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Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!

by Guitars in the Classroom
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!
Judy Ann Johnson
Judy Ann Johnson
Dear Friend of GITC,
I hope this report finds you enjoying the first days of summer. Usually we send you a broad look at what has been happening with programs. But today, I want to share about something special that your gifts made possible, something that helped a veteran teacher make one of her final wishes in the world into a reality.
Judy Ann Johnson was a light in the lives of her famly, friends and her students. She taught in our home district, San Diego Unified, for 20 years. She was a dedicated first grade teacher at a school with her last name, Johnson Elementary. Johnson is one of those special small campuses that feels like home. The office staff is friendly, there is almost no place to turn around, and the walls are covered with murals. It was a perfect place for Judy who adored the arts. She was a skillful painter, singer and she played the guitar!

Judy joined GITC in the summer of 2018 and through her short time with us, she brought our work to her school. She applied to SD Unified's fledgling VAPA Foundation for a classroom grant to purchase ukuleles for the students to play and was awarded that grant for $500 at the beginning of 2018-2019.

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Through one of our wonderful sponsor partnering companies, Saga Musical Instruments, Judy ordered 24 soprano ukuleles for her classroom. Our Tuning Archangel, Rodney Howard got them ready and we personally delivered them to the school to make sure everything arrived timely. But Judy was not there. No one seemed to know what was going on. She had been out sick for several days.
Judy wrote to me from her hospital bed, explaining what was going on. She had received a very vexing diagnosis - Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and large pulmonary embolisms in her lungs. Most people would not be thinking about work when they get this kind of bad news. But Judy was worried that, because of her health crisis, her kiddos would not learn to play, despite being ready to strum, sitting in a big box in their classroom.
"I'm not sure who will be taking over my room, but I made a promise to those kids to learn the ukulele and if you can help me out, well wonderful," she explained. "Marissa Ramirez is the other first grade teacher who is my partner in crime.   I have my own little uke and guitar here that cheer me up. I am so grateful for everyone's kindness." 

We promised Judy that we would find a way to fund two weekly first grade teaching artist residencies in order that her promise to the children be fulfilled and her dream realized.
Thankfully, this came to pass because of you and helped us raise just enough funding to send GITC Teaching Artist. Jefferson Jay to bring joy and learning to Judy's and Melissa's kids. Jefferson is one of the most convivial people you'd ever want to meet and he was up for the assignment. 

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GITC is grateful to you! From January through April, teachers and students in both first grades learned how to strum, sing, and write their own songs for learning. Each child has music to help them tackle the tough moments in life, to bring them closer to each other, and to express how they feel.

Very sadly, we lost Judy this spring. She in the angel band now. But her love will live on in every student who learned to play because she made up her mind to give music to them- no matter what...and because you cared.
Those ukes will keep on being played at Johnson Elementary and we hope to do more next fall in both first AND second grades! The program will carry Judy's name.  And each time a new first grader or second grader comes into their classroom at the beginning of the year and sees those ukuleles on the wall next to Judy's picture, they will know that someone very kind had them in mind.
Thank you for bringing the magic. We hope you will stay with us and keep the goodness going.
With gratitude,
Jess

Links:

GITC Ohio County, WV
GITC Ohio County, WV

Happy Spring, Music Loving Friend!

Thank you so much for your ongoing support of this work. We are really happy to share how well things are going in the schools this spring. Classes from Brunswick and New Hanover counties in North Carolina to Los Angeles and San Diego counties, from Washington to Alabama are placing instruments, understanding and musical teaching into classrooms with your phenomenal help. We've started new programs in Raleigh and Ohio counties in West Virginia and in Aurora, Colorado with help from the Country Music Association Foundation and all of you. Our photos today are giving a shout out to new Faculty Trainers Andrea Sullivan, Julie Schultz and Terrie Catlow in each of these places!

