The Traveling Guitar Foundation: Our History and Mission
The first program to get cut in most public schools is the music program. Music is a vibrant and expressive force which unlocks our creativity and transcends cultural barriers. Children who possess musical proficiency and knowledge of music theory have a greater chance of success in academic disciplines such as math and science.
The Traveling Guitar Foundation believes that the rebuilding and fortification of schools’ music education programs is essential to the holistic development of current and future students.
Through our efforts, we work to ensure that the equipment we donate is used regularly and properly for the betterment of students’ educational, artistic, and social development. In so doing, we hope to catalyze students’ creativity, foster their intellectual growth, and expose them to the joys that music can bring.
The Traveling Guitar Foundation (TGF) was founded by New Jersey native renowned guitarist and producer Damon Marks because he saw the struggle schools were having keeping music programs and creative curriculum's alive.
“Music helped me through a tough time in my life as a kid,” said Marks. “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, and who knows what else. I want kids today to have that same chance to connect to music in such a meaningful, creative way.”
“When the country faces budgetary restraints, the arts programs are always the first to vanish from the schools,” continued Marks. “Our mission is to foster creativity and intellectual growth through the arts programs, and to ensure that elementary and high school students have access to high-quality musical instruments plus comprehensive instruction throughout their formative years. The schools work very hard to keep these programs alive. We are proud to help by presenting them with guitars and equipment, along with musical performances.”
TGF staff travel to schools whose music programs are in jeopardy and offers FREE music education clinics to the students and staff. Marks, along with other new and established artists showcase the power of music as an artistic platform, cultural force, and enjoyable activity. In these clinics Marks interacts directly with children, provides musical instruction and discusses the importance of attaining an education.
After each clinic, the Foundation donates brand new electric and acoustic guitars, various types of percussion, instrument cable and amplifiers, an 8 to 9 week guitar curriculum to the schools to help them sustain their musical education programs. In addition, Marks and other TGF members offer continued support to the school's administration and music faculty to ensure the donated instruments are being used properly, and regularly, for the betterment of children's intellectual, social and creative skills.