Who We Train

Guitars in the Classroom trains anyone working in an educational setting to make and lead integrated music. We offer a regular Strum and Sing program for all participants as well as special training units for teachers of English Learners (See program model AMIGO- Achievement through Music Integration with Guitars), teachers of students with special needs (see Music for Resource and Special Educators – MIRSE) and Early Childhood Educators (ECE). We also work with schools of education at colleges and universities to offer a program called GITC-UP (University Programs) for Education and Early Childhood Education majors.

15 percent of the teachers we train work in preschools and day cares. 40 percent teach primary students. 22 percent serve the upper elementary grades. 15 percent work with middle schoolers, and 5 percent work with high schoolers. The other 3 percent work in an educational context in their communities. The music everyone learns spans relevance for all ages of students but concentrates most on popular folk and rock songs that appeal across the grades.


Among GITC’s participants you will find:

  • Pre-school and Day Care Teachers and Tides
  • Primary Grade Teachers and Tides
  • Upper Elementary Grade Teachers and Tides
  • Middle School Single Subject Teachers
  • High School Single Subject Teachers
  • Home School Teachers
  • Special Educators
  • Physical Education and Health Specialists
  • Music Educators
  • Art teachers
  • EL Specialists
  • Reading Specialists
  • Early Intervention Specialists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Music Therapists
  • School and Youth Librarians
  • Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Resource Teachers K-12
  • Media Specialists
  • Nurses
  • Law Enforcement working with schools
  • School Office and Support Staff
  • School Facilities Staff
  • Parent Classroom Volunteers
  • Student Teachers
  • Substitute Teachers

Q: Must I be a teacher to enroll in GITC?
No. If you are a teacher’s aide, a classroom volunteer, a specialist or a member of the school’s classified staff, you are encouraged to participate. Anyone in an educational environment who plays music can add to each student’s positive musical experiences and can contribute to making schools into more musically rich environments.

Q: What training or talent is required before someone may enroll in a GITC program?
A: None.

Q: What do I have to pay for to take this class?
GITC invites teachers to make a tax deductible donation to help defray the cost of training, but we do not charge for classes.  The list of items you will receive from GITC as part of the program includes strings, a capo, a guitar strap, flat picks and a loaner guitar with a gig bag or case.

Q: I have a lot of experience with guitar. Why should I learn to play in Open G tuning?
Because it is beautiful, fun and Open G makes it easy to successfully share guitar with children, even preschoolers.  Open G puts music making into young hands, even those with minimal fine motor coordination. Hawaiian slack key guitar is based on open tunings, and learning this one is a great start to exploring those traditions.

Q: Do participants need to own a guitar?
No. Guitars are available as loaners at no charge.

Q: Do I have to attend every class to succeed?
No, but it helps. Classes move slowly enough that missing one will not impede your success.

Q: Am I too busy for this class? How frequently do I have to practice between lessons?
A: Practice is not required. Our motto is “Just Show Up.” If you play in class and play with your students each week, you’ll progress.