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Craig Chaquico

Craig Chaquico, legendary guitarist from the Jefferson Starship has continually evolved his music in exciting directions! He now joins our team. To learn more, please read the new blog by clicking on the scrolling title to your left.

webster teachersTeachers, we have two songwriting efforts for students and teachers going on right now. Please join in the creativity and inspire your students!  

First off, GITC is partnering with the non-profit My Hero Project to create a way to celebrate heroes and heroic ideas and action through original songwriting. Simply write a song, make an informal recording, submit it and… you and your students may win! Learn more by clicking HERE!  

The second effort is what we are calling the The Community Voice Project started by some wonderful GITC advocates on the east coast. They have invited us to ask students what in the world they would change if they had a magic wand! This is a great class discussion starter. Your students’ answers will be shared with a team of accomplished GITC-involved songwriters and musicians to create songs to reflect what children are thinking and feeling about life on planet earth. You can participate with this tiny survey.

 The GITC  Mission

HHI teachersGuitars in the Classroom is dedicated to improving the quality of education for all students by providing ongoing musical training and resources to educators who wish to lead and integrate hands-on music with lessons in English language arts, math, science, social studies and more. Our work promotes teacher effectiveness, student engagement, collaboration, creativity, communication, critical thinking & academic achievement, essential skills for the 21st century.

By offering teacher training, coaching, instruments and supplies to participating classrooms, GITC helps students learn “The Three S’s” (Singing, Songwriting and Strumming) using guitars and ukuleles. The alignment of musical development with students’ cognitive skills and academic understanding is a powerful combination that helps them become well-rounded and fully engaged learners.

Our works builds positive classroom communities, instilling in students a sense of belonging an agency in their own learning.  Through GITC, teachers and students discover, develop and deploy musical creativity as a tool for achieving success in school and beyond. Visiting artists and teaching artists who coach classroom teachers also play a vital role.

When students feel, move, sing, strum and write songs together about what they areTeach Music 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.

Music Matters- Any Questions ~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 partWow! 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 Front-Cover-Final-GSB-275wof 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 theirGITC Teachers in Training 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 PageLines- thumbs_namm-foundation-jpeg.jpgrecent 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.

  Register for a Class 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/71-1013691 and support us every time you shop.

We’ve Moved!

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.

Click HERE: Jason Mraz and Turnaround Arts at Luther Burbank Elementary School

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!