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

1 person found this review helpful

I manage a one-time musical grants program for the CA Arts Council, a state agency. GITC was one of 42 successful applicants who received funds to provide valuable music education for underserved and mostly bi-lingual children. Jess and Colibri were a joy to work with, and it is gratifying to know that the activities made lasting impact on teachers, students, as well as parents and the community. GITC's story has been featured on our official website as an exemplary organization, and I know that it gets much support from many instrumental makers as well as great musicians and schools. Having given up earlier aspirations in music as an immigrant, I wholeheartedly support the mission, work and staff of GITC.

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

A panel-adjudicated public grants program I manage

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

I have since their grant ended, continue to stay in touch and support their work - such as I am doing now. They have much potential to be a replicable throughout our country with much impact on art and music education.

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

What is unique about this organization?

Passion and technically replicable; family-oriented; immigrant-friendly, creative, music business supported; bi-bilingualism; invaluable to education.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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