Music Education Nonprofit Provides Instruments for Students Stuck at Home

"Guitars in the Classroom" was able to receive about $47,000 as part of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation's "Project Innovation 2020"

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A San Diego-based music education nonprofit is providing instruments for students stuck at home during the pandemic without their usual classroom instruments.

"Guitars in the Classroom" is a national nonprofit based in North Park that trains teachers to integrate music into core subjects like math and language arts.

The nonprofit was able to receive about $47,000 as part of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation's "Project Innovation 2020."

NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 in partnership with the foundation recently awarded almost $2.5 million to nonprofits around the country, including $225,000 right here in San Diego. The Project Innovation grant winners use innovative solutions to tackle everyday problems, including those caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is a complimentary program. We're not trying to fix the budget problem, what we're doing is enhancing and expanding the role of music," founder Jess Baron told NBC 7.

The nonprofit touches the lives of about 50,000 students a year just in San Diego. But with distance learning during the pandemic, classrooms are now homes and many students don't have instruments.

Well the foundation came to the rescue Saturday, offering musical instrument pickups for students from Jefferson Elementary School. Baron said the nonprofit took on new expenses with the pandemic and the grant has helped a lot.

For teachers and staff who believe in the program, they know a simple instrument can make a huge difference.

"Under these stressful times it makes it more manageable," Jefferson Elementary Principal Francisco Morga said. "Especially with the guitars, when you're strumming and able to release some of that anxiety or stress, it really helps."

The nonprofit said many of their teachers are reporting that music is the only thing working to fully engage their students during online learning.

On behalf of NBC 7 and sister station Telemundo 20, here are the 2020 grant recipients:

  • Coastal Roots Farm
  • La Maestra Foundation
  • San Diego Food Bank
  • Project Concern International
  • Reality Changers
  • Guitars in the Classroom

NBC 7 San Diego is owned and operated by parent company NBCUniversal.

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