Guitars In The Classroom
June 16, 2010
Images: By Request

For Immediate Release
Nick Sinutko
Guitars In The Classroom


(June 16, 2010, Solana Beach, CA)- In a clutch save last week when a late breaking need for guitars arose for GITC, help arrived on the double from GAMA, the Guitars and Accessories Marketing Association and Fender Musical Instruments.
Rob Sulkow, director of GAMA, did not hesitate to act when he learned that through a simple email mis-communication, a special new GITC AMIGO program being funded by The NAMM Foundation was without instruments. He immediately reached out to constituents from his organization, asking if any company could instantly come up with 15 acoustic guitars to ship in the next day.
Amy Martin

The guitars were needed to supply a very special northwest Michigan migrant schools training program.  The participating teachers come from all over the 5-county area, and some come from all over the state. Their students are all English Language Learners (ELLs) for whom music integration serves as an entry point and incentive for learning, classroom participation, and quickly acquiring English. The class was scheduled to take place in rural Traverse City in just 5 days!  Instructor Amy Martin was already strategizing about how to go guitar-less until a donor might emerge.

Amazingly, within the hour, Mr. Sulkow
Bob Morris. Director of Education, Fender Musical Instrumentsreceived an affirmative response from Bob Morris, Director of Education for Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, a company that originally helped launch GITC's work in 2000. In the interim years, Fender has been focusing on bringing guitar education to middle and high school music programs through the highly successful GAMA MENC Summer Guitar workshops while GITC has continued to develop classroom music integration for general subjects teachers and learning specialists. Now, through acts of compassion on the parts of Mr. Sulkow and Mr. Morris, Guitars in the Classroom has been dually blessed both with the needed instruments and a reconnection with Fender.

When asked what motivated his act of kindness, Bob Morris explained this way. "The situation took me back to when I was in the classroom. And I thought about how it would be for Amy to have no instruments that first day. I just couldn't let that happen. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Anyone who can touch someone musically is a friend of mine. And at the end of the day, all of us at Fender couldn't be happier to do something like that. We can't do it every day, but what we were able to do here is a lot more important than anything we could receive in return."
Michigan GITC Class
The instruments arrived Monday morning where GITC instructor Amy Martin was on stand-by to tune the guitars into Open G and place them into the eager hands of teachers. 

Guitars in the Classroom would like to thank Fender Musical Instruments and Bob Morris, as well as GAMA and director Rob Sulkow, all long time supporters of GITC, for this clutch save! GITC is also immensely grateful to The NAMM Foundation for funding the important work of The AMIGO Project around the country. Because of everyone's kindness, these 15 teachers and 1500 lucky students will receive music integration as part of daily instruction this summer and in the years ahead.

For the full interview with Mr. Morris, Director of Education for Fender, please click here.

Related Links:
Fender Outreach
GAMA: Discover Guitar
The NAMM Foundation

Guitars In The Classroom is a non-profit organization that provides innovative musical training for classroom teachers so all students can experience the joy and essential benefits of making music. Its programs deliver ongoing instruction, access to instruments, and educational materials that weave music across the academic curriculum in sustainable, grassroots programs, nationwide. For further information or to get involved, please contact GITC at 858-755-2239 or go online at