Anyone and Everyone Can Help Start a GITC Program
Hi. My name is Jessica Baron and I go by “Jess.” Guitars in the Classroom is something our organization has created Over the past sixteen years. The work has been growing and evolving to bring musical learning together with Common Core goals.
There is a lot to learn about how to get a program going and much of it can be found in the drop down menu bar to the right of this one.
But some things require real conversation so that is step two. Step one is what you are doing now. Reading. Thank you.
Absolutely anyone can be that alpha person who gets GITC going somewhere. Teachers. specialists and administrators from every grade level and discipline have helped bring Guitars in the Classroom into their districts. So have interested musicians. family members and community members. If you think there may be interest in your region,
We will need to identify and train a qualified instructor who has a combination of classroom teaching experience, excellent guitar and ukulele skills, the ability to nurture singing skills in beginners and coach healthy singing techniques, and a passion for songwriting. This is a singing and songwriting based program in which guitar and ukulele are tools for accomplishing musical and academic goals. Children do get to get their hands on instruments but the core of their experience in the classroom is collaborative music making and songwriting for learning their academic subjects. Our work promotes learning and social emotional growth during the regular school day so it becomes something that helps teachers achieve their goals instead of being something extra.
Our programs combine an after school class for teachers with support coaching of those teachers with their students in their classes during the day.
Our instructors may only teach once a week after school and may visit a couple of classrooms each week. This does not become a full time job but it is very rewarding and compliments the work schedule of many music educators who are freelancing or teaching in a school but have time after school is over to do something additional.
We prefer to start programs by working with a school district’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA). If you are reaching out to us to start a program, that will probably be our first step together, to find out who to speak with in your district.
Districts that do not have such a program can get involved through their professional development offerings instead. Districts that have lost their budget for arts education will find us a good partner for working toward bringing it back again. Our goal is to provide music integration training in schools where children also receive a full music education with certificated instructors. This way children are experiencing music education as well as using music to learn across the curriculum. It can take time to create this ideal environment and we are committed to that cause.
Our focus is on serving public schools and we aim to include the majority of teachers working in Title 1 schools, but we are glad to train any teacher, regardless.
Our classes are regional and include teachers from a variety of schools within a close distance. One school can host the program and other schools may participate. Ideally we include 15-25 teachers and staff per program.
GITC is here to help you explore the process. There are powerpoints and brochures you can download and share to get the coversation going at our Outreach Materials page.
If you wish to learn more, please keep reading about how to start a program and also drop me a line at email@example.com.
With you for the children, for music and for creativity in education!