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54 Reviews
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January 31, 2012

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1 previous review
January 21, 2011

I have been volunteering with guitars not guns as a teacher and as the President of our DC Affiliate in Washington DC. The results are amazing. The students come each week eager to learn, eager to pla... more

January 31, 2012

“One of the most important things that we can do as a society is to include music in our local communities. We can reach across the divide of cultures with music. We can bring forth change with music. We can and we must embrace the power of music. It is a very important thread in the fabric of our consciousness as a society.”- Gregg Hammond 2011 interview with Bittersweet Magazine Guitars Not Guns is an all-volunteer and donation based non-profit with no paid employees. It comes from our hearts and our desire to make our city a shining example of what we can do around the nation and around the globe. I taught a class at a therapeutic day school. Here is what the principal said about the program. From: Bellamy, Bettye
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 2:47 PM
To: Lopez, Julia
Subject: Guitars not Guns Program Statement

The Guitars not Guns Program was introduced to students at Rock Creek Academy last year(2009) as an avenue for inner city, urban students to explore options to the proliferation of violence among youth in Washington , DC . Rock Creek Academy is a therapeutic day school for students with learning and emotional disabilities. When told about the program, initially, I was hesitant to embrace it because my thinking at the time was that our students probably would not be receptive because they would not be learning ‘gangsta rap’ or “hip-hop.” After exploring the inner landscapes of the Guitars not Guns Program, I agreed to move forward and introduce it to our students. By all means, it is probably one of the best decisions that I have made as Principal of the high school program at Rock Creek Academy .

Our student participants are eager and enthusiastic about their weekly adventure. Other students are trying to get into the program. I have had the pleasure of observing our participants. Their faces tell the story. Expressions of joy and accomplishment permeate the room. Often students will let you know emphatically that the program is lots of fun. As an educational administrator, the essence of the educational process should be fun. This unique and wonderful program has allowed our special needs population an opportunity to learn how to play the guitar while they are engaged in concept building and the acquiring of a variety of learning skills. The Guitars not Guns Program is a tremendous asset to Rock Creek Academy .

Bettye A. Bellamy, Ed.D.
High School Principal
Rock Creek Academy
Challenging Minds and Building Character

More feedback...

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?

2012

January 21, 2011

I have been volunteering with guitars not guns as a teacher and as the President of our DC Affiliate in Washington DC. The results are amazing. The students come each week eager to learn, eager to play. I feel blessed to be part of making a difference in the lives of children who would not have the opportunity to play music and believe in themselves if it were not for this program. The fact that the students have the opportunity to earn their guitar is very rewarding to them. I see the smiles and hear the laughter each week and it warms my heart. This program is one of a kind. Worth all the hours of time volunteering. Rewarding to both students, and teachers. A plus!



Gregg Hammond Washington DC

The Great!

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

The principal of the school I teach GnG classes for wrote a testimonial about the program: The Guitars not Guns Program was introduced to students last year as an avenue for inner city, urban students to explore options to the proliferation of violence among youth in Washington , DC . Our school is a therapeutic day school for students with learning and emotional disabilities. By all means, it is probably one of the best decisions that I have made as Principal of the high school program

Ways to make it better...

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

I would like to see it expand to global proportions and I am working on avenue to do so.

January 25, 2012

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1 previous review
January 21, 2011

I had been a math and art teacher in the public schools for decades. After I retired, I returned to my music for a new career. During one evening's performance I learned about Guitars Not Guns. This w... more

January 25, 2012

This is my second year volunteering as a guitar teacher for GNG. Although I have played for half a century, and taught math, science and art in the schools, teaching guitar is a new challenge. Today's kids have no culture of traditional song and finding that connection has been an education for me. It is truly pleasing to have students actually returning week after week to pick up tips and learn to play. I see a real need fulfilled for all of us, students and teachers alike.

More feedback...

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?

A lot

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?

2012

January 21, 2011

I had been a math and art teacher in the public schools for decades. After I retired, I returned to my music for a new career. During one evening's performance I learned about Guitars Not Guns. This was the outlet I had been looking for; a different teaching opportunity, a new way to reach those kids whose lives might not be as free and easy as my own. I have thoroughly enjoyed the program, it has all the elements necessary for sound music instruction at no cost to the families. It gives kids a chance to begin a hobby that they can lean on in tough times. Perhaps some day one or two may find true respect and happiness in music.

The Great!

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

There is a real joy in seeing kids come to the next session having spent time with the guitar and improved their playing during the week.

Ways to make it better...

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

The greatest difficulty is the sheer number of students sharing the same space. We need to spread ourselves into more rooms so we can hear and teach. We also need cheap tuners to give the kids so they can keep their instruments in tune between sessions.

February 1, 2011

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February 1, 2011

I am priviledged to have met Greg Hammond when we both lived in Big Pine Key, FL approximately 1995. We met while he was playing for a band called "Lemongrass". We became very good friends. Since then life has taken us in different directions. He now lives in Washington and I live in KY. We have gotten back in touch through Facebook. I haven't had any personal experience with his organization "Guitars Not Guns", but I have had the opportunity to learn more about his cause. He has a real passion for what he does which is providing encouragement to children to get music in their lives! He does this with the hope that he can make a difference. He has a burning desire to keep these children off the streets away from violence and crime. He is the most self-less person I know and I am so proud of him.

