It's Sunday afternoon and we just completed our first AMASE Conference that was supported by three incredible foundation sponsors, including the Nordson Foundation, Qualcomm Charity and the National Endowment for the Arts!
AMASE stands for Adaptive Music for Achievement in Special Education.
Special educators, staff members, therapeutic specialists and teachers in mainstreamed general ed joined together for two days to learn to play, share and adapt music making for their students. They learned to play drums and percussion, led adaptive drum circles, and incorporated movement with hand percussion. They learned to play ukelele and guitar, sing, teach and lead songs for learning. They composed and co-wrote original lyrics for teaching Social Emotional Learning, classroom rules and academic content, and well, so much more!
We will be sharing a whole blog and telling you more about the people in these photos very soon. But for now, we are SHOUTING OUT CONGRATULATIONS to these phenomenal educators and therapists!
We are immensely grateful to the San Diego County Office of Education Special Services team as well as the San Diego Unified Special Education leadership for being open to our unusual approach to making music accessible in special education. Thanks, Cara Schukoske, and Andrea Vinson (right) for taking creative steps to supporting special educators and encouraging your faculties and staff members to bring music into their classrooms so EVERY student can benefit from learning to make music!
#nationalendowmentforthearts, #SDUSD, #SDCOE
Through GITC sponsor, Saga Musical Instruments, Judy ordered 24 soprano ukuleles for her classroom. Our Tuning Archangel, Rodney Howard got them ready and we personally delivered them to the school to make sure everything arrived timely.
Judy wrote to GITC from her hospital bed, explaining what was going on. She worried that because of her health crisis, her kiddos had not learned to play despite the ukes being in a big box in their classroom. "I'm not sure who will be taking over my room, but I think they will begin on Monday, " she explained. " I made a promise to those kids to learn the ukulele and if you can help me out, well wonderful. Marissa Ramirez is the other first grade teacher who is my partner in crime. I have my own little uke and guitar here that cheer me up. I am so grateful for everyone's kindness."
We promised Judy that we would find a way to fund two weekly first grade teaching artist residencies in order that her promise to the children be fulfilled and her dream realized.
Thankfully, this came to pass when international online ukulele teacher Terry Carter, CEO of Uke Like the Pros contacted GITC and offered to raise money at the winter holidays by challenging his students to match him dollar for dollar in supporting music for children in Title 1 schools. Everyone chipped in raising just enough to send GITC Teaching Artist. Jefferson Jay to bring joy and learning to Judy's and Melissa's kids. Jefferson is one of the most convivial people you'd ever want to meet and he was up for the assignment.
GITC is grateful to the VAPA Foundation for their generous, ongoing support of teachers who voluntarily take our music integration courses. We are thankful for Saga Musical Instruments for making ukes so affordable for GITC teachers!
Thanks those organizations and to Judy Johnson, Terry Carter, Terry's students, and Jefferson Jay, between January and April, teachers and students in both first grades learned how to strum, sing, and write their own songs for learning!
Now Judy's love will live on every time a new first grader comes into their classroom at the beginning of the year and finds out that going to school at Johnson means learning through the power of song and the joy of making music.
GITC's Summer Teacher Retreat
Teachers, Paras, Specialists and Friends!
We are planning our 4th Annual GITC Teacher Retreat and wonder if you'd like to join us!?
We'll be heading up to Julian, CA at Camp Cedar Glen once again. This spacious spot in the woods and mountain air is easily accessible, disability friendly, and so comfortable.
Coming to the retreat gives educators time to unwind, bond with friends, deepen your musical knowledge, expand your skills and double your confidence as a song leader! This three-day GITC experience will help them accomplish their musical goals while they renew their spirits and rest their bodies among friends in a beautiful place and all for a tiny price!
Located only two miles away from Julian Town Hall, Camp Cedar Glen offers a relaxed and social atmosphere where families and visitors all find welcome and a variety of affordable accommodations and amenities.
HERE IS OUR PRE-RETREAT SURVEY for anyone planning to join us. It will help you request special sleeping arrangements (as much as we can manage in cabins :-) and give us dietary restrictions, too.
Official Registration is OPEN! This link let's you pay for camp.
Retreat Dates: August 1 – 4, 2019
Arrival August 1st - Thursday - dinner (arrival at 4 PM or after)
August 2nd - breakfast, lunch and dinner
August 3rd - breakfast, lunch and dinner
Departure August 4th - Sunday - breakfast & lunch (departure at 2 PM)
REGISTER by CLICKING HERE!