Save Their Lives & Enrich Their Futures with Music

A microproject by Guitars in the Classroom
Vetted
Tricia de Luna, Jess Baron and Wendy Aardappel
Tricia de Luna, Jess Baron and Wendy Aardappel

Dear Friends,

We cannot thank you enough for the support you have been giving this project since its beginning. This summer marks a turning point for the work and mission of Guitars in the Classroom and it's because of you and others who feel as you do. Please allow me as the founder of this work to explain.

When we started trying to convince people that classroom teachers without a musical background could learn to make and lead music in their general classrooms, there was resistance. Great resistance as we have become a society that relegates musicality to experts, to stars. There was a toxic idea that only those born with special talent had the right to open their mouths and sing.That only prodigees deserved attention. And this idea hurt me. Because I have known since I was a tiny child that music is a life-giving river that runs through us once we find it. It carries away trouble and stress and it brings us nourishment of the soul, the mind, the heart and the community. We all need a chance to discover that river and all it accomplishes.

Fortunately for GITC, amidst to fear and resistance, there was hunger, too... hunger for making music in teachers and in people like us, from concerned families who saw their children's creative options shrinking... and from creators of musical instruments who saw the next generation opting for screens as music programs in schools declined. 

Enough people thought, "Maybe it can work. Maybe. We should see what will happen if we try."There were some key people in the beginning who believed hard enough to push this boat out into the river of change so it could catch the wind.

But finding funding, tools, locations, friends, and teachers to try this grand experiment has happened in small increments and at key moments. Advocates came through. And we started in earnest.

The people who have pulled us along from the start have been the children themselves, begging for more music. Not asking Begging. They gave their teachers the faith, incentive and motivation to try, to learn, to play and to sing.

Then YOU came along! You and individual donors like yourselves stepped in. Here on GlobalGiving, you stepped up. You let us know you LOVE music! You love children! You love learning! And you care about the old songs, the ones that bear the standards of many cultures, the ones we sing in classrooms. And you care for the new songs, the ones the children will compose and perform. These are songs that will have you as quiet benefactors. Just as the church of long ago funded the emerging artists of the baroque, you are funding the music of generations of children. They come from many countries and from parents of widely different backgrounds. Most are poor. Most attend schools with shamefully small budgets and scant resources for the arts. But their leaders have a vision. They ask us for help. And you are there with us to bring it.

This summer is different than any other we have had since 1998. There are 100 teachers who are training with us in depth in short, intense workshops lasting 3-5 days during which they will start with no musical experience and they will leave playing guitar, ukulele, singing the old songs, and writing the new ones for learning. They will feel, embrace and learn to carry the joy of music. Come August, they will meet their new students and give that joy far and wide.

Many of the teachers studying with us this summer serve military families  meaning their schools are located near Naval and Marine bases. Their students suffer from emotional burdens born of families divided by service, deployment, trauma and injury. These children struggle in school and we want to help them take heart and move forward.

Others are coming from schools around the state of Massachusetts and a large number teach special education. We will be showing these teachers ways to use music to engage children with special needs and challenges using positive language, musical dynamics, rhythm, movement, repetition, and oppportunities to explore leadership through singing and strumming.

We will share photos on an ongoing basis on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/guitarsintheclassroom. But in this report we give you photos of teachers who helped us launch the summer intensives last year and who have done so much musically this year that their classrooms have become artistic havens for kids. Meet Tricia de Luna whose children learned to play ukulele in her fifth grade classroom and who created new lyrics to learn about American History. Meet Wendy Aardaapel whose first grade students wrote original lyrics and performed their songs for learning to tell stories this year. I am in the middle, celebrating their success at a party we throw each year for teachers to share their achievements with the community in San Diego. And know your dedication to this cause is empowering hundreds more teachers like Tricia and Wendy to become musicians and music leaders for learning each school year!

Thank you so much for all you do to make the work of Guitars in the Classroom possible. This summer, your gifts are helping us serve more and serve better. We are each and all so grateful for your support and compassion.

Together we are making a difference!

