Teaching Classroom Guitar


Yes, an orchestra director can teach class guitar!   Learn how and why to start a guitar program at your school. Guitar & orchestra program collaboration only makes a string program stronger!  The session will include discussion of class guitar pedagogy, music, materials, equipment, and strategies for collaboration.

 Why to start a guitar program

  • popularity of the guitar
  • affordability of a program
  • potential for growth
  • build total numbers in your music program

Benefits of guitar instruction

  • Diversity
  • New styles of music
    • folk, pop/rock, classical, etc.
  • non-traditional music student
  • music appreciation

How to approach your administration

  • Provide a list of whys (above)
  • Include more students in the arts
  • Affordable to fund  – the cost of a class set of guitars costs less than two tubas!

How to recruit students

  • Say the word “guitar”
  • Hang posters around school.  The students will come!
  • May have to cap enrollment

Non-guitarist teaching guitar

  • Not difficult to learn basics
  • Easy to teach & motivate
  • Fun to learn a new instrument
  • Teaching Guitar Workshops

Equipment and Materials

  • The right guitar! 1. Choose nylon-string, classical guitars. 2. Buy enough for each student in your class
  • Books
  • Essential Elements for Guitar
  • Sheet Music
  • Other materials

Getting Started Demo

  • Rest position/playing position/RH and LH positions
  • Posture
  • Basic chords (rhythm)
  • The Capo – easy to transpose tunes while using familiar chords
  • Note reading (lead)
  • Simple bass (see handout)
  • Ensembles from a lead sheet
  • 3 part ensemble scoring


Guitar documents (PDF)