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Infuse Learning with Music in PreK-8 Classrooms!

by Guitars in the Classroom
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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!
Teachers Move Up a Level in Training in San Diego!
Teachers Move Up a Level in Training in San Diego!

Dear Supporter,

The summer has flown by very quickly and we have such nice news to share! As you prepare for the autumn ahead, thanks for taking a couple minutes to look back at what GITC has been up to with your help. We are grateful you stay tuned in with our organization.

This summer, Pk-12 teachers have been singing, strumming and songwriting new lyrics for learning in  intensive GITC classes! Over 100 teachers have come through week-long trainings with a handful of GITC faculty members.
These week-long experiences give teachers a chance to focus on music without the distractions of the school year and the benefits are enormous. They advance a full level in a week, write new material for their upcoming classes, grow as music leaders, role models and academic songwriters and make supportive friendships that last over the years.
Teachers have taken intensive week-long classes in San Diego, Santa Barbara and Mariposa County, California, coming from communities and schools from all over these regions.
We are extremely grateful to each of you who has helped us train teachers this summer and made sure we could put instruments into their capable hands. Thank you!
New for us this summer was infusing guitar lessons into summer (year round) education for teens who have run into trouble with the schools and the law guitar to the high school students at Bayside School in San Diego. Their school is part of the San Diego Juvenile Court Schools, and the students are on probation, have been expelled from other high schools, or have other individual needs that can be better met through this program . GITC trainer Dan Decker (Teacher of the Year for his district, Lemon Grove) wrote a blog about the experience that you can read at our website. 

And just last month, we were honored by top inclusion in this online article from Musician's Frirend's "The Hub" about music related not-for-profits Eight Nonprofits Changing the World with Music .
The summer months have seen some magnificent artist advocacy happening through concerts, live events and social media from our superstars. This is very important to the future of GITC because artists inspire community members to get involved at the local level.
Cody Lovaas finished up five school concerts just before school ended for the summer including one at our Title I for the Arts pilot school, Normal Heights Elementary and one at our Turnaround Arts school, Luther Burbank Elementary. And Brent Paschke (guitarist for Pharrell Williams) along with GRAMMY award winning fingerstyle master Laurence Juber (formerly of Wings) helped GITC founder Jess Baron co-teach an all-day workshop for K-5 music educators in Los Angeles Unified School District. Then in July, Jefferson Starship, Starship and acoustic jazz wizard Craig Chaquico got busy educating fans about GITC on radio, television and stage... and gave a great concert, during which GITC conducted a Live auction, including a Craig Chaquico signed guitar, that brought in $6000 to GITC programs!" We are excited to partner up with these passionate GITC artists to expand kids' musical horizons.

Also in June, our founder and director, Jessica Baron and Guitars in the Classroom were honored by the My Hero Foundation with the  prestigious 2015 My Hero Award during an evening celebrating heroism through music education at the Herb Alpert Foundation We hope you'll enjoy the video created to honor our leader and our work through the link included in this enewsletter.

Each time people hear about our non-profit, more children get the chance to learn through music in their schools. This is one reason the artists and the awards are so important. Artists have the power to inspire their fans and their fans have the power to join all of you who are helping to change the tide of musical access in public education. Together we can get this done.

Fall classes will be ready for teacher enrollment later this month and we are expanding classes quite a lot in 2015-16 thanks to your commitment to making music a part of learning for every child. Thank you for staying with us!

With over 50% of American children living at or below the poverty level, it's crucial to their success in school that we make learning positive, creative, supportive and collaborative. Nothing has both the power to bring us human beings together and uplift our spirits quite like making music!

Into a brighter future with your participation and our gratitude for all you!  Thank you from all of us working with GITC. Please keep giving. Your charity matters.

Warmly,

Jess

Music Teachers Join K-8 Teachers to Lead the Way
Music Teachers Join K-8 Teachers to Lead the Way

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Kinders Strum!
Kinders Strum!

Dear Friend,

They say pictures are worth a thousand words. We want to thank you at least that many times for the good you have been doing this school year by helping out. The photos in the report below are just a few from some of our programs in the San Diego area where we have volunteer photographers Mike Maher and Ismael Ortega visiting regularly. But trust me, this work is going on from coast to coast. From Oxnard, CA and Longmont CO to Worcester, MA and Burlington, VT, the teachers and kids are singing to learn and learning to sing.

