Guitars in the Classroom

Rating: 4.92 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 1911 Shady Acre Circle Encinitas CA 92024 USA

Mission: Our mission is to transform pre-k through high school classrooms by training teachers to integrate musical learning in lessons in order to increase student engagement, employ oral language practice, and promote student achievement across the academic curriculum. In our free workshops, teachers learn to sing with confidence, play guitar, lead songs, and to select, teach, and facilitate the student writing of educational songs. This daily integration of music with academic learning provides positive, inspiring musical access for all students as part of the regular school day.
Results: Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) is currently training classroom teachers and specialists in 22 states and 10 universities, with plans in place to expand to 29 states and start workshops internationally. In 2010, students in GITC classrooms scored significantly higher in all areas of language development, including vocabulary, reading comprehension, and language fluency compared to students in classes taught by teachers who did not know how to integrate music. These statistically significant results came after teachers trained with GITC for only 8 weeks. A stunning 94% of the teachers reported they were able to sing with their own classes, with just 6% still developing confidence in this area. GITC employs the power of music and creativity to engage, harness, and drive children’s growing intellects while supporting their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.
Target demographics: 78% of the teachers we train work in Title 1 schools and have children with disabilities and special needs in their classrooms. 51% are teaching English Language Learners. They tell us how the work engages their students more deeply and passionately in learning across the curriculum. For many, it’s making the crucial difference between failure, marginal participation and success because singing gives them “oral language practice” – the chance to articulate, practice, and memorize what they are learning- out loud. The music making also promotes bonding between students, teachers, and peers. Test scores prove the benefits.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Teachers who train with GITC reach an estimated 900,000 students every year with daily exposure to music in the classroom.
Programs: http://www.guitarsintheclassroom/main/programs.php

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I teach part time for Guitars in the Classroom and have seen first hand the difference teaching with music can make on a huge, trickle down, number of children in the classroom. Music inspires even the most challenging learners in a way that is both fun and memorable. I am proud to have made a difference in so many teachers lives as they learn a skill that both enhances their own spirit and the spirit of the children they teach.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am so proud to be a part of Guitars in the Classroom! I am an instructor and have seen so many people benefit from learning how to use the guitar and song as a motivational teaching tool. For every one teacher I instruct, hundreds of children will benefit! Thank you GITC for helping me help others with the gift of music!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've had the pleasure of teaching Oaks and Acorns a program of Guitars in the Classroom. This intergenerational program is designed to teach both elementary aged students and senior citizens how to play the guitar and sing songs. Three to four times during the school year, both groups get together to share their musical learning experiences...followed by a snack and conversation. Every time both groups met, it was magical, always smiles and songs.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Over the past 10 years, I've coordinated programs in the Rutland, Vermont area, and have help coordinate new programs in the northeast region.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

keep moving forward, continue to reach out into the local, regional and national community....

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

Not only does it provide the instructional classes, but it also provides loaner guitars to any participant who needs one.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with GITC for about 4 years. It has revitalized my teaching. Just adding more music to my teaching was an excellent benefit, but I've gained so much more from my training. Jessica Baron's method of teaching has been such a wonderful example of how teachers should guide and support their students in their quest to learn ANYTHING! Because of this program I am a more creative, patient, and understanding teacher than I was beforehand. Putting content standards to the tune of familiar songs has made learning fun and easier for my students. As a teacher, this program is the best gift I have ever received.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching my students grow as learners. I also grew as a learner myself as I worked through my guitar frustrations and overcame my fear of singing in front of a group.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would try to get teenagers involved as part of a service learning project where they learn how to play the guitar and volunteer with younger children, either singing songs with them or teaching them how to play guitar.

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've taken two classes offered by Guitars in the Classroom. I teach blind and visually impaired children. By utilizing this skill I learned, I was able to foster a unique learning opportunity. We would create songs, and the student was motivated to read and write it in braille. The strings and vibrations made provided great tactile feedback. Using the guitar as a teaching tool helped my student better hone her creativity and her braille reading and writing skills.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've been involved as an instructor and coordinator for Guitars in the Classroom for several years. Through their guitar-training program, I have been able to work with over 75 educators in that time frame, with guitar instruction as well as song-leading instruction. These teachers overwhelmingly bring these guitars back into their classrooms, (often the next school day after the first guitar session!) and integrate music into their every-day education. This impacts their students immediately, engaging even the most difficult-to-engage students with the music. Through their training, the teachers are empowered to be creative with music-making as well as given the tools to be creative in finding ways to teach their core curriculum using music/the guitar. I've seen many teachers pass this creative-work on to their students, asking them to do song-writing to help them remember concepts - or (in the case of younger students) to help them through school-day transitions, and remember basic class procedures. All-around, the impact has been overwhelmingly positive and with the support of the music industry in providing the basic supplies needed for these classes - we can, (and do) do a lot with the resources we have. I love being an instructor and coordinator for GITC!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Being an instructor for GITC. I've seen the teachers make some real growth in music making and leading and take this into their classrooms.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find ways to make the programs more flexible based on its mission, in order to reach more people, encourage more groups and segments to begin and continue making music in the everyday, (one of the cool things about GITC is that the teachers often don't have any music experience and are overjoyed when they learn that they can join in the world of people making music - everyone should know this!)

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It always makes me happy, I love singing with people!

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This has been such a wonderful gift! I stumbled onto this organization because I wanted to share my skills and wished to touch into other lives, it has done what I expected and has pushed me to give more of myself. I can only speak for myself when I say that this program has given me the avenue and confidence to train and teach students to accept the diversity of the community and of skills that are brought into class, honor communication by singing and writing music and celebrate the expression of soul all while enjoying the playing and learning about the guitar.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I've been a GITC instructor for five years. GITC has given me everything I need to fill a critical educational need in my community--providing music education to students by regular classroom teachers after school music programs were eliminated by budget cuts. I've been able to train over 100 teachers, providing ongoing music education to thousands of students in the local area. GITC provides the curriculum, guitars, accessories and training to make this possible. The ongoing support is timely and unfailingly generous. My collaboration with GITC has helped me grow professionally and personally.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I am a teacher from San Diego Unified School District who received free training in guitar and song leading from Guitars in the Classroom. This program empowers teachers to use a different, more charismatic approach to presenting content area material as well as to bring back a culture in which school children feel comfortable singing. I am greatly impressed by the purpose and vision of GITC.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

giving me confidence in using the guitar as a teaching tool.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

further expand the scope of its reach.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Great organization that helps teachers and students learn through music.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

GITC is amazing. Every year, the education bureaucracy cuts the arts to make room for tested subjects--completely overlooking the substantial research that arts and MUSIC integration enhances learning and student achievement. GITC makes it possible for thousands of classrooms to be vibrant, musical, collaborative learning communities--bound in song. Aristotle said that music is vital because it makes the mind ready for other kinds of learning. So right.

Well done, Jessica Baron and company. Well done.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've taught almost 60 teachers with the GITC curriculum.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide a lifetime funding stream. A guitar for every classroom!

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