LAS VEGAS ACADEMY OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

 

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Course:  Guitar

Instructor:  Mr. Swick

 

COURSE SCOPE:

This course is designed to assist students in playing the guitar.  Students will

receive guidance and direction in solving problems related to playing the guitar on all levels and

will learn many of the different styles, skills and techniques required to become a successful

musician.  Areas of concentration include: correct posture, note-reading, aural skills, rhythmic

patterns, chord study, finger-picking styles, melody construction, musical forms and

performing experiences.

 

COURSE GOALS FOR BEGINNING AND INTERMEDIATE CLASSES:

1.      To develop independence and strength in both left and right hands.

2.      To learn to recognize and know the placement of all notes in both first and fifth positions.

3.      To learn to recognize and execute intermediate-level rhythms.

4.      To analyze simple chord progressions and be able to play the guitar as an accompaniment instrument.

5.      To learn to read multiple voices and play the guitar as a solo instrument.

6.      To be able to perform two octaves Major, Mixolydian and Dorian scales in every key.

7.      To be able to perform two octave arpeggios for all Major, Mixolydian, and Dorian scales.

8.      To learn to execute dynamics, timbre and tempo.

 

COURSE GOALS FOR ADVANCED CLASS

  1. To develop independence and strength in both left and right hands.
  2. To learn to recognize and know the placement of all notes in first, fifth, second and seventh positions.
  3. To learn to recognize and execute advanced-level rhythms.
  4. To analyze intermediate-level chord progressions and be able to play the guitar as an accompaniment instrument.
  5. To learn to read multiple voices and play the guitar as a solo instrument.
  6. To be able to perform two octaves Major, Mixolydian, Dorian, Natural Minor, and Locrian scales in every key.
  7. To be able to perform two octave arpeggios for all Major, Mixolydian, Dorian, Natural Minor and Locrian scales.
  8. To learn to execute dynamics, timbre and tempo.

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

1.      To enrich and enhance the life of each student through music.

2.      To develop in each student a respect for music.

3.      To cultivate responsibility and mutual respect among students.

4.      To understand the basic elements of music: melody, harmony and rhythm.

5.      To experience music as a tool of individual and group expression.

6.      To become familiar with the music of various cultures, ages and styles.

7.      To deal with the discipline and challenges of learning a musical instrument.

8.      To develop skills of critical analysis.

9.      To share the result in the form of live performance.

 

COURSE OUTLINE AND DESCRIPTION

Guitar will be a foundation for playing in a wide variety of styles.  Students will learn both the

melodic side of the guitar as well as how to use the guitar as an accompaniment instrument. 

Right-hand techniques will include playing with a flat pick as well as finger-style.  Left-hand

techniques will include learning all of the notes in various positions, major scales in all keys

and chords in all keys.  Improvisation and introductory music writing will be discussed and

encouraged.

 

FOUR-YEAR OUTLINE

    First Year

        Complete "First Position Studies" 1-16

        Complete "Jazz Rhythms" 1-16

        Complete "Right-Hand Preparatory", "Book One," "Book Two," "Thomas Coffey," and

        "Book Three" from the classical guitar Repertoire Series

        Learn and perform assigned parts to various ensemble pieces for a minimum of four performances

    Second Year

        Complete "Wohlfahrt Studies" 1-16

        Complete "Jazz Rhythms" 17-32

        Complete "Gasper Sanz," "Robert DeVisee," "Ferdinando Carulli," and "Matteo Carcassi"

        from the classical guitar Repertoire Series

        Learn and perform assigned parts to various ensemble pieces for a minimum of four performances

    Third Year

        Complete "Wohlfahrt Studies" 17-32

        Complete "Jazz Rhythms" 33-40 Vol. 1 and studies 1-8 in Vol. 2

        Complete "Dionisio Aguado," "Finger-Picking Good," "Mauro Guilianni," and "Fernando Sor"

        from the classical guitar Repertoire Series

        Learn and perform assigned parts to various ensemble pieces for a minimum of four performances

        Perform in a recital

   Fourth Year

        Complete "Wohlfahrt Studies" 33-36

        Complete "C. Rose Studies" 1-12

        Complete "Jazz Rhythms" 9-22 Vol 2.

        Complete "Finger-Picking Good Vol. 2," "Ferdinando Carulli Vol. 2," "Francisco Tarrega," and

        "Heitor Villa-Lobos" from the classical guitar Repertoire Series

        Learn and perform assigned parts to various ensemble pieces for a minimum of four performances

      Perform in the Senior Recital    

 

REQUIRED DAILY EQUIPMENT

1.      Guitar **NOTICE**-for the purpose of definition, the guitar used in guitar class will be an

ACOUSTIC, NYLON, 6-STRING guitar.  Students are strongly recommended to provide privately

owned  instruments for use in rehearsals, concerts and home practice.  Good

quality instruments are available at reasonable rates to purchase or rent at several music

stores in the area.  Remember, when inquiring about an instrument, the guitar must be an

ACOUSTIC, NYLON, 6-STRING guitar.    

