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:

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:

 
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