Music helps decrease anxiety, increase self-esteem, and reduce episodes of panic attacks, nightmares and flashbacks. A research study of Guitars 4 Vets students showed a 21% improvement in PTSD symptoms and a 27% decrease in related depression symptoms. The study attributed learning and playing guitar as the primary catalysts for these improvements—and we want to ensure as many vets as possible have that opportunity.
More simply, playing a guitar can help veterans safely connect with their surroundings and other people.
The weekly guitar lessons provided by our volunteers are individualized and designed to help students learn at their own pace. Monthly group sessions are organized at each chapter to provide Veterans a communal atmosphere to talk and continue to play music with peers who have shared similar experiences. In G4V group sessions, the connection created between individuals who are both warriors AND guitar players serves as a catalyst for positive human interaction.
Veterans who regularly attend group sessions build confidence to further pursue creative self-expression and engagement within their communities. Some G4V graduates and group session attendees even go on to perform at local fundraisers and teach guitar lessons in their local G4V chapter.
Anytime a donated guitar is beyond fixing or wears out, it becomes part of our Art Strings program. These guitars are given to vets to paint and create visual art with. Like learning to play, creating art has also been shown to reduce stress and improve the lives of vets.