GUITARS IN THE CLASSROOM –
“Train a teacher and inspire a generation.”
Guitars In The Classroom is a national non-profit organization that trains teachers to play guitar, sing with confidence, and facilitate students in writing educational songs. They provide training to teachers so that they, in turn, can infuse lessons with music.
GITC was founded by a public school music teacher with a background in developmental psychology who developed a way to offer group guitar classes using a simple, open-tuning approach to playing. Since many schools can no longer support a music teacher, GITC addresses the need for music to be part of every child’s education on a daily basis, by training teachers to gain proficiency in music and share this skill with their students. Classes are taught to 24 teachers at a time during after-school hours, and GITC provides loaner guitars to any teacher who needs one so that they can immediately begin to sing and use music in their classrooms with their own students. Their free programs are offered in 25 states at this time, and they are still growing.
The GITC process has shown music to be a very powerful teaching tool – using songs to teach everything from reading to math, science to history, and learning about other cultures through their music. They have seen the level of participation and joy in the classroom increase immediately when a teacher pulls a guitar out of its case, strums a chord and invites the class to sing its spelling words, multiplication tables, history lesson or science concept in a song.
BGMF has granted funds to GITC for their work in the greater Bay Area, with the past two years earmarked specifically for Oakland, CA and surrounding areas. GITC has been training teachers in the greater San Francisco Bay Area for six years, and their trained teachers are now in some 75 mostly public Bay Area schools from Sonoma to Santa Clara Counties. As a San Francisco teacher recently pointed out, this system also provides good modeling because the students see the teacher being a learner.
For more information, visit their website at http://www.guitarsintheclassroom.org.
© 2012 Bill Graham Memorial Foundation
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