Make Music

Making music is healthy and good for us in so many ways. Singing gets us breathing deeply, releasing stress, connecting with others, and expressing feelings and ideas of value to one another. Playing guitar gets us moving in harmony, feeling the natural rhythms of our hearts, minds, and bodies. It connects our hands and brains, and unlocks our musical thinking and creativity. The guitar itself is healing as it vibrates gently against our bodies when strummed, giving us a sort of sonic embrace. It nurtures the heart. And as if all that were not enough reason to integrate music at school, making music with other people teaches us to listen, to attune and to work well together. All told, music has immensely positive effects. Put to good use in classrooms, it truly helps children feel good, learn lots, and love school. Add academic content to songs and singing to lessons, and making music also helps students achieve greater understanding, better grades and higher test scores.

What music integration does for teachers is equally important, empowering them to develop new skills, creativity and enthusiasm for working with children in artistic, meaningful ways. Music can help teachers be far more effective in conveying information, building classroom community, and differentiating instruction so it fits the needs of individual students. They find it enables them to reach those who are shy and uncertain while providing heightened focus for students whose attention drifts. They can use music to calm to those who feel anxious and also prepare students for transitions and tests. Music making affords them a teaching modality that gives their gifted students and high energy students a chance to express themselves constructively – and these children find a new way to shine. The music also provides a huge boost to their effectiveness with students who are learning English as a second language. Simply put, music in the classroom touches and helps each person in a very individual way and also promotes the well-being of the whole class.

GITC or “git-see” for short exists to make it possible for anyone working with children in an educational setting to learn ways to include music making in daily instruction, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Lorraine Mann and students at Prescott - Guitars in the Classroom

Lorraine Mann and students at Prescott

This includes helping you learn to play simplified acoustic guitar and to sing comfortably. You will learn how to teach students songs with confidence, lead them successfully in singing together, and also how to facilitate collaborative student songwriting for learning as part of your academic lessons!

Think of the power of “The Alphabet Song” to teach young children their letters, and take that to the 100th power. This is GITC.

We want our classes to be a place you can get everything you need to learn to make and lead songs for learning… and more.  Our work exists to encourage you to discover, trust, and grow your artistic teaching skills through music and unleash the power of learning through embedding lesson content in unforgettable, fun songs.

The musical leadership you can develop with GITC will give you power to boost your students’ engagement, to deepen their understanding, and to improve their academic performance. The positive results will show up in class discussions, on written assignments, and on tests. Why? Because music as a modality draws students into learning experiences, holds their attention, and remains in their memories long after lessons end. It makes learning anything into a positive experience.

Teacher training classes are a stress free learning environment. Our trainers are warm and non-judgmental people with lots of classroom experience. They are here to support you. The curriculum is paced to match the abilities and needs of each group of teachers. Practice is great but we don’t require it. Our motto is Just Show Up….most of the time.

Many wonderful new friendships emerge between teachers and participants in GITC classes. We encourage a musical buddy system so you can have another teacher in your school with whom you can team up for co-leading music times. Teachers from several schools in a region can participate together in the same class, and this really builds a sense of belonging to the larger teaching community, a neat extra benefit of participating.

Truthfully, many teachers refer to their weekly GITC class as their “music therapy of the week.”

All Smiles

All Smiles

We hope this will be your experience too because heavens knows, you work hard and having a relaxed, supportive, creative place to go once a week after school can feel pretty good. Especially when it also boosts student test scores by having the kids do something you and they enjoy.

GITC is not expensive. Our goal it to make trainings and supplies free for you. We are committed to providing you with a guitar you can borrow while you are learning to play, and musical supplies you can use at no charge and keep forever.   We are also committed to keeping our beginning level programs totally free of charge.

Sometimes we need your help to start a program. In the instances when we don’t have enough charitable funding in place but enough teachers want to start a program- and if everything lines up, we can set up a donation program to make it fly with local support.  All donations are tax deductible and we are constantly raising money to bring the programs to more teachers without charging tuition.

We run classes in 6-8 week courses that avoid holidays, vacations, testing, and parent teacher conferences. Within the first six weeks, you may well be playing three and four chord songs, singing confidently, and sharing music with children.  Most teachers take 1-2 GITC courses in a single school year. You can study with us for a year, take a year off, and come back. We’re always glad to see teachers return!

You can also study anytime with Jessica online at www.jamplay.com/gitc. She teaches live there on some Friday evenings, and she also has over 70 pre-recorded lessons based on the GITC method. There are over 50 other guitar instructors at jamplay.com, so once you are there, you’ll have access to unlimited learning opportunities. There is a small monthly charge for JamPlay, but it’s LOTS less expensive than taking private lessons. If you’d like to check it out, please go to www.jamplay.com/gitc and enter the code GITCFREE and you’ll get a free week to visit the site and check out the lessons and teachers.

If after reading this welcome, making music in your classroom sounds good to you, please let us know by logging in, getting a password, and writing to Jessica at jess@guitarsintheclassroom.org to say hello. She’ll be back in touch to answer questions and help you find- or start- a program in your area.

From all of us with GITC to you, welcome to our musical family!