Friends, enrollment is bursting at the seams in our programs. We have had to double up on supplies from our sponsors in order to get instruments, gig bags and musical tools like tuners and capos to everyone. Without TKL, Dunlop, Kala, Korg, Martin, Godin, David Broza and 1MG, G7 Capos Rock Tips and Kyser, this fall and spring would have been impossible. If you play music, you know these names- we want you to know these are some great folks making the music possible from the products side. The office has truly been a supply freeway. Gotta shout out to our programs coordinator, Sam Cadwell for her tireless work getting everything sorted out and shipped out! She could show Santa's elves a thing or two. There is a photo of Sam in this report, too.

We have even started an online class this winter for teachers who can't get to program for one reason or another and this is being taught by our amazing faculty trainer in Kansas, Amanda Johnson. Now no teacher has to miss out on this work if they can take the time to learn. 

Your charity is making a phenomenal difference in terms of providing teachers who are craving this training the opportunity to learn, grow and transmit everything they're doing in our free classes to their students. Please keep it up. Our work is boosting language proficiency in the early grades which is essential to helping students continue to succeed as they mature. A recent review of the data showed us that students who experience integrated music with GITC for 2 years have up to a 24% lead in achieving English Language Proficiency (ELP) over students who are not receiving this approach. You can learn more about the importance of attaining grade-level ELP by the end of third grade by following the link to the Annie E Casey study below.

I also want to give you a quick heads-up about our work in Special Ed.

GITC has now expanded our trainings to include more 2-day Adaptive Music conferences and teaching artist residencies for special educators, specialists and paraprofessionals. We are determined to get music to students in special day classes who have been left out of music. Our teaching artists in Los Angeles who have been working primarily in transitional kindergarten,  extended transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms are now also serving in higher grades AND in the Carlson Home Hospital schools with teachers of children who are isolated in home and hospital settings by extreme medical conditions. Through these 10-week residencies, the home hospital teachers are now learning to give students what they need to thrive through the power of making music and singing songs. Music is relieving children's pain, is giving them a sense of vitality and joy! Your gifts for special education can go through our campaign for that initiative if you are interested in helping in this way.

Is there a community you want to support where you think music is needed? Please let us know. Are you living somewhere where a GITC program is taking place and you might like to visit? We'd be happy to make introductions for you. We hope for you that this year you can have a direct experience of the magic and the real musical, academic and  life skills and abilities you are cultivating through our work!

Thank you for being here, let's keep this music alive!

With love and gratitude for you,

Jess

Raleigh County, WV
Raleigh County, WV
Sam Cadwell, GITC Programs Coordinator
Sam Cadwell, GITC Programs Coordinator
Terrie Catlow in Aurora, CO with a student
Terrie Catlow in Aurora, CO with a student

Links:

Laurence Juber Makes a Difference
Laurence Juber Makes a Difference

Dear Supporter,

All of us at GITC are so grateful for your support throughout the school year. Thanks to each of you for giving to this important cause. Because of you we are bringing music to kids who would otherwise not have the chance to become musical. With your help, they are learning play a real instrument, sing songs that uphold musical traditions,  sing together as part of something larger than any one person, and build what they are learning into songs they remember. This is the stuff that makes learning inspiring and fun...and long lasting.

Because you care, we were able to train 450 teachers this fall, place instruments into classrooms in 10 states, send teaching artists to make a difference in 24 high poverty primary classrooms, share adaptive music strategies with special educators and leaders from Special Olympics, improve our instructional materials, make our websites friendlier for visitors and educators, and so much more.

Today we want to share one cool thing that happened recently. We were able to bring Grammy award winning composer, arranger, recording artist and super fingerstyle guitarist, Laurence Juber to give a master class to 110 young guitar students at Correia MS and Point Loma High School in San Diego. Experiencing artistic mastery and being able to ask questions of the artist is enough to inspire students to aim higher, practice longer, and achieve more.