It's been a busy school year and we're not done quite yet! Mr. Renner and his first grade (below) are preparing songs for Open House next week in a year round school where kids will be strumming and singing until mid July. You will see in the children's eyes the joy, exuberance and sense of belonging they feel when music becomes a part of their learning process.

We'll write again next month with a bigger report, but for now, please enjoy these glimpses into the magical experiences you kindness is creating.

With overwhelming gratitude,

Jess

Ocean Beach Elementary gets ukes
Ocean Beach Elementary gets ukes
Little Songwriters Collaborate on Spelling Songs
Little Songwriters Collaborate on Spelling Songs
First Grade Students Learn at Normal Heights!
First Grade Students Learn at Normal Heights!
Singing to Learn Contractions
Singing to Learn Contractions
What s Strumming Station Looks Like
What s Strumming Station Looks Like
Teachers Perform for Students with Cody Lovaas
Teachers Perform for Students with Cody Lovaas
Jason Mraz Joins Cody and GITC at Burbank
Jason Mraz Joins Cody and GITC at Burbank
Fifth Graders from Logan Heights Sing Out!
Fifth Graders from Logan Heights Sing Out!
Kinders Strum!
Kinders Strum!

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Teachers at Luther Burbank Elementary
Teachers at Luther Burbank Elementary

Dear Friend,

You may be asking yourself, "Why is Guitars in the Classroom thanking me for helping children learn to read? I donated to their music program. What gives?"

Recently, our organization has been focusing musical interventions in classrooms on helping students who are struggling to acquire English as a second language to improve their speaking, reading and writing skills through songs and songwriting. Your gift is making a double difference for these children because as they learn to feel, count and keep the beat, strum ukuleles, sing together and on their own, they are also learning to read.

Think back to when you first started reading. Do you remember the mystery of which way the stems to "b, d, p and q" went? Imagine growing up in a Spanish speaking household where h's are silent and j's sound like "y's", then coming to school and being expected to know how to spell words with all of those letters. Children in grade 2 who are still having trouble with these essential kinds of language components need a way to get the information into their minds and mouths that has nothing to do with a worksheet or a test. They must use them in motivating, meaningful contexts everyday.

This winter, your dollars are helping us train teachers to reverse the language learning train back into the station before it runs off the rails leaving kids behind. The teachers in underperforming schools around the US who are studying with us are writing lyrics to songs that will really matter to their specific students by teaching intial consonants, letter blends, consonant vowel consonant words and much more. By reteaching the basic letters and sounds embedded in an undeniable rhythm and melody, children are finally able to memorize, recognize and use them! We are seeing the kids enthusiastically grasping language while really loving learning through music.

This month, you can enjoy the feature piece from the Today Show that shows performer Jason Mraz interacting in a second grade GITC classroom at Luther Burbank Elementary School in Logan Heights, San Diego. This school has 100% poverty and over 70% English Learners. In that classroom filmed by the Today Show, we are coaching teacher Christine Tomkinson to also apply music to teaching skip counting! The link to the video is included in this report.

I hope you will feel proud of this work that YOU, yes you have made possible. Our work here in the barrio was funded exclusively by donations to this project! As part of the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities, our work at Luther Burbank does not receive government funding, just their inclusion in statistical outcomes after three years. Without you, we could not be participating. Now, 10 of the 13 faculty members on staff are actively training with GITC, leading and writing songs for learning, and kids in every classroom are strumming ukuleles during math, reading, social studies and science when they sing their lessons. The school is transforming from a place of conflict and suffering caused by abject poverty into a bright artistic environment with happier students and encouraged teachers. I was visiting yesterday and actually saw an 8 year old boy singing and skipping from his classroom to the office. A first!

Please stay with this project and help us create materials that teachers everywhere can use for free. We want every child to benefit from our efforts this year and your participation is necessary to make it possible. Our dream for the 2015 school year is a new place on the website with songs and lessons for English and Math learning at every grade level!

Thank you for giving us the support we need to make such a substantial difference in the lives of our neediest students. The ripple effect will be felt for generations.

