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Boston, MA 02117

P.O Box 171583


Kithara Project is a collective of internationally acclaimed classical guitarists with the mission of enriching the lives of young people worldwide through the classical guitar. The guitar is unique in its ability to appeal to people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. Kithara Project currently maintains three ongoing, community-based guitar education programs: one in a community center serving a low-income housing development near Boston, another in an self-governing community in southeast Mexico City, and another in an elementary school in Albuquerque’s South Valley. 

In each of these sites, Kithara Project develops and implements classical guitar programs designed at once to encourage civic and community mindedness and give students all the benefits of a first-class music education. Specifically, the programming includes weekly group workshops, private lessons, chamber music coaching, theory classes, and vocal training. 

Kithara Project provides classical guitar education to children and youth in neglected communities in the US and Mexico. Our programs are tuition-free, community-based, and here to stay.

What Problem Is Kithara Project Solving?

Kithara Project works to address the chronic shortage of music education in the US and Mexico. As musicians as well as conscientious citizens, we regard this shortage — which seems to grow worse with each passing year — as nothing less than an emergency that requires all hands on deck. The political and social contexts in the US differ from those in Mexico, of course, but many of the basic facts as experienced by individuals are the same: only a small — and shrinking — portion of children have consistent access to music education. The rest do not. 
Second, norms of citizenship in the US — and elsewhere — seem to be  disintegrating by the day. If citizenship begins in the community, then Kithara Project’s programming strikes at the heart of the matter. Beyond the oft-heard mantra that music makes children smarter, more empathic, more disciplined, more team-oriented (it does), it can also, when implemented intelligently, ripple throughout entire communities, reinforcing their dearest values. 
And, finally — recently there has been a distressing breakdown in US – Mexican relations. Again, Kithara Project by no means purports to “solve” this problem, but, by facilitating musical exchange among its students, it does vigorously resist it.

Why the Guitar?

The guitar is arguably the most popular instrument in the world. It is versatile, portable, accessible, intimate, and eminently lovable, reaching across socioeconomic and other societal fault lines to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds. It might also be said that no instrument provides so poetic a metaphor for shared histories and cultural fluidity. The ancient Greek kithara, which inspired this organization’s name, was a prototypical plucked instrument, “ancestors” of which can today be found nearly anywhere in the world. It is from kithara that we get the Latin cithara and, of course, the chitarra, guitarra, and guitar we know and love today. In all probability, the word kithara comes down to us from the Persian setar, which translates literally to “three strings” and which describes an old plucked instrument often heard in the folk music of Iran and Central Asia. Setar is also the etymological root of the the Indian sitar and the Central European zither, to name just two. Down to the very name then, the guitar, as an instrument of diplomacy and education alike, taps into a powerful wellspring of common heritage.