love


Friends don’t tease or laugh at me when I fall down and skin my knee

They pick me up and comfort me ‘cause friendship’s a circle of love


And if we start to disagree, I talk with her, she talks with me.

We solve our problems easily 'cause friendship's a circle of love.


My friend will listen when I'm sad.  My friend will listen when I feel bad

And even when I'm feeling mad 'cause friendship's a circle of love.


A friend is someone who talks to me, works with me, plays with me

A friend is someone who laughs with me ‘cause friendship’s a circle of love


My friend includes me every day, when she works and when she plays

And if she needs space that's OK 'cause friendship's a circle of love.


A friend is someone who’s always there, when I need something they will share

I‘m so glad that we both care ‘cause friendship’s a circle of love!

Yes friendship’s a circle of love!

What do you think our next topic should be? We are thinking songs that build emotional intelligence and promote self-care sound like a pretty good idea. Please feel free to drop us a line with your ideas, song referrals and encouragement. After all, friendship IS a circle of love. We are so glad you are in our circle and that we are in YOURS.

Blessings and thanks,



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