Peace and grateful best wishes,

Jess

students and teachers
students and teachers

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Guitar at the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Cente
Guitar at the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Cente

Happy New Year, GITC Music Giver!

As 2015 begins, all of us working to bring music to learning across the curriculum with GITC want to thank you for a magnificent opening few months of school and a successful 2014!

This past fall thanks to each one of you, Guitars in the Classroom has been able to bring learning to life for children from Vermont, Massachusetts and Virginia, down the eastern seaboard through South Carolina, into the Gulf Coast region, through Michigan and clear across the country to California...then out into the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii! Your charity is making this progress and joy possible truly all over our nation as well as in parts of Canada! Teachers in Ontario continue to lead songs for learning and we are working on a pilot program now with leadership from Robert and Janet Godin in their city of Quebec. Music is ubiquitous, universal, and children benefit from singing to learn everywhere. Thanks to everyone here, the power of music is lighting up classrooms in so many places this school year.

This fall, you gave us the "fuel" to get instruments into the hands of teachers and children in classrooms in public schools that long ago lost their elementary music classes - and this feels like a miracle to kids who want so much to get the chance to learn. Teachers like Patrice Maller at Silvergate Elementary in San Diego learned to play and lead songs with GITC last summer. Now her student are writing songs regularly and playing them, too. You can read about that at our website. So are the children in Joey Sutera's class in Santee, California and you can see the joy on their faces in the photo below!  Children at the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center in the heart of South Central Los Angeles are learning to play guitar, too thanks to donor Jim O'Brien, here at Global Giving. And this year, on Maui, teachers at the Pomaika'i Elementary School worked with their students to write and perform songs about the water cycle on their island and about marine life!  These students have not had any formal music education but this year, their teachers are introducing ukuIele and guitars thanks to you.

I hope you'll take a moment to look at these photos and really see the spark your giving has lit for these young people and their teachers. Then consider what their lives would be like if you had not given a donation.

In these challenging financial times, with your contribution, GITC has been filling a critical gap for children who need upliftment, positive engagement and creative learnng through the arts! By helping their classroom teachers intelligently integrate hands-on musical experiences as a part of learning math, science, social studies, English and so much more, you are creating lasting change in the schools. Once a teacher learns to do this work, they have the skills for life! We are also working hard to support the return of music education to these schools and this fall even began training music teachers in Los Angeles Unified Schools to lead the way. These are exciting, hopeful times.

Together, we are collaborating on developing new understandings and materials for teachers that highlight the science of music, the math and patterning of composition, the acquisition of key reading strategies through songwriting and reading lyrics! In Oxnard, CA, students who are new to America and learning to speak and read in English through songs, singing and songwriting. In Burlington, Vermont, the students have been learning American history through song. In Boston, Massachusetts, the children are singing about their futures and how to aim high. In San Diego, they are singing about the order of operations, skip counting and garden science. All this music is because we are innovating in your name.

Please donate again if you love this cause and help us do more. At GITC, we know that one day, some of the children we reach in 2015 who are unable to read now will successfully graduate high school because we do this work together. Some will become musicians, es, and others will be creative thinkers in every field... and all will be able to pass the love of music and the body of traditional folk songs on to their own children.

Thank you for all you have made possible in 2014! One classroom at a time, we are making education better. Let's keep going.

With appreciation and gratitude,

Jess

Joey Sutera's Class
Joey Sutera's Class
Susan Tu's class in Burlington, VT
Susan Tu's class in Burlington, VT
GITC at Luther Burbank Elementary in San Diego
GITC at Luther Burbank Elementary in San Diego
Teachers practice water songs at Pomaikai
Teachers practice water songs at Pomaikai

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Fernando Pullum Center Students October 2014
Fernando Pullum Center Students October 2014

Dear Friends,

These are important weeks for students as they are adjusting to school and beginning to develop new relationships and good work habits in their new classrooms. Teachers are so grateful for the help, tools and inspiration you are enabling us to provide for them and the children through GITC's free musical training and instrument donation program. So many classrooms are overcrowded right now. Teachers find themselves handling a huge number of children with high needs. Bringing music into classrooms in transition can shift the whole school day. The right song calms anxieties, brings children together, creates focus and good listening, and eases students into learning with joy. Add songwriting for learning lessons and you have a happy classroom despite the challenges! Thank you for helping us to make this possible. We need you now more than ever as demands for our services are rolling in every single day.

