Edit Module

Guitars Not Guns teaches youth to "rock it, not cock it"

Music charity teaches kids to choose music over violence



The appropriately named Gibson SG Diablo

Guitars Not Guns is a national non-profit organization that provides free guitar lessons to foster kids, under-privileged and at-risk youth, ages 8 to 18.
The Contra Costa chapter of Guitars Not Guns meets every Thursday night for an hour-long jam session at the Boys and Girls club in Pittsburg. The kids learn how to play the guitar--and how to stay out of trouble.

“We hope to give them something to put their energies in a positive direction,” said Barbara Gorin, vice president of fundraising for Guitars Not Guns. “We want to keep them away from destructive behaviors of gangs and guns. Our saying is ‘Rock It Don’t Cock It!’”

At the end of the eight-week program, the young musicians graduate. Graduation this year will be held July 2nd at Lakeside Apartment in Concord. Following the ceremony there will be food, fun and, of course, music. Two bands of accomplished musicians ages 11-14 will be performing.

“Music is healing and I am very fortunate and extremely excited to be part of this awesome program,” Gorin said. “I love it!”

Be sure to check out music from some of the students: High school bands, made up of teens ages 13-18, came together to record a CD at Red House Studios in Walnut Creek. The compilation Music Lives Here- Vol. 2 (High School Band Edition) has 12 tracks from local high school bands ranging from rock to alternative to metal. All proceeds from CD sales benefit Guitars Not Guns.

Click here to listen to “Music Lives Here- Vol. 2”

Learn more about the Guitars Not Guns program at guitarsnotguns.org