Jessica believes in making your introduction to the guitar easy and pain-free. She is a developmental educator who understands how positive early experiences can motivate us to keep learning.
Jessica Baron founded and serves as Executive Director for Guitars in the Classroom, an organization that brings music making to education by integrating singing, strumming and songwriting with learning throughout the school day and across the curriculum. Jessica created the first developmental guitar instruction method and she has written six groundbreaking books in the field of music and guitar education. She believes that we are each unique musical and creative beings with individual pathways we can choose to discover and follow if we are given instruction in the ways we best learn. This vision informs and fuels her dedication to service through teaching.
Jess spent several years in California teaching music in public and private schools; she also worked for a long time as both a human development educator (at Crossroads School of Arts and Sciences) and as a private educational therapist treating children and teens with learning disabilities. These experiences, combined with Masters level training in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University helped her develop an approach to teaching music that creates access to musicality through people’s dominant learning styles while helping them strengthen the others. This, combined with her philosophy that musical learning can be fun and stress free, define her work as an author, teacher, and non-profit leader.
In addition to her years teaching in the classroom and counseling young people, Jess co-authored the highly successful MusicMakers curriculum for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, as well as the International House of Blues Foundation’s Make an Impression guitar program. Her best-selling guitar method, SmartStart Guitar as well as her parenting book, YOUR MUSICAL CHILD: Inspiring Kids to Play and Sing for Keeps (Hal Leonard, 2004) are soon to be followed by The Green Songbook & CD from Alfred Music Publishing. This compilation of music for living lightly on the Earth is now available at www.greensongbook.com.
Jess lives in Encinitas with her teen-age son, Elias, their three birds, two lizards, and one ridiculously adorable dog named Homer. You might have known Jess by her published and formerly married name, Jessica Baron Turner, a last name she went by during her marriage to Eli’s dad, luthier, Rick Turner. These days she goes by Jessica Anne Baron. Jess is also an incidental songwriter, an enthusiastic gardener, a vegetarian, and lover of literature.