Head to Head

Music Can Be the Key

12 Guitars provide guitars, equipment and access to tuition and support, free at the point of use to ensure that guitar playing is accessible to all young people.  

It is a Social Enterprise formed in April 2019 in Glasgow by Gerry Thorogood and Steve Plummer.  Gerry explains “The benefits of guitar playing for a young person and the opportunities that can arise from playing are many. Music is the only art form that uses both the left and right sides of the brain. It develops coordination, teamwork, self-confidence, self-discipline, empathy, emotional intelligence, access to performance, an emotional outlet for often hard to communicate emotions, creating a potential pathway into work and a career.”   

The goal of 12 Guitars is simply to get young people playing songs within a few weeks and to be confident enough to perform in front of an audience within a few months if they desire it. In short, to have fun and be playing music they, their peers and families will know as quickly as possible.  

12 Guitars has been working with a number of primary schools since before the pandemic and are beginning to reconnect with them and many more new schools as the lockdown eases. 

They offer schools options including:

  • a suite of instruments either free or as permanent loaned assets
  • access to experienced tutors accustomed to working with P5 to P7 young people
  • opportunities to learn how to maintain and care for a guitar
  • access to instruments to take home to practice where family circumstances require it
  • a range of pathways to more formal academic tuition where a pupil shows aptitude and interest.  

“12 Guitars began working with our children as part of our PEF offer. Children engaged in small group classes led by one of the 12 Guitars instructors. This ran over a term and culminated in a whole school performance. Parents and children alike were proud of the progress made and we received comments such as "he has become so much more interested in school" and "she has had an opportunity to shine". Some targeted pupils showed an increase in attendance over the course of the input. We were delighted with the support from the guys at 12 Guitars. It’s clear that it isn't just a job or a side interest, they are passionate about engaging children in music and supporting them to improve. Their positive attitude and professionalism ensured our children progressed and built strong relationships with the school. They have followed up with further offers of support during the Pandemic. We can't wait to welcome them back soon.”

Cat Calvert, Head Teacher, Glenboig Primary

“The partnership between 12 Guitars and Kibble has gone from strength to strength. They are reliable and provide regular updates of the sessions to staff. They have also been very adaptable with changes to schedules and challenging behaviour. The sessions have been very impactful for our young people and have proved to be extremely productive. The new skills learned have also acted as diversionary techniques for some of our young people when they are struggling.  Overall, the sessions have been great for our young people and they have learned a new discipline which has empowered them.“

Preeti Jassal, POWER Activity co-ordinator, Kibble  

"They've really come on with their music over the last few years especially having instruments passed on by you guys. One ex pupil has got into college to do building stuff but still playing music at home.  One has left school but moved to a different authority, his mum was looking to try and get him lessons and he's thinking about applying for recording and performance courses at college.  Another pupil has left school and starting at Perth Music College."

Stephen Gillies, Support Worker, Clackmannanshire Schools Support Service   

If you are interested in exploring how 12 Guitars can bring the joy of music and guitar playing into your school please get in touch with Steve or Gerry at steve@12guitars.org or gerry@12guitars.org

Website: www.12guitars.org  Facebook: @12GuitarsRock