Did you know that each teacher who trains with us receives a ukulele to keep and a guitar to borrow long term at no charge? They also receive over $100 worth of musical supplies to help them lead songs for learning in their classrooms. None of this would be possible without YOU and our sponsors. This is true community participation and change in action!

Your gift to Guitars in the Classroom gives us the resources we need to track down the precious instruments and supplies, get them shipped to schools, sometimes all the way across the country, and to staff our free programs. That is some pretty heavy lifting. You and our on-the-ground volunteers are moving mountains of musical instruments. Anthony Tinelli, Ariel Solana, Francesca Ashcroft and Sydney Baroy are here handling the boxes, the tuning, the inventorying and delivery of guitars and ukes every week. You can see Anthony and Ariel in a photo with this report.

You help us with everything- from covering crucial, nitty gritty expenses such as paper, toner and stamps to the necessary program insurance required by school districts, and above all else, wages to pay the people who train the teachers, our extraordinary faculty members.These folks are the kindest, most grounded yet creative people you would ever want to meet. They think of teachers as great lights who spark each young mind, heart and spirit entrusted to their care everyday. They make passing the musical skills and traditions on to these teachers their personal missions. They place the instruments in their hands, visit their classrooms, send them songs for teaching everything imaginable, go to their school concerts, write them notes when they get sick. Our trainers are really present and connected and we are so grateful they stay with us over the years.

While a handful of GITC trainers choose to volunteer their services, almost everyone is paid... not just a barely passable teaching wage but one they can feel good about. This is so important. Music teachers in schools are chronically underpaid if they have jobs at all anymore. With years of training and experience, many choose to work for fewer dollars than others and to settle for part time work as the result of budget cuts. They would rather do this than change jobs because they see how their ability to bring the music into children's lives is shaping them as human beings and helping them thrive in school. Many other nonprofits even ask their music specialists to volunteer their time. But we know they have mouths to feed, too. You are helping these very deserving people keep going through their roles in our organization.

This fall, we are providing free training and instruments to Title I (low income) schools, teachers and students in Vermont, Michigan, Massachusetts, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Illinois and California, thanks to you.This includes our work at Burbank Elementary School in Logan Heights, San Diego, a school designated this fall as a Turnaround Arts school by the President's Committee for Arts and Humanities. Bringing music to this school  whose population faces staggering challenges to survival and whose students need a great deal of help learning to read is our honor this fall and for the next three years. We ask you to join us to continue this important effort by donating to GITC next Wednesday on Bonus Matching Day!

We want to express immense gratitude to sponsor Don Oriolo and his Felix the Guitars and to the team at SAGA Musical Instruments and Rick Carlson KALA Brand Music Company for working closely with us to make sure every teacher has instruments for his or her classroom!  We thank Art Harvey and Onboard Research for helping us provide tuners for the instruments to our fledgling music leaders, Peter D'Addario of D'Addario Strings for making sure everyone can strum, Jasmin Powell at Dunlop Manufacturing for providing picks that spare fingers and capos that bring songs up to the keys best for children's sweet voices, and Janet and Robert Godin of Godin Guitars for always helping with beautiful guitars, guidance and ingenuity! (They also send us special "lefty" guitars for all our southpaw teachers!) The attached photos show you just how much these companies are essential members of the GITC village that is raising 20,000 musical children this fall!

Please enjoy the photos from our programs this fall, know how much I appreciate what you have done to make great things to make them possible.... and please, please, please mark your calendars for this coming Wednesday when your gifts can go farther and make a vital difference in the lives of so many children.

Thank you for caring and joining us on behalf of the children and the future of music,

Jess

Genevieve Hammond and her Felix the Cat Guitar in
Genevieve Hammond and her Felix the Cat Guitar in
Preschool & Head Start Teachers in San Diego Unifi
Preschool & Head Start Teachers in San Diego Unifi
GITC in Santee, CA
GITC in Santee, CA
Anthony and Ariel Rock the Guitar Inventory
Anthony and Ariel Rock the Guitar Inventory

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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
$35,300 raised of $42,000 goal
 
540 donations
$6,700 to go
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