Engage Students with Guitar, Part 2

What can the Level II Guitar Workshop do for you? NAfME members Matt Gerry and Stacey Rubach attended both the Level I and Level II guitar workshops.

The Road to Full Funding:

Initially Rubach could not get funding to start a guitar program in her elementary school. So, she started a guitar ensemble in her home, starting with 10–12 students and adding new groups each year from grades 4 and 5.

After two teachers at the middle school who’d taken the Level I workshop began teaching beginning guitar, the program was soon launched. Rubach was asked to teach the Level II students this fall and signed up for the second workshop. “The GAMA Guitar workshop gave me lots of resources and information for the new class,” she says.

Now that the guitar program has taken off, the school system is providing the necessary money, time, and space and is purchasing guitars and materials, and local and national newspapers have shown interest.

Continuing the Success:

Gerry wanted to expand his guitar program for students who are more serious about their guitar studies, so he signed up for Level II this summer. He’s found it hard to build a new program at a time when concerns about test scores take students away from the arts. “With the information I received from Level II, I have the tools to fight to get these upper-level guitar courses instituted,” Gerry says.

The Bottom Line on the Guitar Workshops?

“Take these classes and get guitar going as part of your general music classes. The students on the fringes will start to be some of your greatest students when they are motivated by the guitar. I can’t say enough about what guitar has done in my classroom,” says Gerry.

“I recommend that all schools start a guitar program. It is a great way to teach the rudiments of music, to get connected with students, and to keep them interested in school,” says Rubach.

To learn more about the guitar workshops, visit Get Guitar in Your School!

Matt Gerry teaches at South Middle School in Salina, Kansas.

Stacey Rubach teaches at R. C. Haydon Elementary School and Osbourn High School in Manassas, Virginia.

The NAfME Guitar Education Team receives generous funding from the Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA) and the International Music Products Association (NAMM).

Linda Brown, August 27, 2008, © National Association for Music Education