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61 Reviews
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January 21, 2011

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January 21, 2011

I served as a class instructor in the past, and was extremely impressed with the organization. The benefit to the youth served by GnG is tremendous. Being able to play a musical instrument gives a voice to so many of these kids, and gives them a much needed outlet. Without the resources of GnG, this would simply not be possible for many of the participants. It is clearly a breath of fresh air for them, and provides an opportunity for them to grow as individuals.

The Great!

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

Northern Virginia

Ways to make it better...

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

At the time, I would have improved the teacher support materials, but I understand that this has been done.

January 21, 2011

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January 21, 2011

I have been associated with GnG for about 5 years. Through these years I have concluded the program offers at risk and underprivileged youth the following life skills: learn to play a guitar; requirement to commit to an 8 week program; care for a piece of property in the form of a guitar; discipline in practicing and showing up for class.

The Great!

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

Providing exposure to music to children who would not otherwise get exposure; teaches discipline in practice and caring for an instrument; requires the child to commit to an 8 week program. Also, I find the volunteers get as much out of the program as the children do because their commitment comes with no reward or reimbursement to them other than the satisfaction of teaching and assisting kids.

Ways to make it better...

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

Attract a larger amount of money so that the program could grow faster with a professional and dedicated leader who could invest full time to the organization's growth. Also, I'd recruit leadership who is both passionate and able to carry the mission forward.

January 21, 2011

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January 21, 2011

Our son started guitar lessons with Guitar not Guns last year and is ready to start the next session. The classes have been great. The teachers are encouraging, patient, and entertaining, and they work to each child's level and musical interests. Our son enjoys it and actually plays at home now! The recital at the end of last session was impressive. The kids and teachers all performed and put on an amazing show. Guitar Not Guns is a great program.

The Great!

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

My son got a lot of positive feedback from his teachers and felt encouraged to challenge himself. He enjoys playing guitar and practices at home now.

Ways to make it better...

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

Expand the class schedule by adding more classes

January 21, 2011

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January 21, 2011

As a former foster parent I believe in the power of music both in building self-esteem and skills, Guitars not Guns accomplishes both these areas for the children in the program. I have been involved with GNG as a Board Member, fundraiser and think that the classes that are part of the GNG program are a remarkable source of development for the kids in the program. From listening to these kids, they are excited about learning new skills, and participating in the music and learning that this program provides.

The Great!

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

by talking to botht he children in the program and their parents. I would judge the success of the program by the participants and their families, and the number of siblings who want to participate.

Ways to make it better...

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

look for more volunteers and funding to expand the program into other sites.

January 21, 2011

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January 21, 2011

I became involved with GNG starting in 2005 as president of San Francisco County. Over the years, the program grew from teaching a handful of students the basic of beginner guitar to three separate instruction levels inlcuding intermediate and advanced electric guitar. It has been thrilling to watch these children grow and develop their skills, to see the smiles on their faces when they master a new chord, and admire the swell of pride emanating from their friends and families as they publicly perform at recitals. Our message is clear, and very simple.....they love music, they love learning, and they love doing it together. Ultimately, in so doing, they are engaged in positive, productive social activities instead of spending their free time on the streets getting intro trouble. It has been a sheer joy to work with these kids and the wonderful volunteers, parents and guardians who contribute so much to our program. Please visit us on the web at www.guitarsnotguns.org and find out how you can help today!

The Great!

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

seeing the growth of these kids into responsible young members of their communities, to the point where they share their skills with each other

Ways to make it better...

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

use productive models from one chapter to clone into other chapters.

January 20, 2011

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January 20, 2011

My son joined GNG beginning his freshman year in highschool. His school did not offer a music program and a friend told us about GNG. He joined as an advanced student and couldn't be more happier. He's practicing more, even starting to try his hand at writing music. The volunteers are incredible. Their learning styles and encouragement keep the kids interested and wanting to learn more. They try their best to accommodate their schedule to the kids school schedules. Their positive attitudes lend to the possibilities of our children becoming future volunteers.

The Great!

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

through the boys&girls club

Ways to make it better...

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

definitely advocate for more volunteers, some kind of outreach. They're a great group and need all the help they can get so that other student benefit from their talents and generosity.

January 20, 2011

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January 20, 2011

I am the mother of a volunteer with the program. My son is a wonderful guitar player and when I encouraged him to get involved in a volunteer activity to give back to the community, He chose to help out at Guitars Not Guns. He has been an assistant teacher now for 4 years and has grown immeasurably as a person. He is good with the kids because he is not much older than they are and gets to do something that he loves at the same time. The other volunteers are a great bunch of people - so my son has also met some great mentors. I have attended all of the concerts and seen wonderful enthusiasm and growth in the young students. This is a very valuable organization - I can't recommended it highly enough.

The Great!

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

the personal and emotional growth of my son

Ways to make it better...

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

expand its outreach in our community

January 20, 2011

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January 20, 2011

Hi, I've been volunteering for GNGs for about 3 years now and I find it very rewarding. I used to teach when I was a lot younger (about 38 years ago). Then I went to school and got a music education but wound up going into business myself (outside of music). After about 30 years I got the itch to go back to music and helped to start the local Guitar Society in the San Francisco bay area. Then about three years ago I got the itch to start teaching again and I contacted my local chapter of GNGs.

I remembered that when I was young I had little time for anything other than practicing guitar. I put in a minimum of 5 hours every day and in a way that saved me from all the activities that many of my friends got into, namely drugs. I still recall telling them that they were wasting their time partying and getting stoned. They would just look at me.

Well, I still think that having a discipline like studying music can save many kids from going off into a wrong direction in life. It is also proven that studying music and the arts will help students improve their study habits in other subjects as well.

I am not sure how much of a difference I am making in my community as far as helping kids go. But I am finding that I am having a great time and learning to be proud of learning the guitar all over again, except this time it is through the eyes and ears of my kids.

The Great!

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

I post the final performance on Youtube and encourage the students' friends to join the next time around.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would start other chapters of GNGs in the Bay Area.

September 27, 2010

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September 27, 2010

Hello, my name is Hannah Blanco, and I am a former student of Guitars Not Guns. I reached level B2, until the program was not available anymore. Because of that, I continued to learn guitar on my own. Now, I would like to possibly volunteer for GnG and hope to open doors for other children, just how GnG did for me. When I first joined GnG, I was excited to know I was going to learn to play the guitar, since I love music with a passion and can play several instruments. When I passed the first test, I was really excited that I would have my own guitar. I worked hard to pass that test, and practiced a lot. My teacher was Mr. Webb. There is one thing that Mr. Webb taught me that I will never forget. He always said, "Practice makes perfect, if you make perfect practice," which inspired me to make the best practice I could with everything I was doing. Now, I still play the guitar, and can play many of my favorite songs. I recently started playing the electric guitar, which I got for Christmas. I wish to continue carrying out the lessons I was given, and continue to learn more and more.

Photos

The Great!

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

yes

Ways to make it better...

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

make classes available in more locations

More feedback...

Ways to make it better...

there was a second level class available in my location

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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