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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 Learn Something New!
Teachers Learn Something New!

Happy July, Friends!

Thanks for your commitment to making education a more musical, creative and meaningful experience for children by training their remarkable teachers to lead the music making! This summer, because of you, we are able to increase the quality of faculty training we are able to provide. Come fall, GITC trainers will be putting this knowledge to work in their programs so teachers all over the country, like the wonderful Liane Preston (featured in this parent-shot video) can make a greater difference for their students. Success comes in many forms, and with your participation in Guitars in the Classroom, music making can be one of them.

Liane teaches in a school district that lost its music education budget for elementary education several years ago. Learning of GITC, she immediately grasped the concept of music for learning and started attending weekly classes with us. She put everything she learned to work with her students in all subject areas. Not only does Liane reach the children in her own second grade class with music, but all those who come to her for reading groups and English Language Learning instruction experience music integration with Liane many times each week! This one teacher alone brings participatory music into the lives of over eighty students from Monday to Friday! Can you imagine what your gift is making possible when $1,000 funds six weeks of training for twenty-four teachers? The cost of teacher training comes to under $3 per student per year!

This summer, please help us prepare for the coming fall by choosing a program model or region you wish to "adopt" and we will be so glad to allocate your gift to that place and those teachers. Whether you are interested in helping in the Gulf Coast states, on the East or West Coasts, in the Midwest or the Wild West, there are teachers hoping you are as excited as they are to be able to save the music and make school a truly positive place for every kind of learner. You can donate at globalgiving.com, then tell us about your goal for your contribution by writing to jess@guitarsintheclassroom.org.

Please know that we really appreciate your solidarity and charity! Thousands of children's lives are getting better because you are making it possible to reach and teach them with song-based lessons and the joy of singing and playing guitar. Thank you so much for this generosity!

Keep on the sunny side,

Jess

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Dear Contributor to Guitars in the Classroom,

Thank you so much for making our free teacher training programs possible! This week, some exciting things happened for the GITC Global Giving campaign. GITC received employee gift card contributions from folks who work for companies that contribute to Global Giving, and we have been blessed with our first recurring contributor! Thanks to all of you and to the hard working staff at Global Giving for working hard to make this possible!

GITC is excited to welcome each of you donors who are choosing our organization on faith, having not yet been to a GITC teacher training class, observed a GITC classroom, or joined us for a GITC concert. We would love to invite you to have a personal experience with our organization! Please write to me at jess@guitarsintheclassroom.org if you would like to be included in something we are doing "on the ground" and we'll find a way to make it happen!

If you wish to share what has prompted you to support Guitars in the Classroom, we are super interested in hearing your personal story! Social change doesn't come in one mass movement, but is the collective effect of hundreds and thousands of deeply held and thoughtful personal decisions- made by each one of us, one heart at a time. What is important in your heart is what is making the difference in our schools. Please allow me to encourage you to share this with the GITC family.

We recently started adding a sponsor spotlight to our e-newsletters and next we will add a CONTRIBUTOR'S CORNER to celebrate you who are committing energy, resources, and focus to making music a part of learning for children in schools. Your personal decision can and will inspire others to reflect as well, and to choose to make a difference in some way, somewhere, at some time. 

Here are a few quotes for you from teachers who have written in to thank GITC for teaching them to lead and integrate music. This is how your kindness is changing the lives of teachers and children everyday and improving the quality of education. Thank you so much.

If you wish to continue helping GITC throughout the school year, will you please consider becoming a recurring donor? A small amount given each month keeps GITC going come rain or shine, and assures that we can reach teachers and children in communities all around the country with the hope, help, excitement, and excellence that learning through music makes possible. 

“In my kindergarten, I play guitar everyday to greet my students on the carpet before roll call. It’s like magic!”

 “I have been a third grade teacher for ten years and have seen many music programs disappear due to budget constraints. I am so thrilled to bring music back into my classroom!”

 “S., who speaks very quietly, was trying to share his song. The class couldn’t hear him and asked him to sing louder. With the rhythm of the song, he sang and spoke louder than ever before in front of his peers!”