The Great!

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

I haven't personally experienced the results of this organization, but there are a lot of children who have. That is what is important!

Ways to make it better...

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

I wouldn't change a thing! If I had the funds I would make financial donations to the cause. If I lived there I would volunteer my time. I think this is a great cause and I wish this world had more people like all the people involved in this organization!

January 31, 2011

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January 31, 2011

Gregg is a phenomenal teacher. He really has a way of customizing his teaching so that each person can understand.

The Great!

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

lessons

Ways to make it better...

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

hope that it would broaden its reach

January 31, 2011

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January 31, 2011

We have enough shootings in this world. There can never be enough music.

The Great!

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

On the board of Bahama Village Music Program in Key West.

Ways to make it better...

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

More publicity

January 31, 2011

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January 31, 2011

Wow - what a valuable and much needed organization!! I met Barbara Gorin, VP of Fundraising at a music industry convention in LA and within about 10 mins. of talking to her about her organization, I was sold and committed to doing whatever I could to contribute. During the convention we ran into many famous musicians who loved this organizations mission as much as I did and they too committed to doing whatever they could to contribute to it's success. (for examples of this you can look on Barbara Goin's FB page - many pics of her with these musicians)

I have worked in the music industry for more than 2 decades and since the convention I have been in contact with many artists and industry people and all are very excited about and committed to working with this organization.

In my opinion, this organization has a very bright future ahead. They provide a very valuable and important service for those who otherwise would have zero access to this type of training. Not to mention, it gives these kids a chance to be inspired and a glimpse into a side of life they would never have the opportunity to see, let alone participate in if it weren't for this program. Inspiration and hope are two of the most valuable things one can experience and this organization provides both!!!

The Great!

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

watching the reactions and enthusiasm of the artist we talked to and their willingness to get involved.

Ways to make it better...

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

Keep building and building to generate more funding to build more.

January 30, 2011

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January 30, 2011

I purchased a t shirt with the proceeds going to the organization. I am pleased with my purchase and believe that this is an excellent cause that is worthy of further funding.

The Great!

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

Receiving a good product through my donation and receiving excellent follow up from the prganization.

Ways to make it better...

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

More funding

January 30, 2011

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January 30, 2011

The work of Guitars Not Guns is even more important in today's economic environment where schools are cutting arts programs. GNG serves low-income children in DC whose parents cannot afford to purchase instruments or lessons for them. These children are also heavily at risk for joining gangs. GNG provides a positive and creative outlet - learning to play guitar - that helps introduce young children to the arts and lets them know that they have other options besides getting involved with violence. GNG has a lesson plan for the children who participate in the program - they learn all of the basic chords for guitar. Kids graduate from the program when they are able to play all of the chords and they are given the guitar to keep to hopefully continue playing.

The Great!

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

I've gone to fundraisers held by this organization.

Ways to make it better...

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

Help them raise enough money to be able to hire at least a part-time staffer for the program.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

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

A lot

How did you learn about this organization?

My guitar teacher is the coordinator for this program

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 29, 2011

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January 29, 2011

Under less than ideal conditions Guitars Not Guns works with kids who desperately need a positive outlet and source of creative inspiration in their lives.

I've attended a public performance of a group of six Guitars Not Guns students - some mentally and physically disabled even - and
these kids thoroughly impressed the scores of other students, parents, and teachers in attendance.

I also attended a small graduation ceremony where a separate group of students received certificates recognizing their attendance and accomplishments in the Guitars Not Guns program.

This kind of public recognition is a powerful thing in the lives of these kids, even if they never pick up a guitar again.

The Guitars Not Guns works in such a variety of ways to improve the outlook for these kids, it is something that should be supported and implemented everywhere.

Photos

The Great!

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

At the public performance, I've personally witnessed the great pride these kids had in their progress in learning the guitar and the ability to showcase a unique talent to their peers, teachers, and parents. The smiles say it all.

Ways to make it better...

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

Like anything else, this organization is in need of volunteers and money to make things happen on a larger scale and help more people. It is run by a single tireless individual, spending his personal time and money to drive the effort forward. Given the results driven by this one person, one can just imagine what could be accomplished with more resources.

More feedback...

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 28, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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January 28, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I organized a two day festival called M.A.i.M./Ed. Fest (musicians alliance in music education) with proceeds to go to GNG. All people involved were a pleasure to work with and offered help in anyway they could. I see their continued dedication constantly)

Photos

The Great!

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

by sharing in the joy of seeing a child learn and receive a guitar. The help they gave in promotion.

Ways to make it better...

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

consider a few paid part time people to help promote and fund raise so that more kids may benefit

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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  1. Sending an email to clients, volunteers, donors, board members, and other partners with a link to your profile page.
  2. Putting a link on your Web site
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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Be a speaker at Kiwanis, Rotary,Optomist clubs and many other places. We furnish the script and DVD for a 30 minute presentation. Volunteer