These guitar students listened with great enthusiasm to this former member of Paul MacCartney's band Wings. They gave their rapt attention as Laurence blew them away with his stylings and helped them draw direct connections between medieval and classical compositions and popular music over the past 40 years. He taught them about the evolution of the guitar beginning in ancient times with the oud and medieval times with psaltery, lute and cittern. He brought students forward through time and across continents, performing excerpts from his latest recording, Touchstones. You can read an interview with him about this historical musical journey here: https://www.laurencejuber.com/touchstones/ 

When GITC is able to bring a renowned artist to a school to work directly with students, we are able to nurture young people from their first experience with making music, into more advanced pursuits. LJ was there with us in the beginning and now, 18 years later, he is still raising the barre for bringing acoustic guitar into the realm of excellence in music education. We are immensely grateful for his heartfelt appreciation!  You can learn more about his music and life at http://www.laurencejuber.com/.

Overall, we are writing with great news. Winter classes will be launching in 12 states in early 2019. 300 guitars are being donated to GITC by Israeli superstar, David Broza, and we just got an amazing donation of guitar and ukulele strings from Kala Brand Music so every classroom can have instruments with fresh strings. Human kindness like yours is going to give more kids than ever the chance to discover the power of music to improve life, boost creativity and health, and impart learning in 2019. Please stay with us. Your charity is working!

On behalf of our board, faculty, staff, volunteers, teachers and most of all, the children, we wish you a truly blessed year ahead!

Let there be peace on Earth,

Jess

Mary Jennings-Mull
Mary Jennings-Mull's students' first concert!

Links:

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,

Jess

Music Focuses Students!
Music Focuses Students!

Links:

New Brunswick County Teachers Learning to Play
New Brunswick County Teachers Learning to Play

Hello Kind Supporters,

Another productive school year at Guitars in the Classroom is coming to an end now, and we couldn't be prouder of the participating classroom teachers, their students and our very devoted teaching artists and faculty members for the ways that they have inspired and accomplished such creative learning this year! We'd like to share with you a few highlights from our programs in San Diego, Colorado and North Carolina.

San Diego

First up we want to tell y'all about Jody Mulgrew, GITC's National Teaching Artist of the Year. Jody has been working in a program called Learning Through the Arts for the past two years. San Diego Unified School District is collaborating with 20+ local arts education nonprofits, bringing arts integration programming to thousands of students in nearby schools, and Guitars in the Classroom is thrilled with the literacy work Jody has done at Euclid, Cherokee Point and Normal Heights elementary schools. This year, Jody worked with 1st and 4th grade teachers at Euclid to support the classroom teachers' important literacy goals and objectives through singing, songwriting and playing instruments. Students from more than a dozen countries have deepened their grasp of the English language, improved their writing and reading skills, and have mastered important concepts, all through the power of song and playing ukuleles.

Jody also brought empowering songs such as "What Can One Little Person Do?" and "I'm On My Way to Freedom Land" to his students. And working with many refugee children, he taught them to sing and play the traditional folk song, "500 Miles." Their SRO end of year performance brough tears and children who have fled war and persecution gave voice to their own life experiences through these age old words. "Lord I'm one, Lord I'm two, Lord I'm three, Lord I'm four, Lord I'm five hundred miles from my home and I can't go back home this-away. Not a shirt upon my back and not a penny to my name, and I can't go back home this away."  Jody has also been working closely with GITC's special education team to unearth best practices, allowing ALL students to participate in and learn through music. This Sped Lab (as we affectionately call it) has not only benefitted students at Euclid but has also been a springboard for providing music inclusion training for special olympics leaders in Phoenix, AZ and for all who will be attending our Sped Adaptive Music Conference this July. He is joining our faculty on July 20th to help us train 60 educators to make music accessible for students with every kind of disability and challenge. We are blown away by his compassion, teaching skills and musical talent. You can learn more about Jody's own music here. https://www.jodymulgrew.com/ 

