Changing children’s lives through music since 1999 

Lead Guitar’s co-founders, Brad Richter and Marc Sandroff, have led lives shaped by music and the guitar: Brad as a concert artist and composer, Marc as an entrepreneur who credits his career success to his study of classical guitar and the focus, confidence and discipline it gave him. As he traveled for concerts, Brad noticed unstructured school guitar classes that attracted a diverse swath of students popping up across the country. He saw in them the potential to engage disenfranchised students, if only they were designed with the same opportunity and academic integrity of school band and orchestra programs. At the same time, Marc was seeking a way to focus his philanthropic work on using music as a tool to keep kids in school. Lead Guitar was founded as their response. 

Brad Richter gives a guitar workshop to talented Diné guitarists at Page HS, AZ…
…who inspired him to return several times to PHS the following year to co-teach guitar class with the school’s choir director.
Brad writes the first LG Method Book to help PHS’s Choir Director teach music reading and technique on guitar in his absence.

"Save this block class for possible pull quotes?"

– Name of person who says quote

Programs established in Sedona & Bullhead City, AZ
Programs begin in Tucson, AZ
“And then it just clicked. I thought, if I can practice the guitar, I can do my homework too” – Macario (High School student) 
501(c)3 organization status is granted and the program Is officially named Lead Guitar
Programs begin in the Roaring Fork Valley, CO In collaboration with Aspen Music Festival and School
Programs begin in Enid, OK
Lead Guitar creates Music First, a K-2 music foundations program. The program was later adopted by the University of Arizona.
First Formal Teachers’ Workshop
“I don’t know how much longer I would have continued at this school if it weren’t for Lead Guitar.” – Michael (Middle School Teacher) 
First Arizona-wide Showcase Concert in Holsclaw Hall at the University of Arizona
Brad partners with curriculum author Brian J. Harris to found UpBeat, a hand percussion program based on the LG model and adopted by the University of Arizona
Lead Guitar programs begin in Phoenix and we formally add free in-school concerts by global touring artists to our services to partner schools.
Brad partners with Jory Hancock, Dean of the UA College of Fine Arts, and curriculum author Erika Julian to create Step Up, a dance program based on the LG model
Lead Guitar begins programming in Chicago and receives its first grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts
Programs begin in Mendocino, CA
Lead Guitar develops an Adaptive Method for students in Exceptional Education
“His teacher sent me a video [of him playing the guitar] and I said, are you sure that’s the same kid?... He was amazing! It wasn’t an avenue I would have pursued with him because I just didn’t think he would be interested. It turns out he’s really pretty good!” - Lacey (Parent of a child in LG’s Adaptive Class) 
Programs begin in Los Angeles
Lead Guitar premieres a state-of-the-art online learning system to serve students from home during Covid-19
[Lead Guitar connects me with friends in that…] “there may be some tough times but we’re all working on something that we care about. It means a lot for us to work in a community of music-making together.” – Zuriel (High School Student) 
Programs begin in Denver, CO
Partnership with Guitar Salon International to create We Are Guitar
Lead Guitar is collaborating with more than 100 schools across all four U.S. time zones and continuing to share the benefits of music education with thousands of students who would otherwise go without.