Meet the Faculty

Please meet the faculty members of Guitars in the Classroom! Each one has special training, experience, and sensitivity to working with both adult beginners and children. We are so fortunate to count on this talented group of professionals to open the pathway to making and leading music in the classroom.

Baron, Jessica: GITC-Cardiff, Encinitas, Oceanside

Baron, Jessica: GITC-Cardiff, Encinitas, Oceanside

Jessica Baron is a lifelong acoustic guitarist, singer and “incidental” songwriter who began playing guitar at age seven, teaching guitar in Junior High, and has never stopped. Trained as a music educator, child development specialist, and psychotherapist, Jess taught at the Old Town School of Folk Music in the early 1980s. played the clubs there, then moved to California where she completed degrees in Child Development and Clinical Psychology and taught music, human development, and community service to students in grades kinder through twelve. In 1998, Jessica officially launched Guitars in the Classroom and has devoted herself to making music more accessible for teachers and children ever since.

Links: Contact Jess
Cicatko, Jeff: GITC- Oahu, Hawaii

Cicatko, Jeff: GITC- Oahu, Hawaii

Jeff is a north shore resident roughly a tenth of a mile from Sunset Beach and he is very involved with keeping music in classrooms, whether it is playing and singing, or teaching teachers to play. Due to his special role selling Ice Cream for funds for the kids one Friday a month at the school (Sunset Beach Elementary), Jeff is known as the "Ice Cream Man" around campus. Recently, he has been joined by a couple other kindergarten dads to form the band, "Boogie and the Ice Cream Man." (with Boogie Parlow and Andres Schillaci). Hopefully, their original kids songs will be recorded soon so we can share them through GITC classes! Jeff is happy to do his part as a member of our faculty in a pretty remote place. He quotes Bob Marley for his message about life and teaching with GITC " ...the music goes on forever." Links: Email Jeff
Davison, Marion: GITC-Victorville

Davison, Marion: GITC-Victorville

Marion has been teaching in Elementary Schools since 1982. Her primary instrument is guitar, but she enjoys fiddling around with the piano and all manner of stringed acoustic instruments. She teaches first and second grade at a parent choice performing arts public school in Victorville, and has been training GITC teachers for four years. Marion has a bachelor's degree from Mills College and earned her teaching credential at UC Riverside. She started playing the guitar and singing in public when she was in fifth grade. She is currently a lead singer in a rock band called the "Terminal Siphons".

Links: Contact Marion
DeHart, Madeline: GITC-Louisiana

DeHart, Madeline: GITC-Louisiana

Madeline DeHart is the Fine Arts Supervisor and Public Relations Liaison for Vermilion Parish Schools. Madeline taught instrumental music for eight years within four school districts including Texas and Louisiana, and is aggressively working to bring guitar to the classroom in Vermilion Parish Elementary Schools. She is an active grant writer whose most recent proposals approved funding for a community-wide children’s chorus for Vermilion Parish Youth as well as Louisiana Folk Roots Music Program established within the City of Abbeville. Madeline is closely involved in the community, and is an active Abbeville Rotarian and Abbeville Junior Auxiliary Vice President.

Links: Contact Madeline
DeLaTorre, Gerry: GITC-Phoenix

DeLaTorre, Gerry: GITC-Phoenix

Gerry is the Coordinator and Instructor for the Phoenix, AZ GITC classes. He is an accomplished guitarist, musician and music teacher who has taught guitar and music classes in college, high school, elementary school, and as a private teacher for longer than he wants to remember. He is very passionate about making music and music education relevant, fun and accessible to every age and loves to share that passion through GITC.

Links:
Ginsburgh, Judy: GITC-Alexandria

Ginsburgh, Judy: GITC-Alexandria

Judy Caplan Ginsburgh is a multi-award winning singer, songwriter and recording artist specializing in Early Childhood Music and integration of music and arts into curriculum. She began playing piano at age 6 and guitar at age 12 and plays a variety of other folk and unusual instruments. Judy has been working with Guitars in the Classroom since 2002. She currently serves as GITC's Southeast Regional Director helping to set up programs from the Mid Atlantic down to Florida and across the Gulf Coast to Texas. Judy also runs a non-profit organization (Central Louisiana Arts & Healthcare, Inc.) whose mission is to bring innovative arts experiences into healthcare settings to enhance the healing process.

