After years of success bringing music education into schools, The Traveling Guitar Foundation--with support from Schecter Guitars--has announced the upcoming dates of additional visits in the Northeast. A school without music? It’s hard to imagine a childhood without music. Music helps children develop coordination, goal-setting and concentration. Plus, there is a full body of research showing that kids who are actively involved in music are better at reading, math and science.
But many schoolchildren today are not benefiting from music programs at school because funding for music education has been eliminated from their budgets. Schools have had to make hard choices and unfortunately, one of these choices has been to eliminate their music and arts budget.
Damon Marks is a lifelong musician and New Jersey resident who is keenly aware of this problem. Marks has been playing guitar since the age of 10 and has made a career as a professional guitarist. He recalls that music helped him through tough times when he was a child, “It helped me find my friends and get involved and ease the pain I was going through. If I hadn’t found music, fellow band mates and fans, I might have found drugs or alcohol or who knows what else. I want kids today to have that same chance to connect to music in such a meaningful, creative way.”
Marks decided to do something about the struggle schools have to keep music and creative programs afloat. In 2010, he created the Traveling Guitar Foundation to bring music back into schools with inadequate music funding. He takes his show on the road to elementary, middle and high schools where he performs and engages the children in his performance. The program supplies schools with free guitars, equipment and a curriculum that does not require musical training for any teacher.
The New Jersey musician started by bringing his music program to New York City area schools, including eight schools in Elizabeth, NJ where he attended school growing up. To date, the Foundation has donated over 400 new guitars, amplifiers, various types of percussion, instrument cables and a guitar learning curriculum to over 70 schools in the U.S. and abroad, positively impacting over 30,000 students.
The Foundation is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that receives its funding from the generous donations of performing artists and corporate sponsors. These sponsors and the members of the foundation are committed to the mission of making a difference in children’s lives through music.
Individual contributors are a very important part of making the foundation succeed. Supporters that feel music is important and has impacted their life in a positive way can consider making a tax-deductible donation to support the work of the Traveling Guitar Foundation.
More supporters of this cause include Guitar Center, Mesa Boogie Amps, EMG pickups, Mogami Cable and Conn-Selmer.
• March 13 – New Heights Academy Charter School
• March 20– Bronx Charter School For The Arts
• March 27 – Tompkins Square Middle School
• April 17 – Theodore Schor Middle School
• May 29 – Colts Neck High School
To support the foundation or for more info please visit travelingguitarfoundation.org.