Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) is a non-profit organization which seeks to transform classrooms by training teachers to integrate musical learning into lessons to inspire student engagement, increase oral language practice, and promote student achievement across the academic curriculum.
I recently had the privilege to interview Jessica Baron. The Founder and Executive Director of Guitars in the Classroom discusses why she founded Guitars in the Classroom, Guitars in the Classroom’s mission, how UPrinting has helped Guitars in the Classroom spread its message, and more.
When did you establish Guitars in the Classroom?
I founded Guitars in the Classroom in 1998.
To provide a public service for so many years, you must really enjoy what you do.
The work we do is so deeply appreciated by the teachers and so exciting for the students that it’s a joy for me to give my best effort everyday.
What inspired you to start the program?
I founded Guitars in the Classroom in response to numerous requests from teachers for musical training. They wanted to share music in their classrooms and use songs to teach.
How does Guitars in the Classroom provide this musical training?
Guitars in the Classroom conducts free teacher training programs around the nation. The training takes place weekly, after school, and we provide the teachers with musical supplies so they can learn without having to spend money on instruments. All of our supplies and instruments are donated by charitably minded sponsors. Our work is made possible by their generosity. To learn more about our sponsors, you can visit the sponsors section of our website.
What is your goal at Guitars in the Classroom?
Our mission is to transform classrooms by training teachers to integrate musical learning in lessons in order to increase student engagement, employ oral language practice, and promote student achievement across the academic curriculum. In our workshops, teachers learn to sing with confidence, play guitar, lead songs, and to select, teach, and facilitate the student writing of educational songs. This daily integration of music with academic learning provides positive, inspiring musical access for all students as part of the regular school day.
How has Guitars in the Classroom impacted your life?
Guitars in the Classroom has become my life! Working in the schools, training our trainers, developing new programs, traveling to help start the work in various parts of the country, and making music with the teachers and children is a wonderful experience. Our work has grown nationwide and is beginning to take root internationally. I am very blessed to be able to serve in this way, and to provide opportunities for service to many wonderful music trainers.
What was your experience like working with UPrinting?
Guitars in the Classroom has worked with UPrinting on several occasions. We’ve been thrilled with the quality of the printed materials, the ease of the online process of submitting jobs, and the kind and professional care we’ve received from the staff. In the past, as a non-profit, we felt very fortunate to receive a discount since charitable dollars are hard to come by. Each dollar that UPrinting saves Guitars in the Classroom helps us provide music integration for a student for a whole school year! This year, we are thrilled to become officially sponsored by UPrinting. The company’s generosity is making it possible for Guitars in the Classroom to do its best outreach ever. It’s a surprise and a pleasure to encounter a business that has a plan in place for assisting the non-profit community. I applaud and thank UPrinting for its community mindedness.
To learn more about Guitars in the Classroom, visit www.guitarsintheclassroom.org.
UPrinting established the UCommunity Program to assist the non-profit community. For more information or to apply for a sponsorship, visit www.uprinting.com/non-profit-sponsor-program.