“I explained that I was a student, too, and that I would be practicing what I learned in class with them so they had to be patient with me because I was learning just like them. I told them that they already knew the songs, so they had to help ME learn by singing very loudly! My only regret is not having learned to play sooner!”

“My kids said they would sing the Amigo song during STAR testing to help them remember synonyms and antonyms!”

“I now know it is ESSENTIAL to make music a natural part of children’s school day.”

I played “Get On Board” and the students really got into it! They were respectful and sang along. After playing the song, I told my students that I was new to playing music and that I hoped I did a decent job. One student, Cesar, said “What are you talking about Miss O.? You did a great job! You’re a rock star!” After that, all the students wanted my autograph and lined up to get one!” I walked away so inspired to keep practicing and learning more songs on the guitar for them!”

Wishing you a blessed week, a beautiful summer solstice, and a grand summer!

Jess

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Children Learn in the Garden
Children Learn in the Garden

Hello Wonderful Donors!

With the warming of the weather, GITC has gone out into the garden with our programs in May as we begin to help teachers unite science lessons with hands-on learning in school "life labs" where nutrition and health take on a whole new meaning. 
On May 11 and 18th, we piloted the first ever 'Sing Green Workshops' in the Conejo Unified School District, a bit northeast of Los Angeles, CA. This exciting new initiative has been made possible with help and involvement from musician Jack Johnson, his brilliant wife and partner in all things eco and non-profit Kim, and their Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, and with very much appreciated funding from the Guitar Center Charitable Giving Committee, located right there in Thousand Oaks!
Our good friend Moriah Harris-Rodgers, executive director of the Fender Music Foundation dropped in to participate with the teachers- a real treat! Moriah has had a hand in helping shape programs and get guitars to teachers over the past several years and it was great to see her. We would love YOU to do the same. Please join us for a class if you can to take part in the learning and fun while we create meaningful change in the schools. 
These Sing Green workshops utilize a book we created (called The Green Songbook) with active participation from all kinds of dedicated, inspired people. If you want to see who helped, you can! Just visit the website for The Green Songbook at www.GreenSongbook.com and peek inside. Any chapter you click will tell you about a different writer. And to see the artists involved, simply click on the Songwriters tab on the Look Inside page.
Sing Green teacher training workshops help teachers make Farm to School and Garden Learning an engaging, unforgettable, community bonding experience through the integration of participatory green music making with lessons on sustainable farming and gardening, plant science, nature lessons, and practical experiences building a school garden, and planting, growing, harvesting, preparing, cooking, and eating garden-grown food. 
Why is the music so important? Because long after the fun lessons end, the green songs will remain. Long after the garden has been studied, made into meals, and consumed, the green waste going into compost, the green songs will be sung and shared. And each song carries distinct knowledge, experience, and hope. It awakens good memories for the students and inspires them to go back into the garden, get outdoors, eat right, shop at their local farmer's market, conserve, reduce, reuse, and recycle, treasure nature and to protect the earth.  

Thank you for contributing to this work. The funds you have donated will help us make these Sing Green materials available to teachers wherever they are training with GITC. We hope you can enjoy getting out into a garden this week, renewing your spirit in sunshine and new growth, and perhaps you will even check out your community's school and community garden projects. We've included a link to the website allatonce.org where they list the non-profits affiliated with Jack and Kim Johnson's effort to cultivate Earth stewardship. Among those listed are some very exciting organizations involved in school and community gardening, just FYI.

Please enjoy,

Jess

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We Sing with Love
We Sing with Love

Dear Friend of GITC,

This is just a little note of thanks because your donation last month has given our staff rays of hope for the coming fall. Every year at this time we begin to assign dollars raised to programs that will train teachers in music from October through mid-December, from California and Hawaii to New York and Maine. Your gift has given us a start on that process. There is still, very honestly, a long way to go for GITC, and as someone who cares about the future of the work, I would like to take this special opportunity to explain our math to you so you really understand how your gifts help make it all possible.

GITC's friend Jack Johnson sings that 3 is the magic number. And so it is. We offer three courses in a GITC location each year when we can raise the funds. That is because teachers have time to work with us for up to three periods of six to eight weeks between fall and the end of spring. We don't hold trainings during conferences, open house weeks, testing, or school breaks because teachers do best learning something as positive and voluntary as music when they are under less pressure. So we eliminate the stress for them. So, at most, we offer GITC for 24 weeks during the school year. 

