The implementation of guitar programs at both the middle and high school level is constantly growing in popularity as an option for general music offerings. The purpose of this class is to give students the opportunity to learn an instrument that is commonly found in popular music and that can be performed without an ensemble. This section of the website will discuss resources that may be purchased from classguitar.com, guitarlessons.com, and the use of free tablature websites in the classroom.
An outstanding resource for the development of a guitar curriculum can be found at www.classguitar.com. This series of books was created by Nancy Marsters, a public school teacher who specialized in guitar classes. This series is a great resource for any middle or high school teacher and contains performance based and written assessments as well as rubrics for use in performance assessments.
There are three levels of student text for this series. The first in the series, Explore It! Guitar & Style, was written to serve as a 90-day exploratory curriculum for middle school students. This text is perfect for schools that utilize an exploratory wheel that includes guitar. This text covers:
The second book in the series, First Year Guitar, is primarily intended for high school use. This book covers a 180-day comprehensive curriculum. First Year Guitar can be split into two semesters, offering the option of a basic introduction to guitar over one semester or an introduction and in-depth development of skills over one academic year. This text offers an in-depth exploration of:
The last text in the series, Second Year Guitar, is meant for advanced high school and collegiate level students. This text is also a 180-day comprehensive curriculum. It is designed to function as an extension of first-year skills. This text covers:
In addition to the student text, there are teacher materials that outline a day-by-day curriculum for group instruction of guitar. This resource is invaluable for teachers that are new to guitar. The teacher manual includes curriculum/sequencing, grading/testing procedures, performance assessments, written assessments, and supplementary materials to assist instruction.
For students that are interested in more individual exploration of guitar, consider the free online resource www.guitarlessons.com. This site has lessons divided into three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. This site offers a tremendous amount of resources for students in learning to play guitar and uses imbedded videos for each individual lesson. This resource covers a great deal of material and may be intimidating for new guitar students. If used as an additional resource for home use/practice, it could add a great deal to any guitar class! If using this as a teaching tool in the classroom, have students complete the exercises in the videos as a form of assessment. You can use the rubrics at the bottom of this page or modify them for use in assessing your students on performance of these exercises.
Reading and understanding tablature is a critical element in guitar performance. After leaving your class, students will mostly utilize tablature for further playing as most of the free resources that they will have available to them are in this format. The web resources below provide free access to guitar tablature.