Iris Vacante shows locally painted guitars
I am writing with wonderful news. For the first time, Guitars in the Classroom is going to break the mold of teaching just during the school year and a handful of our programs will actually be training teachers around the country this summer because of you! In the past, we've held back from teaching in the summer nut we are hearing from the teachers this year LOUD and CLEAR that they want this opportunity and are willing to commit to training even during their "off" months. Since schools have become more pressured environments in the past year with increasing pressure from testing and massive budget cuts to education all around the country, many teachers have felt limited in their ability to learn something new. Summer is becoming"their time" in several places now. We are eager to adapt.
In Traverse City, Michigan, trainer Chris Kuchuris will be working with the teachers of students whose parents are migrant farm workers. He will be teaching them songs in Spanish and English so they can help their "newcomer" students acquire important new vocabulary and the ability to communicate in their second language.
In Madisonville, Louisiana, veteran GITC trainer Iris Vacante will be training teachers who have been to busy and burdened with test pressure and environmental stressors to make time for music during the school year. Iris always finds a way to re-engage the teachers in her community, just 30 minutes away from New Orleans.
In Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Kate Macmahon will be training Head Start teachers to lead music with their young students and with your help she can reach out to teachers in Pascagoula in the fall.
In northern California, trainer Alisa Peres will be training student teachers in University of California, Berkeley's Developmental Teacher Education program!
In the Boston area, GITC will be offering its first ever 1 week intensive for teachers who want to explore learning to make, lead, and write music in a short period of time. Hosted by the Passim School of Music in Cambridge, we will be developing a curriculum we hope to share around the country NEXT summer. If you know teachers in the Boston area, please write or call them about this special opportunity. We will cut off enrollment at 8 teachers so we can study and refine the pace of teaching with this small group.
We are also in the final stages of completing our new website which we hope to launch on May 1. You will get an update about that very soon, and when our donor page is ready, you will find your name there among those special individuals who are making GITC possible.
Thank you for standing strong with us for the arts, for children, for education, and for the quality of training our teachers receive. It is all so important and we are truly in this endeavor together each step of the way.
Sending much gratitude,
Jessica Baron, founder, executive director
Alisa Peres tunes teachers' guitars in San Jose
Student Teachers at UC Berkeley learn to play
Children of Agricultural Workers Learn thru Music
Music makes learning fun!