Singing Our Planet Green with The Green Songbook

Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) is working each day in the schools to inspire teachers and children to live in harmony with our planet. Songs from our Green Songbook and CD act as powerful messengers that increase awareness of the earth’s beauty, her resources, and what she needs us to do to make her healthy and strong. By fostering eco-understanding through music, Guitars in the Classroom is striving to empower the next generation to make  wise choices that sustain life and quality of life.

Our new guitar songbook and recording (with simplified guitar arrangements) unites environmental education or “eco-sustainability” with K-12 education across the curriculum. Entitled The Green Songbook, it is authored by Jessica Baron,  founder and executive director of GITC.

The Green Songbook presents popular and fun inspirational songs for the environment. Participating songwriters and artists include Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Pete Seeger, the Banana Slug String Band, Tom Chapin and many others. Songs are presented in nine distinct chapters that focus on important aspects of eco-sustainability. Each chapter begin with an introductory section written by am eco-advocate. These introductions provide  teachers parents and students with very valuable resources for learning more about the environment through books, documentaries, websites and non-profit organizations they have personally selected. In essence, the recommendations at the beginning of each chapter throw open the doors to further learning through resources recommended by trustworthy sources.

GITC has been empowering our teacher trainers to integrate green songs in all of our training classes, and we have started offering special Sing Green workshops in our communities in 2012 with a little help from our friends.

Musician Jack Johnson and his partner and wife Kim Johnson have provided support through their foundation- the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation- to create these workshops so GITC can help teachers integrate environmental education in regular classrooms. Established and supported through the profits of Jack’s touring act, the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation funds projects in education, music and arts, and eco-sustainability.

“I am proud to be a part of this songbook,” Johnson states in the book. “Music is such a great way to bring people together; it has the ability to unite us. After years of visiting classrooms with my guitar I am always amazed with the energy of the students, their eagerness to sing-along and the power that a song has to teach a lesson.”

Every copy of The Green Songbook is printed on 100% recycled paper, continuing Alfred’s pledge to support environmental conservation. Also, thanks to contributing artists, 5% of each book sale helps fund free teacher training programs.

In addition to working for eco-sustainability through music, Guitars in the Classroom strives to live in balance and keep our carbon footprint as tiny as possible. We do this in many ways including keeping programs local to minimize travel both on the part of our trainers and the teachers and others who participate. We also distribute our educational materials electronically, keeping printing to a bare minimum, and we encourage teachers to utilize smart boards and overhead projectors rather than printing songsheets for students. And like Jack Johnson says in his song, we reduce, reuse and recycle everyday. That includes recycling guitars from teacher to teacher every year.

Guitars in the Classroom is proud to be a member of 1% for the Planet! If you work for a company that might be interested in learning more about 1% for the Planet or discussing ways you can work with our organization, please contact our executive director, Jess at jess@guitarsintheclassroom.org.