Exceptional Learners Deserve Music, Too!

by Guitars in the Classroom
Exceptional Learners Deserve Music, Too!
Exceptional Learners Deserve Music, Too!
Exceptional Learners Deserve Music, Too!
Exceptional Learners Deserve Music, Too!
Exceptional Learners Deserve Music, Too!
Exceptional Learners Deserve Music, Too!
Exceptional Learners Deserve Music, Too!
Exceptional Learners Deserve Music, Too!

Project Report | Mar 25, 2024
Music for Mental Health at Marcy Alternative HS

By Jess Baron | Executive Director

Felicia's Music Room at Marcy HS
Felicia's Music Room at Marcy HS

Since 2017, Guitars and Ukes in the Classroom has been helping to supply instruments for children and teens in San Diego who have been experiencing stress, loss, trauma, or mental health crises and conditions. These exceptional learners in our home district are blessed to receive services by dedicated team of school psychologists and school counselors.

We have been fortunate to team up with one particular school psychologist, Felicia F., in her journey of musical caring, first at Valencia Parkway Elementary, and more recently at Marcy Alternative Learning Community, a high school for students with prevelant emotional support needs. Marcy is an extraordinary public high school, a safe place for suffering kids to get whole, grow stronger, and find their voices in the world. Felicia's incredible creativity has made this a musical experience for many. 

Through donations from kind people wanting to contribute their gently loved instruments, and from companies providing donated or discounted gear, we have been able to supply Felicia's music rooms at these two and other schools with a wonderful assortment of instruments for students to play.

In addition, when one of the students on her case load shows musical passion and dedication, and has no instrument to play, we have gone to bat to get them a special guitar, bass, or violin.

The KPBS link below gives you an intimate understanding of Felicia's work bringing healing and connection through making music in her classroom. It's well worth the watch.

Most recently, we were able to provide amps. a guitar, stand, and something else... Felicia knows we are her first call when a teen needs a therapeutic instrument.

Last month, Felicia brought "G," a sixteen year-old whose chronically ill mother depends on her solely for life-saving care at home, to ou attention. G carries huge stress - constant worry about her mom, and her own future. It's a tough situation for any adult, even moreseo for a high school junior. Many days, G cannot make it to school because her mother's needs surpass her own, including completing her high school education and making plans for her future. Life is one day at a time.

Fortunately, this year, G started coming to Felicia's music room, and one day, G picked up Felicia's bass out of curiosity. Within a few minutes she discovered her love of the instrument. It was a lightening bolt experience. She couldn't put it down. But Felicia has just one electric bass, and that was it.

Seeing the change that had come over G thanks to playing it, she let the student borrow the instrument temporarily, and called us with a special wish that we might find G a bass of her own.

We put up a prayer, and it was answered just a week later when we received a surprise email in from Joel R., a local musician who "felt a calling to give it to us" after he heard a podcast that morning about our work. He was nervous when he called. He said, "I know your organization is about guitars and ukuleles but is there ANY way you could use a bass?" We couldn't say yes fast enough!

The bass is beautiful and was in fine condition. Within three days, our staffer June had cleaned it up. given it fresh strings, and delivered it to the school where Felicia placed it in G's grateful hands. We have permission to share a photo, slighty altered for privacy, from that special day, below.

So...how did donations from this campaign help make this gift for G possible? The work our staff put into working with the donor, retrieving the instrument, evaluating and cleaning it up, collaborating with Felicia, delivering the bass and a bass amp to Marcy HS, then processing the tax-deductible gift and creating a thank you letter to the donor cost our organization $100 in labor. We think that is a very reasonable amount of money to dedicate to changing a young person's life, don't you?

GITC is only able to facilitate these personal miracles with help from individuals who donate for the benefit of students with exceptional needs. That's YOU. Thank you so much for being someone who has helped make this kind of difference.That is direct, real impact. Your gift makes the world a better place, one student at a time. There are many more needs just ahead, so if you would like to donate again, we promise your gift will have this kind of personal impact for a special student.

Thanks so much for being a part of this village helping students overcome hurdles, and rise to develop their potential through music. We are so proud and so glad that you're here. 

With deep gratitude for your charitable support,


Felicia and G with the bass
Felicia and G with the bass


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Organization Information

Guitars in the Classroom

Location: San Diego, CA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @GITCmusic
Project Leader:
Jessica Baron
San Diego , CA United States
$17,262 raised of $20,000 goal
240 donations
$2,738 to go
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