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Guitar I Curriculum Description

The Guitar I curriculum assumes the student has had NO previous guitar playing or musical experience. We take absolute beginners through a journey of sequenced assignments covering a broad spectrum of playing techniques. The first semester introduces chord strumming, note reading and bass playing all of which culminate in a trio performance in December.

After barre chords are covered in December and January, the song strumming possibilities become seemingly endless. TAB is introduced to student next and the performance of popular riffs such as "Crazy Train", "Carry On Wayward Son", and "Don't Fear the Reaper". In March, all Guitar I students perform the riff of their choice at the "Leon High REAL Guitar Heroes" riff recital.

After a study of Major scales and the right hand im reststroke technique in February, full right hand arpeggio finger picking is studied in March and April. Guitar I students annually select finger picking standards such as "Dust in the Wind", "Tears in Heaven", and "Stairway to Heaven", amongst others.

In late April, Guitar I students perform in the annual guitar department recital "Guitar Roar". This recital is a display of the versatility of the guitar as music in the Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass genre/styles are performed by students in Guitar I, II, and III/IV.

May holds a potpourri of topics such as upper position note reading, intro to improvisation, capo/transposition, and triad music theory are presented in addition to the final trio recital.

GUITAR I IS NOT EASY!! As you can see, we pursue a rigorous and relevant curriculum designed for skill development and performance. This is accomplished by the individual assessment of every student through a sequence of 20+ performance and skill based assignments. Care needs to be taken by the student to develop and master each item in the sequence. If done so, any student will be rewarded with fine playing skills, REGARDLESS OF TALENT!! The process creates success. The curriculum is quite structured, yet does not feel like "school" when a guitar is in your hands for 180 days!!

We us the "H.O.T Hands On Training First Year Guitar" book as our primary text and students have access to 7 volumes of songbooks and 8 volumes of riff books at their seat. Additionally, we have over 350 individual songbooks representing every style imaginable! Students purchase the primary text, as it is a consumable workbook, and keep it for further study. Leon has good quality guitars available for student use for $30 for the entire year. Most students make use of he Leon guitars here at school and play their own personal instrument at home. The inability to pay has never kept a Leon student from playing guitar. Please contact the instructors for more information.

After a successful year in Guitar I, many students enroll in Guitar II. Click here to find additional information on Guitar II.

After Guitar II, students seeking a serious study of the guitar enroll in Guitar III and then IV. Click here to find additional information on these advanced guitar classes.