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Guitars in the Classroom

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education

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) has trained over 10,000 classroom teachers and specialists in 32 states and 10 universities and has reached more than a million students with free musical learning during the school day. Our work is boosting student literacy and language learning in classrooms in underserved (Title 1) schools across the country. 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

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 4

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.

3 San B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.