Links: Contact Judy \ JudyMusic.com \ Arts & Healthcare
Harris-Padron, Michele: GITC-Santa Barbara

Harris-Padron, Michele: GITC-Santa Barbara

Originally from a musical family, Michele learned piano then guitar as a teenager. During the 1970s, she played and sang in small clubs and private engagements throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. In the early 1980s she moved to Mexico where she developed a Spanish repertoire. Fast forward to the late 1990s and, two children later, she brought her guitar to her daughter's kindergarten class. By the next year she had enrolled in a credential program and has been in the classroom for the past ten years. She currently teaches in the English Language Development (ELD) Academy, grades 4/5/6; ELD Levels I/II "newcomer program" at the Emilie Ritchen School in Oxnard, California.

Links: Contact Michele
Ketchie, Teri: GITC-Pajaro Valley

Ketchie, Teri: GITC-Pajaro Valley

Teri Ketchie is a bilingual educator in Watsonville, California. In addition to her work with Guitars in the Classroom, she has been a classroom teacher, curriculum developer and mentor. As a young girl she started playing the guitar with her grandfather leading on mandolin and her mother on piano. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara and teaching English in Spain and Japan, she started working with Migrant Education in Guadalupe, California. She migrated up the coast and settled down in the Pajaro Valley, where she taught elementary school for twenty-five years. Since retiring from the classroom in 2010, she has been writing, teaching guitar and substitute teaching. Teri enjoys singing and playing guitar with children, teachers and friends at school, parties and performances.

Links: Contact Teri
MacFarlane, Linda: GITC-Rutland

MacFarlane, Linda: GITC-Rutland

Linda MacFarlane is an early childhood music and movement specialist and adult educator from Rutland, Vermont. Linda’s main instrument is acoustic guitar, followed by mountain dulcimer, and then by an array of other traditional and non-traditional instruments. She has been involved with Guitars in the Classroom since 2002, bringing the joy of guitar music and singing to teachers, students and senior citizens. As program coordinator for the Rutland County Boys & Girls Club, Linda has introduced the club members to various music and guitar.

Links: Contact Linda
Martin, Amy: GITC-Traverse City

Martin, Amy: GITC-Traverse City

Amy Martin makes her home in beautiful rural northern Michigan with her husband and three children. She is regional coordinator and instructor for the Guitars in the Classroom program in Traverse City, Michigan. She loves being a Guitars in the Classroom instructor because as a teacher herself, she relishes the opportunity to be in a roomful of the fun-loving, creative and energetic teachers that GITC seems to attract. Amy is also program coordinator for a cooperative of non-profit organizations in her area dedicated to the conservation of the Great Lakes. Amy has a BA degree from Western Michigan University in music and elementary education and a MA from Michigan State University in Educational Technology.

Links: Contact Amy
Maute, Joan: GITC- Hilton Head

Maute, Joan: GITC- Hilton Head

A self-described "old Folkie from the 60s", Joan now serves on the GITC Board of Directors as our director of education. She is a singer/songwriter/educator who used her guitar and music to teach across the curriculum for over 3 decades in her public school classrooms. Now retired, she loves teaching for GITC because it combines three of the things she is passionate about, music, teaching and learning. She is teaching GITC classes on Hilton Head Island, SC and near Savannah, GA. Learn more Joan and get free downloads of some of her songs at www.joanmaute.com.

Links: JoanMaute.com   Listen on MySpace     Read Joan's articls on boosting memory with song
Noyes, Ingrid: GITC-Petaluma

Noyes, Ingrid: GITC-Petaluma

Ingrid Noyes has been training teachers with Guitars in the Classroom for the past four years, and has contributed her broad knowledge of songs for learning in both English and Spanish to the GITC curriculum during this time. Fluent in Spanish, she started the first GITC training program for early childhood educators working with ELLs, most of them native Spanish speakers, themselves. She's been playing both the guitar asnd clawhammer style banjo since she was a kid, and teaching since then, too. She performs with her band, Rosie and the Railroaders. As a member of the AMIGO team, Ingrid is a "driver" for inclusivity, diversity, and variety in our educational materials.

