Teachers in Van Nuys, Ca GITCHowdy, Teachers, Jess here.

Thank you so much for making music a special part of your life. By giving yourself the chance and time to learn, you are tapping into the most powerful, healing, artistic medium we know. Making music and sharing it with students and friends will feel great and will make a positive difference for others in your life. Playing guitar and uke means you can take the music with you everywhere and find friends who also like to play. You are becoming a bringer of love and light through your musicality. Thanks for making our world happier and healthier!

Being in a GITC class is a huge help because learning with an expert GITC Faculty Trainer means you get individualized instruction in your school community, and this feels great. But it isn’t always possible. What to do if class is over or you don’t have a GITC program near you?  This blog will give you many resources for keeping your music making on a steady path forward.

GOT GITC! Are you enrolled in GITC but class is over for now?

webster teachersFirst of all, why not see if other teachers in your school or area want to create a weekly or monthly song circle? You don’t need a teacher to get better. Once you have the basics of guitar or uke, you can get better simply by playing music with friends. Even if just one other teacher wants to get together and practice, this can make a big difference. Good things start small. Want support from the office finding others? Please write to sarah@guitarsintheclassroom.org and ask for this assistance. As our Programs Coordinator, she can help you.

We tend to run two series of classes each school year and offer summer opportunities to continue learning such as our teacher retreat in Julian, CA each August. And we are starting a new tradition of producing a 2 day training workshop in July. This year, our first focus is on adapting music for special education! More information on both will be available next week. Please stay tuned for emerging classes and workshops, and… learn more online!

NEED GITC? What can you do if you don’t have GITC in your town yet? Let us know you want it, and help us figure out how to get it there. And in the meantime… you can start to learn where you are by using the resources below.


JAMPLAY: I have recorded 71 sequential instructional videos in our Open G Tuning approach, transitioning into Standard Tuning at www.jamplay.com! (This second link takes you to the GITC free week enrollment form by the way!) You will find the Open G Tuning videos by searching under Instructors for my name, Jessica Baron. These videos are easy to follow, not too long, and lots of people have learned to play by watching them and playing along. unnamed

At JamPlay, you can learn in open tuning, then standard tuning with me, or in standard tuning with a whole lot of wonderful teachers! Beginner folk instruction with Steve Eulberg or Eve Goldberg is wonderful, just sayin.

Please take advantage of all the musical tools and services that JamPlay offers guitar students. Everything from live stream instruction with wonderful teachers to online tools like a tuner, metronome, chord charts and backing tracks are available with your low-cost membership. Membership through the GITC discount link is just $20 a month, and you can quit anytime. If you become a part of the jamplay,com community and want a year long membership, you can use our annual discount code for a much lower rate than normal. They are big supporters of teachers like you!

Start with a free week! The main website is www.jamplay.com but to get your free trial rather than entering there, please enter at www.jamplay.com/gitc When you are asked for a discount code, enter GITCFREE. If you want to join for a whole year at any point, use this code to get your GITC discount: 1FC2A11907 .


This app works on any platform and gives you access to recorded songs with moving lyric lines and chords for our favorite teaching songs and so many more in both Open and Standard Tuning! It’s an easy way to learn new songs, too, including rock and pop classics and current hits.
Get your GITC promo code here!: 

SmartStart Guitar


I rarely talk about this because we are all about giving you everything for free, but yes indeed, I have written many books that are available for sale and are filled with songs charted for guitar using our Open G tuning.

These books include the SmartStart Guitar book series with Hal Leonard Publishing and our Green Songbook from Alfred Publishing. And recently, we published our ukulele method too, with Korg!

Here are some links to find the books online.

SmartStart Guitar for Children

SmartStart Guitar for Late Bloomers and Baby Boomers

Guitarra de SmartStart Metodo y Cancionero (my method translated into Universal Spanish with songs in Spanish and English)

SmartStart Guitar: 43 Special Songs for Home and School

The Green Songbook (Songs to Celebrate and Save the Planet)

SmartStart Ukulele for Beginners! And please check the awesome teacher discounts made available to you by our partner, Korg USA!

If you want to purchase the Korg Ukulele Bundle with the GITC discount, please use the link above to the GITC Korg store, but get a deeper look at the Ukulele Bundle here!


You can learn our GITC Open Tuning ukulele sequence that leads up to playing successfully in Standard Tuning by visiting our FREE YouTube Instructional Channel. There are several sequential videos taking you through the basic uke chords and techniques here.

Once you have switched into Standard Tuning, there are all sorts of amazing online learning opportunities available for free or for pay. Many are on Youtube.com. Here is a one stop website with many great free resources for you… Ukulele Hunt!

There are also several free uke lesson series with youtube videos. Here is one that looks pretty good. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL45883C9F2E898C48

To find a great for-pay learning pathway, we recommend you check out Ukulele Underground! They offer a membership and have more of a community online. Here is their YouTube Channel.

With their paid membership, a bit more expensive than JamPlay guitar but still reasonable compared to private lessons, you can learn more here: https://ukuleleunderground.com/.

If you have resources you want us to share with others, please send them in to me, jess@guitarsintheclassroom.org!


Want to find your strum and singalong community in your own backyard? Check out Ukulele Hunt! They have a list of local meetups you can join for musical fun and fellowship. Summer is the perfect time. Most meet at a local restaurant each week and folks make great new friends there who share their common passion for making music. Look up your nearby uke club here: http://ukulelehunt.com/2010/03/10/ukulele-clubs-and-groups-in-the-usa-and-canada/


We are in the process of creating an internal website just for GITC teachers. There you will get all your resources including instructional materials, practice-along Mp3s and so much more. We hope to have this website ready for you by September 2018.

I hope this blog page comes in handy for you and that you find ways to keep your musical skills and creativity flowing everyday for your health, happiness, professional impact, and shining your own special light on our world!


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