GAMA and FENDER MAKE A CLUTCH SAVE FOR 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
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.
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 received 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
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."
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
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.
GAMA: Discover Guitar
The NAMM Foundation
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 www.guitarsintheclassoom.org.