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ONE - CHILD -
ONE - GUITAR
ONE - MIRACLE
The goal of Guitars Not Guns® Music Program is to help prevent violence in schools and on the streets by providing foster kids, at-risk youth and other deserving children with guitars and lessons in a classroom setting with qualified teachers.
Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything.
Using music as a catalyst we encourage children and teens to use their creativity to foster personal development and to help divert them from self-destructive influences such as drugs, alcohol and gang-related activities. By providing free guitars and lessons we hope to engage their creative potential and help them achieve their dreams.
Our programs are for children and teens ages 8 - 18 using low teacher-to-student ratios. Each class consists of a maximum of 10 students with three adult instructors. In addition to learning how to master changing from one chord to another, children learn perseverance, discipline and self-esteem. More importantly, the kids learn to enjoy the interaction and have fun in a group setting. Those who complete the full 8 week program are allowed to keep the guitar and are encouraged to return for Level 2
Note: GNG is not anti-gun. We are anti-gun violence.
"Music can heal. It can do more than ease the pain. It can throw a lifeline to kids who can't be reached in any other way."
Guitars Not Guns
This Organization relies on that “aha!” moment the first time a kid strums the strings. Then when fans applaud and swoon, the sounds of a guitar can drown out the other noise – taunts at school, gang violence, smooth-talking drug dealers.
Treble, Not Trouble: “When I was young, my guitar was my best friend,” says Ray Nelson, an Atlanta resident who founded Guitars Not Guns, the international, nonprofit music education program for at-risk youths with the motto: “Let’s fill the world with music rather than the sounds of mothers weeping.”
As foster parents in the 1990s, he and his wife, Louise, hit upon the organization’s simple premise.
“Most foster kids move four or five times in high school,” he says. “I noticed that the one thing they had in common was that they carried around a plastic bag with their clothes in it – that was all they had. A guitar is portable, and I knew so many musicians whose guitars were just sitting in attics, gathering dust,” he says.
At Risk Youth:
“Underprivileged children are usually two or three years behind because they have trouble focusing,” Louise Nelson says. “Music works the right and left sides of their brains, and studies show that kids who are in a music program perform better in school. Their behavior gets calmer, and their self-esteem improves – like watching a flower unfold.”
(Volunteer) If Music Be the Food of Love: “I can’t express fully how important music was in my childhood, giving me a safe place, and now, how much it has done to put food on my table and strengthen my belief in the goodness of people,” says roots rocker Caroline Aiken, who works with the organization. “If I can turn a kid on to music’s healing form of self-ex-pression, maybe they will carry it with them the rest of their life and, in turn, give it to another kid some-where down the line.”
Guitars not Guns Video Presenation
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GNG is profiled in the book, "Changing The World On A Tuesday Night." If you purchase the book by clicking through the link below $2.00 of the purchase price will be donated to Guitars Not Guns.