North Carolina

Jeremy Mathews, a gifted music teacher and longtime GITC faculty member could barely keep up with the demand for his GITC instruction and expertise in Brunswick County and New Hanover, NC. Undaunted, Jeremy worked with the Brunswick County VAPA department to structure full classes on alternating weeks so everyone could be served. Classes were truly bursting at the seems with teachers who wanted to integrate music into their classrooms. When we asked the teachers how we could make their experience better in the future, the overwhelming response was simply, "Give us more!" Their enthusiasm for the program is inspiring, and definitely caught the attention of those at the top. Thank you to our guitar and ukulele sponsors, Godin, Kala, Oriolo, Saga and Korg for helping make sure every teacher learned to play both instruments!

Connie Enis, Director of Fine Arts & Advanced Studies for Brunswick County Schools, had this to say about Mr. Mathews:

"It has been my pleasure to work with Jeremy Mathews with the three different classes we have scheduled in Brunswick County Schools here in NC.  The teachers and other folks who have participated have thoroughly enjoyed their time in those classes.  The learning that has occurred has encouraged them to use their newfound skills with songwriting and playing instruments like the ukulele and the guitar in their various classes.  Many of those participants have reinforced the notion that professional development should be fun, creative, relevant, informative, and hands-on.  GITC addresses all those descriptors.  We are very fortunate to have had this musical exposure here.  Many thanks go to you and all involved in this powerful grant endeavor to spread the love of music to so many who would not have otherwise had this opportunity."

 Colorado

GITC is always looking for communities who value music and are facing tough economic challenges to help. This year we came across Pueblo, Colorado where the leaders in both music education and early childhood education responded to our outreach with a resounding, "Please bring it on!" GITC music education trainer Linda Emmerman from Longmont and classroom teacher trainer Joan Maute from Fort Collins teamed up to get teachers from both Pueblo city and county schools strumming and singing to teach through the power of song. We are excited to learn that their VAPA coordinator is looking at supplying her participating classrooms and schools with sets of student ukuleles so kids across the grades all over town will learn to play, sing and write songs for learning in the fall. Thanks to everyone who is helping!

Of course, Guitars in the Classroom doesn't stop making a difference when school's out. We keep right on training teachers all summer long! Your generous donations allow us to engage teachers in intensive trainings and workshops, building their capactiy to facilitate strumming, singing and songwriting for learning in 2018-2019. We have full summer intensives starting this week and right after that, our first ever free Sped Adaptive Music Conference which is already full, and then the annual 3 dayTeacher Retreat in the mountains of Julian, CA where teachers can recharge their energy and take giant steps forward musically speaking with round the clock classes, To learn more, please visit our new website and check out the blogs under News & Events.

Thank you very much for helping our charity make it possible for teachers and students to experience the joy and power of making and learning through music on a daily basis. Please mark your calendar and join us on July 18th for the Global Giving Bonus Day! Because we have a "superstar" rating, your donation will qualify for a generous 50% match between 9 a.m. and 11:59 pm EDT (or 6 a.m. and 8:59 pm PDT) while matching funds last. We hope you will want to make a great big difference through GITC in just 9 days!

With gratitude for your encouragement and support, let's keep growing together!

 Jess

Jody Mulgrew, National Teaching Artist of the Year
Jody Mulgrew, National Teaching Artist of the Year
Linda Emmerman trains music educators for GITC
Linda Emmerman trains music educators for GITC
Teachers bring joy to learning in CO!
Teachers bring joy to learning in CO!
GITC Classroom Teachers at Euclid Elementary
GITC Classroom Teachers at Euclid Elementary
Special Olympics Leaders Training with GITC in AZ
Special Olympics Leaders Training with GITC in AZ

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Guitars in the Classroom

Location: San Diego, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @GITCmusic
Project Leader:
Jessica Baron
San Diego, CA United States
$34,895 raised of $42,000 goal
 
521 donations
$7,105 to go
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