Guitars not Guns

Rating: 4.95 stars   61 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth

Location: PO Box 3562 Peachtree City GA 30269 USA

Mission: Provide guitars and lessons to foster kids, at risk youth and other deserving children in a classroom setting with qualified teachers
Results: Kids and teens are served across the USA and Canada. Our program is open to thousands of kids at Boy's & Girl's Clubs, community centers, teen centers, schools and churches.
Target demographics: Underprivileged kids an youth that may engage in gang activity.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Students 500
Geographic areas served: National
Programs: Lessons given on a 8-week schedule through out the year. We help kids that can't be with their parents, at least for a while.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 91-2069334
770-861-2443
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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

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

lessons

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

hope that it would broaden its reach

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Rating: 5 stars  

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

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

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

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

More publicity

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

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!!!

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.

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

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

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Rating: 4 stars  

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.

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.

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

More funding

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

I've gone to fundraisers held by this organization.

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.

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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.

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.

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

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)

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.

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

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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Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered with GNG for almost a year now. I taught music as a chorus and band director for 4 years in NC and was looking for a way to be involved in music education once I relocated to DC. I have been impressed with the organization and the clear focus of its leadership; it is easy to volunteer because of the consistent dedication of the DC president and the continued commitment and support by the school and the students. I feel honored to be part of an organization that positively supports students in school by capitalizing on student interest and creating success that then multiplies into success academically and socially in many areas of these students' lives. On a personal note, I am proud to take part in each of these students' lives; they are polite, hardworking, creative, interesting, passionate and inspiring.

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

I have watched the students continually improve their guitar skills weekly throughout the program. There are even 'graduated' students that returned for a second year and they are becoming quite accomplished guitarists! Of great importance as well, the students gain confidence and an outlet of self expression through this program. We sometimes have improv freestyle 'rap' or 'spoken word' that is both sincere and inspiring (and enlightening regarding how the students are making sense of their world).

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

It is organized so well and the school is very supportive of the program, the volunteers, and the students. I would provide more financial support for guitars and other accessories. It would be great, for example, if the kids had tuners to keep once they have 'graduated' and learned how to tune their instrument on their own.

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Rating: 4 stars  

The growth is this program in the National Capital Area is astonishing, from around 25 participants in 2006 to now more than 300. The program is based on a great idea, to provide opportunities that otherwise may not exist for at-risk kids to learn to play a guitar. Learning music whether it is the guitar or any other instrument provides so many more benefits than just learning the instruments. This program builds self-esteem and provides an alternative path rather than one that is self-destructive.

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

witnessing a kid that was on the path to self-destruction change his life through music. I've seen him perform in "open mike" night at a coffee house and heard him perform original songs.

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

no suggestions

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Rating: 5 stars  

A coworker and guitarists challenged me to volunteer in the GNG program and I took the challenge. Instructing small groups of little fingers and hands moving up and down their new guitar neck together making music was beyond my expectations. To hear boys dreaming of playing with there buds and girls strumming and singing a new song takes one back to the beginnings. Success means practicing and that takes time and that time keeps them focused along with a weekly commitment to attend the lessons. Witnessing the smiles and claps from parents and friends of these young musicians upon graduation is the reason GNG does impact my local community and needs your support as well..

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

Instructing the young kids to understand the guitar as a instrument and then enjoy the benefits of plays songs that bring a joy the there hearts.

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

Get the word out to the community for support and have more local musicians be aware that they can volunteer of the program for the youth.

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