By Phyllis Pollack
Musicians Tom Petty and Switchfoot members Jack Johnson and Jon Foreman have signed and donated instruments to the Encinitas, California non-profit group Guitars In The Classroom, in an effort to raise funds through an 11-day online auction, entitled Peace & Love Through Music. The auction will run from November 18 through the November 28 at peacelovethrumusic.com. Musicians, music fans and those wanting to contribute to a good cause can bid on an alluring selection of items, in addition to the autographed instruments. In doing so, the winners will help benefit programs that support students.
A longtime radio staple and multi-platinum selling group, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers autographed a solid cedar top Greg Bennett Rio Grande OM15 CE guitar for GITC, and Petty and Switchfoot front man Jon Foreman also signed a sunburst Fender Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster provided by the Fender Music Foundation. CONTINUE READING BELOW THIS ADVERTISEMENT.
Jack Johnson personally donated and signed a beautiful KoAloha koa wood soprano ukulele through his Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation. Ukuleles have become increasingly popular in recent years, in part due to musicians like Johnson and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, who released a solo album entitled ‘Ukulele Songs,’ earlier this year. Former Beatle Paul McCartney and The Who’s Roger Daltrey are among other artists that have played ukulele on recent tours.
Also included in the auction, Guitars In The Classroom will also offer a selection of items that include one of a kind specially made gifts, special experiences, celebrity and local music lessons, and other useful tools for musicians, teachers and music fans.
Proceeds generated by the online auction will be earmarked to benefit free music programs, music therapy, training and supplies. The fundraising effort is co-sponsored by two other music non-profit organizations, Resounding Joy and the highly venerated Playing for Change Foundation, along with an inspirational charity founded to teach kids to foster peace in the world, Kids for Peace.
Petty, himself, took guitar lessons at one point from Don Felder of The Eagles. The seminal version of his band the Heartbreakers, featuring world class guitarist Mike Campbell, was originally called Mudcrutch. Early on, the band used to play gigs in Florida, and on various occasions, they served as the opening act for the iconic Southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd. From there, Petty and bandmates soared into international stardom. Despite his incredible guitar playing, the Heartbreakers’ lead guitarist Mike Campbell has often stated that he has never released a solo album, because he considers Petty as one of the finest songwriters around. Notes Campbell, “So what’s the point?”
Like Campbell, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot is a highly respected guitarist in his own right. Among his many accolades, in 2001, he was given the Les Paul Horizon Award, recognizing him as the most promising up-and-coming guitarist of the year. Switchfoot is often cited for their Christian themes, while still appealing to a diverse range of music fans.
Jack Johnson’s mellow, acoustic singer/songwriter fare is not his only artistic achievement. Johnson has also appeared in and directed two surf films, ‘Thicker Than Water’ and ‘The September Sessions,’ and he is also responsible for their soundtracks.
With the seal of approval from these accomplished musicians, supporters can access the campaign and participate in the auction by visiting www.peacelovethrumusic.com.
GITC plans to use its funds in the Los Angeles area through efforts that include increasing support to the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center in South Central Los Angeles, and to additional L.A. Unified Schools, and Conejo Valley schools where the organization has been active for the last three and two years respectively.
Guitars In The Classroom has a unique approach that students love. Teachers bring guitars into their classrooms and use playing and songs as a tool for instruction on all subjects. Music has been found to be a helpful aid in learning when it comes to memory and retaining information. Numerous studies have provided strong evidence that children who can play instruments have more confidence and are faster learners.
Guitars In The Classroom is a non-profit organization that provides musical training for K-8 classroom teachers, so that all students can experience the benefits of learning through making music. GITC’s free programs deliver ongoing instruction, access to instruments, and educational materials to supplement the academic curriculum with creative learning in sustainable, grassroots programs, nationwide.
For further information and to get involved, please contact executive director Jessica Anne Baron at email@example.com or by contacting760- 452-6123, and online at their website, www.guitarsintheclassroom.org.