San Diego-based nonprofit, Guitars in the Classroom, will be able to spread their musical reach to more classrooms in San Diego County–-- thanks to a $5,700-dollar grant from the City of San Diego.
The nonprofit received the grant in front of a group of guitar-playing students at Jefferson Elementary School in North Park.
“Music is a form of social engagement for children, that is all at once creative, and it lights up the whole brain and body at the same time, so when we have guitars and ukuleles in the classroom we have a way for kids to engage in learning in a social context,” said Jess Baron, Founder and Executive Director of Guitars in the Classroom.
The organization has trained 14-thousand teachers in 33 states, including parts of Canada, for the last 19 years. With the new funding, the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit hopes to spread their reach further until every school has access to instruments.
“We want to inspire teachers anywhere and everywhere to see what we’re doing here in San Diego and also what we’re doing in LA Unified and come here to learn from us and take this work back if it moves them to do it,” said Jess Baron, Founder and Executive Director of Guitars in the Classroom.
With the City’s donation, the nonprofit said this will allow teachers who trained with the group to request a residency with the program if the teacher wants to learn more about leading music in the classroom.
Founder and Executive Director, Jess Baron, says the effects of music in children’s lives is “deep work.”
“For children where the focus is an issue, it’s a non-issue once the music goes into the classroom. For our autistic children, this is a bridge to speech. We’ve seen many, many children in San Diego go from non-verbal or low-verbal to bridging the music into speaking and having much richer relationships with their families and their peers,” said Baron.