2.      Guitar picks (studentís choice of thickness)

3.      3-Ring binder with pockets with subject dividers and notebook paper

4.      Pencil

5.      Guitar polishing cloth

School instruments may be available on a limited basis for classroom use only.  NO

SCHOOL-OWNED GUITARS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR HOME USE. Each student is

expected to have his/her 3-ring binder, a pencil and a polish cloth each and every day.  Failure

to have these required items in class will result in the loss of daily participation points.

 

LAB FEES

All students participating in any guitar class will be responsible for paying a $20 lab fee each

semester, or a total of $40 per school year for guitar majors due at the beginning of the school year. 

This lab fee covers costs otherwise not covered in the annual budget as well as membership into the

LVA Guitar Club.  Fees include maintenance of classroom guitars, guitar club annual dues, replacement

strings, Solo Repertoire Books (which students keep), technique books such as "Jazz Rhythms

Vol. 1 & 2," "First Position Studies," "Fifth Position Studies,"  "Chord Melodies Vol. 1 & 2,"  

etc. (all which students keep).  The $40 fee is due at the first of the school year before supplies and

instruments are distributed.  All fees should be paid no later than September 30.

 

GUITAR CLUB

Every guitar major will be a member of the Las Vegas Academy Guitar Club.  The semester lab

fees will also cover the club fee dues.  Officers of the Guitar Club will meet at least once a

month and have direct input on all finances and club activities including trips, after school activities,

guest performers, purchases of materials, performances, etc.

 

INSURANCE

The schoolís insurance policy DOES NOT cover instruments owned by the student.  If theft

or other damage occurs at school, the instrument IS NOT COVERED by the schoolís policy. 

Students are encouraged to take their instruments home every day after school.

 

GRADING PROCEDURES

Students will have a playing test every other week which will consist of two pieces.  One will

be a "Jazz Rhythm Study," and the other will be a "First Position Study, Wohlfahrt Study or

C. Rose Study," depending on the level of the student.  The student will perform these pieces

using computer software in which the software determines the student's grade based on

precision and accuracy. 

 

The following week each student will have the opportunity to perform 3 solo pieces for

the class.  These pieces will be graded on a pass/fail bases.  Each piece is worth 33.3%

and the weekly grade will be recorded.  By the end of the quarter, each student must complete a minimum

of 9 pieces (out of a possible 12) to receive an "A" and/or 8 pieces to receive a "B".  Any amount less

than 8 (out of 12) solo pieces passed per quarter is consideration for repeating the current level or

moving to a lower level if the student is in Varsity 3 Guitar Ensemble. 

 

Each studentís grade will be determined by the total amount of accumulated points at

the end of each nine-week period.  The grading scale is as follows:

 

                        90% - 100%  =  A

                        80% -   89%  =  B

                        70% -   79%  =  C

                        60% -   69%  =  D

                          0% -   59%  =  F

 

The quarter grade also includes concert and rehearsal attendance, daily attendance and participation,

concert dress, and a quarterly peer review.  The semester grade will include a final exam which will count for a total of 10% if the semester grade.  The semester jury will count as 5% of the semester grade and the semester written exam will count as 5% semester grade.  The remaining 90% will be the average of the two quarter grades making up the semester.

 

DAILY PARTICIPATION, DAILY ATTENDANCE AND CONCERT

ATTENDANCE

Because of the nature of this activity, personal attendance, attitude and participation in daily

rehearsals affect the product of the entire ensemble.  For this reason, great importance is placed

on this area.  Please keep this in mind when contemplating tardiness, absences and behavior in

class.

 

Every member of the guitar class is a key performer and has a vital role in the musical ensemble.

The success of the entire ensemble depends upon EVERYONE attending each

performance.  PERFORMANCES ARE NOT OPTIONAL!  PERFORMANCES ARE A

REQUIRED PART OF THE CLASS.  Dates and times of a performance will be announced

well in advance.  Students will be dismissed from performances in the guitar classroom only after

the stage has been completely cleared and all equipment has been returned to the classroom.

Students leaving before dismissal time will receive no credit for participation for the performance. 

A missed quarterly performance will count for 20% of the grade or 2 letter grades.  Any student

not in complete concert attire will lose 10% or 1 letter grade of the quarter grade.

 

PEER REVIEW

All students are required to complete a Peer Review each quarter, or a total of four per year. 