In solidarity with you for children, music and education,

Jess

Students at Challenger Middle learn ukulele!
Students at Challenger Middle learn ukulele!
Teachers in City Heights Become Music Leaders
Teachers in City Heights Become Music Leaders
Teachers in Vista become Songleaders for Learning
Teachers in Vista become Songleaders for Learning

Links:

Melissa with a Kala Ukulele for Los Angeles!
Melissa with a Kala Ukulele for Los Angeles!

Hello, Musical Friend,

This little note is to send you a HUGE THANKS for all the help you have given to assist Guitars in the Classroom on this special microproject campaign. Congratulations! Our efforts are succeeding. The microproject has been funded and we are following through as described.

You donated funds that are helping us reach young students in impoverished areas where schools have very limited access to musical instruments and instruction and families lack the resources to afford them. You have graciously empowered us to bring ukuleles and guitars into schools in four very economically challenged urban neighborhoods.

Now we finally are making progress. It can take time to source and procure instruments that are the right kind and right size for small people. Getting instruments for them that will LAST and will sound and feel good in their hands is very important. Thanks to our sponsors at SAGA Musical Instruments and Kala Brand Music Company, we are finally able to get the right guitars and ukes. We are working in batches as the instruments become available. This week-end we will deliver 22 ukuleles to music programs in Compton, Watts, Carson and South Central and we'll bring the first batch of new guitars will go to the Fernando Pullum Comminity Arts Center in Leimert Park.

Here you see Melissa Ford and myself in the office as we are unpacking the little beauties! We want to thank you for making a dream a reality for hundreds of children who will play these instruments on a daily basis, sharing them and showing their classmates and families what they can do! As the instruments get busy in the schools, we will share photos at our facebook page on a regular basis. This way you can see the good you've done in action throughout the year. Please visit us at www.facebook.com/guitarsintheclassroom to stay in touch.

With infinite gratitude for all your do with your good will and resources,

Jess

Jess with a small classical for the Pullum Center
Jess with a small classical for the Pullum Center

Links:

Ellie Wong, Zhao Peng and Susan Krier GITC 2013
Ellie Wong, Zhao Peng and Susan Krier GITC 2013

Dear Friends,

Thank you so very much for funding our project for children facing exceptional economic challenges in urban Los Angeles. Because of you, we are preparing to deliver more ukuleles and guitars to the schools and programs in South Central Los Angeles and nearby communities in early May!

This week, we are placing an order for 18 guitars and 15 more ukuleles with the funds you have given. Music Educator Ellie Wong is eager to receive these ukes. She has already moving 30 of them between schools in Carson, Watts, South Central and Carson since last Septemeber, providing musical learning for an amazing 800 students! We have 15 more in gig bags at the office, ready to deliver and we will add 15 more as soon as this campaign is finished. We are only $550 away from reaching this goal, together.

Ellie is astounding. A music educator for 5 decades, she rolls down the road to all 4 school sites and hauls instruments in her little car as she goes - all week long. Can you imagine doing that at 70? She is an uber angel. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could raise enough for her to have ukes at EACH SITE? Included is a photo of Ellie during her GITC training class last summer. What a difference 1 week of instruction can make. The photo of Ellie with this report (she is standing in the center) also includes San Diego educators Zhau Peng and Susan Krier who both performed yesterday with 15 students at the San Diego Earth Day Festival at the Children's stage. What an accomplishment!

We have been waiting for a shipment of guitars from Asia to deliver to the Fernando Pullum Community Canter. I will be making a personal trip to the center to bring the guitars to the program in May and we'll take lots of photos. Special thanks to Donor Jim O'Brien for his fantastic gift to that center through this project! The teachers and students there are doing beautiful, life affirming work. Included in this report is a photo from the center's recent successful production of the Frog and the Princess.

Thank you for helping us make music a reality for inner city children. If you can give a little more to help us complete this campaign, it is rated NUMBER ONE right now at the Global Giving website! Now THAT is something to feel great about- thanks to each of you for making this happen.

With you for our children,

Jess

Frog and the Princess
Frog and the Princess
Pullum Dancers!
Pullum Dancers!
Children in the Guitar Program at Pullum Center
Children in the Guitar Program at Pullum Center

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Guitars in the Classroom

Location: San Diego, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.guitarsintheclassroom.org
Project Leader:
Jessica Baron
Encinitas, CA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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