Chalkboard Logo (GITC)
January 7th, 2011
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For Immediate Release
Guitars in the Classroom
Thanks to Grass Roots Efforts, Guitars in the Classroom Classes Begin Again for San Diego Area Teachers
(January 6th, 2011, Encinitas, CA)- Guitars in the Classroom will at long last begin a new series of free music integration classes for classroom teachers throughout San Diego and North County thanks to grants and local sponsorship from charitably minded friends and neighbors including The NAMM Foundation in Carlsbad, Art N Soul Gallery on 101 in Encinitas, Harrah's Rincon, and local GITC supporters. During a time of economic hardship for our schools, people in our community are banding together to make it possible for this nationally active, locally based non-profit to make musical learning for academic excellence a reality for teachers.

In 2010, Lorrin and Rick Boyer of Del Mar, and Billy and Carolyn Stern of Cardiff by the Sea hosted successful house concerts featuring Hawaiian Slack Rock artist Makana and Americana songwriting legend Rod MacDonald. As a result of everyone's combined efforts, over 100 kindergarten-12th grade teachers from Oceanside to San Diego will be able to resume classroom music integration training beginning the week of February 1st.

Many local businesses such as Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The Pannikin, and Caffe La Bocca also helped make these events a great success.

GITC's brand of song-based learning trains, empowers and equips teachers to bring musical learning into their daily teaching in every subject area. Musical inclusion makes lessons more engaging, motivating and memorable for students of every age and learning style. The work is particularly beneficial for students with learning styles that are hard to address with traditional methods. "Singing lessons gets even highly distracted students focused and enjoying the learning process" says GITC's founder and executive director, Jessica Baron. "Shy children feel safe singing with their whole class, and English Language Learners get more "oral language practice"- a key ingredient in acquiring "Academic English" when they sing new vocabulary words and phrases. Natural repetition of lyric that occurs in songs makes the words and meanings easy students to remember." In fact, GITC's bilingual approach called the AMIGO Program helped students in at Oakley Elementary School in Northern California reach their academic and AYP goals last year.

Last year's programs in San Diego offered in partnership with The San Diego Unified School District Department of Visual and Performing Arts, made it possible for 100 classroom teachers from 20 different elementary schools in San Diego County to learn to play basic guitar, sing, lead students in song, and facilitate student songwriting across the academic spectrum. In a year when the district had no funds at all for professional development in the Arts, these classes were sponsored by The Wishlist Foundation, a group of fans of the band Pearl Jam who hosted a party at McGreggors Grille for the organization and raised $2,600 in one evening.

This winter marks the fourth year of GITC training in Oceanside schools, the third for teachers in Encinitas and Cardiff, and the second for teachers in SDUSD. All of this has been made possible by members of our grassroots community members who appreciate the power of music to inspire and teach.

Guitars in the Classroom welcomes community volunteers to help out with everything from local events to hands-on assistance in their classrooms. Donations of guitars and cash contributions help keep these programs alive. For more information about getting involved, please contact Executive Director at

If you, another teacher, parent music volunteer, or specialist wish to inquire about registering for classes, please write to To find a program near you, visit Guitars in the Classroom's Programs Page and follow the instructions to register.

Related Links:
GITC's Homepage
GITC on Facebook
GITC on Twitter

About Guitars in the Classroom

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