The GITC Mission
Guitars in the Classroom transforms education and promotes student achievement and well-being through making music during and beyond the normal school day in general and music classrooms. We train, equip and encourage teachers to integrate and lead music with “The Three S’s” (Singing, Songwriting and Strumming) in every subject area. Using guitars and ukuleles, teachers design and lead standards-based academic lessons that include songs for learning as a powerful teaching strategy across the Pk-12 academic curriculum. Teachers also learn to lead music making to build classroom community, promote a sense of “belonging” and to nurture the development of character and citizenship. Our approach to collaborative student songwriting increases children’s competence in “The Four C’s” of Common Core education (Creativity, Communication, Collaboration and Critical Thinking.) Overall, our organization empowers both teachers and students to discover and develop their artistry as a part of learning everything!
When students feel, move, sing, strum and write songs together about what they are learning, school becomes a joy. Working with traditional folk and roots musical forms, we work closely with their teachers to learn to lead the way by making these experiences an integral part of lessons every day.
Through partnerships with district Visual And Performing Arts (VAPA) departments, Guitars in the Classroom is also working toward making guitar and ukulele a positive part of general music education. We believe that only music integration and music education together can supply students with a strong musical foundation for learning music, learning through music, and developing into musicians for life.
What We Do
Based in San Diego and active in 32 states in the U.S. and Ontario, Canada, Guitars in the Classroom offers ongoing programs to classroom teachers, specialists and staff who want to make learning into a dynamic, musical process that fully engages students. We provide loaner guitars, ukuleles and musical supplies free of charge to participating teachers. Our classes are taught on a weekly basis after school, or on professional development in-service days as well as during week-long intensive summer workshops.
Founded in 1998, Guitars in the Classroom has now trained approximately 10,000 Song Leaders for Learning who are serving well over half a million students each week. Our train-the-trainer model makes it possible for experienced community music leaders to share their skills and knowledge with regular classroom teachers including those with no prior musical experience.
Our open tuning approach (based on Hawaiian “taro patch” tuning) makes for a pain-free beginning to playing and a smooth, gradual transition into standard tuning when teachers are already able to strum, sing and change chords fluently. Open tuning also provides a simple and satisfying way to place instruments in the hands of their students as part of playing and singing their lessons in math, science, language arts, social studies, physical education and more.
Music teachers also train with us to learn a successful method for making guitar and ukulele a natural part of their general music curriculum in accordance with Orff Schulwerk and the Common Core State Standards. Some of them become GITC faculty trainers!
Guitars in the Classroom also teaches eco-sustainability in the schools through power of songs written by artists and teachers who are devoted to living in balance with the planet. Please have a look at our Green Songbook here.
The GITC Vision
We envision a future in which there is a guitar in every classroom, a set of ukuleles or guitars that students can play and share daily, and a time when singing and strumming are an integral part of learning math, science, social studies, language arts and more throughout the school day.
Based on what children experience in GITC classrooms, we know this integration of music boosts their motivation, confidence, participation, self expression, cooperation, communication skills, and of course understanding and memorization of academic processes and facts. It all adds up to happiness, creativity and increased success in school…as well as a passion for making music. Please join us in making this a reality for all children.
And to stay informed of the latest tools for music education advocacy, the most recent research on music’s impact on learning and keep your finger on the pulse of musical learning in its many forms, please visit our friends at The NAMM Foundation right here.
How can you help Guitars in the Classroom without spending an extra nickel? Shop on Amazon through the Amazon Smile Foundation Portal! When you do your shopping at AmazonSmile, they donate 0.5% of the purchase price to Guitars In The Classroom. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/71-
Our new address is: GITC 2770 Historic Decatur Rd., suite 203, San Diego, CA 92106
Our new office phone is: (619) 578-2326
2015 Video from The Today Show featuring Jason Mraz and Turnaround Arts!
The work of GITC is featured prominently though not named.
2014 Video from Fox 5 San Diego – 4 Strings and a Tune help students Learn Academics (6 Feb 14)
You can read the full article here on the Fox 5 San Diego website!