BETTER LEARNING THROUGH MUSIC:
Guitars in the Classroom Receives Grant from The NAMM Foundation
San Diego, CA – September 17, 2019 — Do you hear the sound of happy strummers and singers in schools around the U.S.? Guitars and Ukes in the Classroom (GITC) has once again been named a grant recipient of The NAMM Foundation. “It is because of this special foundation, their support and guidance of grantees, that we got our lift off and have been able to improve and grow our work so steadily over the past 13 years,” says GITC founder and Executive Director, Jess Baron.
GITC is a19 year-old educational non-profit that trains, equips and empowers teachers and school staff to integrate academic and social learning with hands on music and student songwriting across the curriculum. The organization was selected as one of 28 music-making organizations to receive a grant to fund vital programs that provide access to music-making opportunities across a variety of different communities and demographics.
“Through the transformative work of these organizations, thousands of people will discover or advance their love and desires for making music,” said Mary Luehrsen, Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation. “And these projects also advance new music learning experiences and capacity – all essential for creating more music makers.”
The grants serve to underscore the Foundation’s mission to advance participation in music making and offer quality access to all people. As one of 28 recipients, Guitars and Ukes in the Classroom will utilize The NAMM Foundation’s support to fund Adaptive Music for Achievement in Inclusion and Special Education (AMAISE) training, after school professional development courses for teachers, classroom teaching artist residencies, and music educator workshops in integrating ukulele and guitar instruction in general music programs.
Jess Baron explains the significance of this grant with long-term perspective:
“When we started our work in 2000, the idea of teaching academic subjects through the power of music was considered a revolutionary concept. There was no research to support the assertion that students could make significant linguistic, cognitive, emotional or academic gains through the integration of hands-on music with standards-based instruction across the curriculum. Now studies connecting music education with these positive outcomes are pouring in! But in the beginning, the idea of training teachers with scant musical experience to lead this integration in their own classrooms raised many eyebrows. Despite this, NAMM saw the potential to create more musical access for children during their most formative years. They believed in our mission and offered to help.
Fast forward to 2019 and 14,000 GITC-trained teachers later, strategic songs and student songwriting with guitars and ukuleles are playing a significant role in learning across the curriculum. The NAMM Foundation has helped GITC design and build a complementary, mutually beneficial relationship between Music Integration and Music Education in our GITC-participating schools. We are so grateful for this grant to support more GITC professional development and teaching artists residencies, which will bring hands-on musical learning to Literacy and Learning for 120,000 elementary students in 2019-2020.”
Since its inception in 1994, The NAMM Foundation’s annual grant program has donated more than $18 million in support to domestic and international music education programs, scientific research, advocacy and public service programs related to music-making. The grants are funded in part by donations from the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,400 member companies worldwide.
About Guitars in the Classroom
Guitars in the Classroom is a 19 year-old educational non-profit organization dedicated to creating access to musical learning for all students. Our work strives to improve the quality of teaching and learning through the power of song education through the provision of ongoing musical training, coaching and resources for educators. We train, supply and empower teachers who wish to lead and integrate hands-on music with lessons in English language arts, math, science, social studies and more. Our work promotes student engagement and achievement, teacher effectiveness, and it nurtures 21st Century Learning Skills through collaborative music making and student songwriting for learning.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,400 members. The Foundation’s mission is to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.