So besides 3, our other magic number is 24. We welcome up to 24 teachers in a single class, and because the teachers' schedules are tough, we have an average revolving group of about 10-15 who can make it each time. We keep everyone engaged by doing lots of curriculum development, new song learning, and songwriting on academic and personal goal setting topics. Songs for memorizing big words, parts of the body, seasons, math facts, and all that. Songs for appreciating the planet, the seasons, good friends. Songs for sharing, cleaning up, using our words, taking turns. All of it. And we move slowly through new guitar lessons so that all the teachers can keep up- even when their moms need rides to the doctor after school and their kids have orthodontia appointments, or they have yet another faculty meeting or Student Study Team meeting.

GITC is there for them and they come back, happily, unafraid to have lost their place. We work gently and without a trace of guilt because we are thrilled they care enough to train with us in their precious free hours. We know learning to make and lead music takes time for anyone and we are willing to work to provide teachers with that time. They appreciate this and the payoff for all of us is so beautiful. The teachers find their voices, they work at their skills, they blossom inside the music, create new songs that bring home what the kids are learning. They create a jubilant atmosphere in which to connect, learn, practice, create, and celebrate. This is life renewing. Many teachers who have been in the classroom for twenty-plus years feel a new passion for teaching when music becomes a joy and an effective teaching tool. Having that free guitar to play and share with students is something between a teddy bear and a magic wand on tough days. Kids respond. The guitar responds back. Teachers know they can nurture on many levels at once with this musical gift.

So thanks for helping us get a start on next fall. If you are motivated to do more, Global Giving is helping you help us even more between now and Friday by offering a bonus if ten of you sign up as recurring donors. It's a cool program. You can give $10 a month for the year, funds we can use as we need them throughout the year, and then, instead of writing one larger check in December when the entire world is asking you for an end of year donation, you can smile and say, "I already gave." Hundreds of children will already by learning through music because of you.

If you would like to sign on as a recurring donor today, it's very easy. The button/link is right on our project page. 

Thank you for being with us. Together we really are making a lasting difference in the lives of so many.

Peace,

Jess

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Music Makes Me Feel Smart
Music Makes Me Feel Smart

Dear Friend,

Thank you for giving of your energy, time, faith and resources to support the work of Guitars in the Classroom for this Global Giving campaign. We are getting closer now, as of Thursday night, to accomplishing our ultimate goal of earning a permanent place with Global Giving thanks to you!!

Let's take a moment to be glad for the gains we've already made together since April 1- bringing music to schools in Massachusetts, New York, California, and Mississippi!

Here are some notes we received just today from the Head Start teachers who have been taking music integration training in Ocean Springs with Kate MacMahon. The teachers' words paint an inspiring and very real picture of the difference your donations are making:

I never thought I would ever play a musical instrument and hold 15 to 20 childrens attention at the same time.  Look at me.  I bought a guitar to practice @ home and I plan to enroll in a guitar class soon.    Diane Leverette

The guitar class has allowed me the opportunity to share music differently with my children in class.  They dont know I am playing one cord.  I am holding their attention and they are learning.  Renather Edwards

Guitar in the classroom has helped me as I concentrate on learning/listening and using my fingers to make music.  Dorothy Lee

It has enhanced my appreciation for music.  I am thankful for this opportunity to learn and share with my children and coworkers  Barbara Fields

The class aroused my music appreciation and taught me patience and coordination as I move and groove with my children Valarie Wright

Hopefully these last three days will also help us start a new program in Aurora, Illinois where 85% of the students are English Language Learners and a wonderful new trainer named Brooke is waiting in the wings to begin a program in the fall.

Thank you for becoming a part of the solution for keeping music alive and growing in schools, and in the lives of children who will have the benefit of your care and generosity.

From all of us on the GITC staff, faculty, and board, may your kindness come back to you magnified, and may your wishes for the teachers and children be fulfilled.

Yours in service, song, and celebration,

Jessica

Music Makes me Feel Good
Music Makes me Feel Good

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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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