Links: Contact Ingrid
Peres, Alisa: GITC-Oakland

Peres, Alisa: GITC-Oakland

Alisa Peres has been a musician all her life. While travelling extensively and studying music in Chile, Ecuador and Peru, she began to develop an extensive repertoire of songs in Spanish from a variety of Latin cultures. Back in the states, she earned her B.S. in Special Education and Elementary Education from Boston University and she has been teaching Spanish since 1999 in both public and private elementary schools in the bay area. Currently, Alisa serves on GITC's board of directors, as a music teacher at Sankofa Academy in Oakland, California and also provides music education in several preschools.

Links: Contact Alisa
Peterson, Mary: GITC-Evanston

Peterson, Mary: GITC-Evanston

Mary is a skilled teacher who specializes in beginning, reluctant and frightened guitar students and is especially happy to work with students who wish to begin studying guitar again. She is calm, patient, encouraging, and aims to create a peaceful, enjoyable space in which students can learn, have a great time, and to share her joy in the arts. Mary has BA degree from the University of Minnesota and an MFA from the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University. In addition to her musical accolades, Mary is a veteran stage performer and specializes in coaching beginning or aspiring stage actors.

Links: Contact Mary
Vacante, Iris: GITC- Mandeville, LA

Vacante, Iris: GITC- Mandeville, LA

Iris has been a GITC instructor in Mandeville, Louisiana since 2004. She has been in the early childhood education field for 28 years as a teacher, a director and for the past 10 years as a music teacher at Cedarwood School. Iris’ passion is bringing musical experiences into the lives of young children and to share her gift of guitar playing with other teachers so they can share it with their students. Personally, Iris enjoys gardening and being a grandmother of 4 wonderful children. She is also a weekly columnist with the Times Picayune. Links: Cedarwood School / Times Picayune
Vaile, Janis: GITC-Thousand Oaks

Vaile, Janis: GITC-Thousand Oaks

Janis Vaile leads our San Fernando Valley and Thousand Oaks GITC programs. She is an early development educator who provides music programs to children as well as adults. Prior to establishing her position as a music educator, Janis earned a degree in environmental Biology. She is a singer/songwriter and has written numerous children’s songs, many of which reflect her knowledge of science. Janis offers a wide range of programs and services – from individual music lessons, school programs, enrichment programs, Mommy and Me classes, birthday parties and more. She prides herself in nurturing children’s self-esteem while instructing her music programs.

Links: Contact Janis
Veloso, Juan Carlos: GITC-Omaha

Veloso, Juan Carlos: GITC-Omaha

Juan Carlos Veloso earned his credential in Music Education at University of Concepción in Chile. (1979-1982), got a degree in Elementary Educational at Catholic University of Chile (1983-1986), received his ESL Endorsement from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration at University of Nebraska at Omaha (2003- 2005). Juan Carlos has played a vital role in the creation of The AMIGO Project and the AMIGO materials, contributing deep insight, vast experience, and several of his fabulous songs for GITC materials! Juan Carlos' warmth, humor, compassion and talent make him both a driving and a binding force on the AMIGO team.

Links: Contact Juan Carlos
Wagner, Dr. Diana: GITC-Salisbury

Wagner, Dr. Diana: GITC-Salisbury

Diana Wagner is an acoustic musician and folksinger who is known for her show-opening *a capella* arrangements and for performing a large catalog of historic music played on guitar, mountain dulcimer, and banjo. An assistant professor of education at Salsibury (MD) University, Diana leads Maryland's only Guitars in the Classroom Program and specializes in the impact of music integration on children's academic achievement. Diana's CD *Tradition Bearer* was released in 2008.

Links: Contact Diana / Diana's Faculty Page / Diana Wagner Music