Check out the October 4, 2013 meeting slide deck and download the presentation to read the notes.
Teaching Guitar Workshops – – We completed the 2013 Teaching Guitar Workshops in late August; everything ran very well. We held Workshops in ten cities across the U.S. and Canada and we increased attendance by about 20%. If you are unfamiliar with the program: every summer, GAMA trains hundreds of school music educators across the U.S. and Canada to start or expand classroom guitar programs. The Workshops are five-day courses in which the attendees learn guitar techniques, pedagogical techniques, and also classroom management procedures. To date, we have trained over 3,000 school music educators at TGW. Because of the program, more than 1.28 million kids have received guitar instruction.
Connecting with Teachers – 50% of our teacher-attendees heard about Teaching Guitar Workshops through word-of-mouth. Another one of our exit survey statistics showed that 95.6% of our attendees strongly agreed that they would recommend the Workshops to their colleagues. We’re also getting good results through our messaging strategy. We are reaching teachers through social channels, our website, and via search. Our partners at NAfME are also helping us by posting GAMA messages on their channels.
2014 Workshops – GAMA is looking into sites for 2014. We hope to announce the sites by November and begin promoting to teachers as early as possible. We also want to increase attendance, so we will be looking for more guitars, strings, straps, books, software, capos, and other products from our GAMA members.
Exit Surveys – At the completion of the Workshops we conducted exit surveys. We have some strong indicators of future success. This graph shows that: 56% of our teachers were teaching guitar when they filled out the application and just 64% said they planned on teaching guitar. After the Workshops that number jumped to 82%. Those statistics are complemented by other information that we received:
– 99% of the teachers told us that they learned specific instructional skills that they can apply in teaching.
– 99% of the teachers agreed that they gained a better understanding of how to teach guitar through the workshops.
Exit Surveys – Other positive indicators:
– 70% of the teachers reported that their schools have space allocated for a guitar class, 67% have adequate storage facilities, 56% have an average of 23 guitars, and 52% said that they will be purchasing guitars and guitar products for their programs. We consider these data indicators of success because they show that the schools are investing resources in their programs. In earlier studies we saw that when schools invest space and money in their guitar programs, more students receive guitar instruction. The logic is that: when a school invests resources in a program, that program succeeds. Given the aforementioned data, we are optimistic about this crop of teachers.
NSPC is a coalition of 40 college- and university-based String Projects. NSPC works to increase both the number of qualified string teachers and the number of children playing stringed instruments. Its unique approach to teacher training has earned national recognition. Gene Dowdy, the Executive Director of the National String Project Consortium, is forwarding a letter from David Lusterman to the directors of the 40+ String Project sites with an invitation to discuss creating and/or building guitar programs.
– GAMA Ad – Sidewalks of New York – Levy’s Leathers generated the “GAMA on the Sidewalks of New York” advertisement to promote GAMA’s involvement in MakeMusic NY. The ad appeared in the MI trade journals and should garner over 25,000 print impressions.
– LinkedIn – GAMA has a LinkedIn group through which industry members can exchange ideas. However, the community is only as good as the conversations it generates. If you’re on LinkedIn, look for the GAMA Group, join up and start the conversation.
– GAMA in the News – Our most recent press release appeared about GAMA’s TGW program being funded by NAMM was on page 32 of Music Trades and MMR ran a two-page article on GAMA in its latest issue – pp. 61 – 62. Music Trades, MMR, and Music Inc have also all published several of our press releases. These account for tens of thousands of views of GAMA’s messaging, but we still need to do more. It seems like the industry is still largely unaware of GAMA’s efforts and we need awareness if we are going to have a strong industry.
– GuitarEduNet – GuitarEduNet is geared towards guitar teachers in classroom settings. Our goal is to publish between 100 – 150 articles in 2014. We strive for new content weekly and emails go out to 2000+ people every week. That’s 100,000 emails per year carrying GAMA’s messaging. We have also started weekly polls. Members can get involved by sending video tutorials or product reviews that would be suitable in the classroom and for beginning players. To get involved, contact GAMA HQ.
– TGW Facebook – Teaching Guitar Workshops has over 1,300 Likes on Facebook, up from 600 at the beginning of the year. The audience is niche – mostly music educators – and the messaging tends to be about music education with a focus on guitar. Please sign up and “Like “the Facebook page.
– Take Aways – Our TGW exit surveys indicate that approximately 33% of our Workshop attendees heard about TGW through Facebook, GuitarEduNet, or Google AdWords. In addition, 43% of the people who attended TGW this summer “Like” us on Facebook. However, personal recommendations still rule: 50% of our teachers reported hearing about the program from a colleague. GuitarEduNet and TGW Facebook are communications channels that GAMA Members can use to generate brand equity and develop powerful linkages to influential customers.
– GAMA Annual Meeting – We want to hold a meeting that is similar to the format we had this past January. We want everyone’s ideas and input to help guide us in the choices we make. We are also considering holding a networking function/cocktail hour during winter NAMM. We tried this during summer NAMM; everyone enjoyed the opportunity to meet informally. Watch for announcements about GAMA functions in January.
Partnerships and Programs
GAMA continues to reach out to like-minded organizations in order to find synergies that help get more people to play guitar.
– MakeMusic – MakeMusic is a nationwide initiative that brings music making to the streets of cities across the U.S. on June 21 each year. We are continuing to work with MakeMusic to try to build out on our free lessons day concept.
– NAMM Grantee Summit – NAMM held a summit for its grantees at NAMM HQ this September. GAMA was invited to join other notable groups such as: TI:ME, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, National String Project Consortium, Guitars in the Classroom and others. We were able to start some meaningful conversations about synergies which we hope will develop into partnerships that will enable us to help more people play guitar.
– Music Education Policy Roundtable – GAMA joined the Music Education Policy Roundtable this summer. The MEPR works with Washington to recognize the benefits of sequential, standards-based music education in schools and develops legislation to strengthen school music education. GAMA is heavily invested in school music education, thus joining the MEPR was a matter of protecting our investment. In addition, through this membership, GAMA joins a strong roster of members such as: VH1 Save the Music, the Grammy Foundation, NAMM, MTNA, and NAfME.
– NAfME – We continue to work with NAfME (formerly MENC) on our Teaching Guitar Workshops. The group is committed to helping GAMA promote the Teaching Guitar Workshops to its membership which includes tens of thousands of school music educators.