Guitars In The Classroom
November 17th, 2010
Images: Paul Reed Smith, John Hawkins, Peter D'Addario, Request Other

For Immediate Release
Guitars in the Classroom
(November 17, 2010, Encinitas, CA)- In a tough economy when many non-profits are cutting back services, charitably minded Music Products manufacturers recently gave a hand to two charities making a musical difference for children and teachers around the world- NAMM grantee Guitars in the Classroom and social media phenom Playing for Change Foundation. GITC and PFCF teamed up with online auction company Bidding for Good to offer a modest selection of signed and unsigned instruments, CDs, celebrity sports memorabilia, vacation packages and more to bidders.

Together, auction partners and sponsors sent word out to hundreds of thousands of fans through their online social networks. Andrew Surmani, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Alfred Music Publishing posted and tweeted about it.  Yvonne de Villiers, creative director and designer for Luna Guitars blogged about it. Peter D'Addario made sure news of the auction went out through a company eBlast. The National Guitar Workshop created a feature about the auction in their eNewsletter, and the list goes on from there with many people dedicated to music education from within the MI pulling together to help GITC with its first auction.

GITC kept the number of musical items low intentionally to bring focus to sponsors and promote brand name awareness through highlighted visual exposure.  Featured instruments were unique and easily identifiable.  MI partners such as Paul Reed Smith chose to donate instruments that would stand out in a crowd and stand alone in a category. The PRS SE Custom 24 yellow, quilt maple, 25th Anniversary special edition guitar caught the eyes of bidders seeking a premium electric guitar, while Luna Guitars donated a stunning bright blue Dolphin acoustic.  That guitar and the C.F. Martin SWOMGT acoustic were among two of the highest dollar items and were signed respectively by Jack Johnson and Jackson Browne. These instruments netted GITC almost $4,000. Starter instruments such as Luna's little Muse guitar, Greg Bennett's full-size Goldrush acoustic, and Washburn's X-10 Electric Guitar Starter Pak each attracted the attention and bids from very different kinds of beginning players. GITC plans to take this approach to future auctions slated for 2011.

GITC Founder and Executive Director Jessica Baron credits partners and friends with carrying the work of the non-profit forward during hard times. "This auction is an example of what can happen when great people- business leaders, artists, staff, and community members band together in the name of doing something good for others. Giving and receiving is such a naturally reciprocal process." In addition to those previously mentioned, auction sponsors included GAMA member companies KMC Music, Inc., Godin Guitars, Levy's Leathers, American Music and Sound, and Washburn Guitars in addition to Samick Music Corp/Greg Bennett Designs and Peak International Music Stands.  Samick has been standing strong with GITC for many years and John Hawkins, Vice President of the MI Division serves on GITC's board of directors.

Peter D'Addario, former President and current Vice president of GITC's Board of Directors spoke to the importance of this kind of effort, saying "D'Addario Strings and the D'Addario Foundation are proud supporters of GITC and always have been. GITC is able to inspire teachers and reach so many children every year on a shoe string budget, and the training is incredibly valuable to the teachers and students. So it's a good thing to get involved in this kind of effort because it nurtures the musical health of our culture and helps grow the population of musicians in our society. What could be better?"

Related Links:
Guitars in the Classroom
Playing For Change Foundation
NAMM, The International Music Products Association
GAMA, Guitar Accessories Marketing Association

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 760-452-6123 or go online at