Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Studio Music and Jazz (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Rachel L. Lebon

Second Committee Member

Dante Luciani

Third Committee Member

Whit Sidener

Fourth Committee Member

Dennis Kam


Guitars Over Guns Organization, Inc. (GOGO) is a 501c3 not-for-profit mentoring-based music education program co-founded by prominent South Florida jazz trombonist Frank Chadwyck (Chad) Bernstein and his father, Robert (Bob) Bernstein, a Chicago businessman. GOGO uses contemporary music to entice at-risk adolescents in high-crime neighborhoods to participate in after-school bands, supplying instruments for the students and providing an alternative to the negative influences that typically dominate their environments. GOGO also mentors these kids on a one-on-one basis in order to provide the support and tools they need to stay in and succeed in school, hoping to increase the likelihood they’ll become productive members of society. The purpose of this study was to measure GOGO’s efficacy in terms of academic, behavioral, and attitudinal outcomes, and to determine how to assess and improve the program for future implementation on a scalable level. These outcomes were measured through data analysis of GPA, ACOPE and music attitude survey results, and the opinions of students and mentors regarding the program through questionnaires. Results suggested that the GOGO program was effective for at-risk youth, yielding positive changes in all measurements, however more empirical data and a longer period of assessment are needed to support results. Recommendations for program improvements and further research are enclosed.


Music; Mentoring; Music Mentoring; At-Risk; Youth; At-Risk Youth; Middle School; Education; Program; Assessment; Implementation