Students will attend a school music performance other than a guitar performance and complete a

Peer Review Critique.  Failure to complete a quarterly Peer Review will result in the loss of

one letter grade OR 10% for the quarter grade.  All Peer Reviews are due 3 school days following

the event.

 

CONCERT DRESS

The uniform for formal public performances for Varsity 2 & 3 boys will be a black tuxedo, white formal shirt,

black bow tie and black socks and black shoes.  Girls who would like to wear a tuxedo may do so. 

Otherwise, Varsity 2 & 3 girls will be expected to wear a tea-length, black dress with black shoes.  This is the

standard dress for all LVA formal music performances.

 

Each student is responsible for purchasing his/her own uniform.  Many students have found

bargains by purchasing used tuxedos at local tuxedo rental companies.  Formal

Fashions at  www.formalfashionsinc.com  (1-800-528-7909) have complete tuxedos including shirt,

tie and cummerbund.  Also, visit www.stageaccents.com or call 1-800-631-1611.

 

The uniform for informal public performances and trips will include the LVA Music black Polo shirt,

solid black dress pants, solid black belt, solid black socks and solid black dress shoes.  Jeans and

tennis shoes are absolutely unacceptable!  The black Polo shirt will be made available for sale at

school shortly after school begins.  The cost will be around $20.  All guitar students are

expected to purchase an LVA Music black Polo shirt.  Any student not in complete concert dress

will lose 10% or 1 letter grade for the quarter grade.

 

Varsity 1 members will not need a tuxedo or formal wear, but will need the Polo shirt, black dress

pants, black belt, black socks and black dress shoes.

 

DAILY PARTICIPATION POINTS

Each member begins each quarter with 100 points for participation.  For block classes, each day

is worth 2.2 points.  Students may lose their daily participation points for tardiness, class

disturbance, refusal to participate, missing materials, etc.  Lost participation points may not be

made up.

 

CLASS PLACEMENT

Each student will be placed into a guitar class based on skill level.  There are three levels, Varsity 1,

Varsity 2 and Varsity 3.  In order for a student to progress to the next level class, he/she must

earn a grade of a "B" or better and a citizenship grade of "S" or better for all four quarters of the

school year.  Earning a quarter grade of a "C" or lower may result in the student remaining in

Varsity 1 or Varsity 2 with no promotion.  A student in Varsity 3 who does not maintain a "B" average

 or better, may be placed in Varsity 2 the following year.

 

In the event that more students qualify to move to the next level than there are available seats, placement

will be decided by grades and the following additional considerations.

 

Other considerations for progression to the next level:

    1) attend all concerts and rehearsals

    2) follow the dress code and uniform requirements for all performances

    3) perform a minimum of 8 solos per quarter

    4) do not exceed five absences per quarter (20 per school year)

    5) Turn in a Peer Review each quarter 3 days following the event

 

All students will follow the Four-Year Outline described earlier regardless of class placement.

 

CLASSROOM RULES

In order to guarantee students in the guitar classroom the positive learning climate they

deserve, the following discipline plan is utilized.  Every student is expected to:

 

1.      Follow directions.

2.      Keep hands, feet and objects to oneself.

3.      Play or speak only after being recognized and given permission.

4.      Be on time and seated with instrument, pencil, music and polish cloth.

5.      Avoid bringing gum, food or beverages into the classroom.

 

CONSEQUENCES FOR BREAKING CLASS RULES

1.      Verbal warning

2.      Putting instrument away for the remainder of the class

3.      Phone call or note to parents

4.      Referral to a dean

 

Each action will be accompanied by the loss of daily participation points.  The

above consequences are not listed in any order.  Any one consequence may be used depending

on the severity of the action of the student.  Any behavior which disrupts the entire class is

considered cause to be sent to the dean.

 

Any student in Varsity 2 suspended from 180 days of travel will not be promoted to Varsity 3

the following year.  Any student in Varsity 3 suspended from 180 days of travel will be placed

in Varsity 2 the following school year. 

 

FINGERNAILS

Students who choose to play a guitar cannot do so with long fingernails on their left hand.

Fingernails on the left hand must be cut to an appropriate length so that the fingertips can

rest on the fingerboard without the fingernails touching.  Fingernails on the right hand should

be shaped to get a combination of flesh and nail when playing finger-style.  It is recommended

that all students use a clear nail hardener for the right hand nails.  Students should also have

a small manicuring set for shaping the right hand nails to proper length and shape.

 

TRIPS-VARSITY 3 STUDENTS ONLY

Varsity 3 is the premier guitar ensemble at LVA and frequently competes for the opportunity

to perform at national music conventions and/or national guitar festivals.  Every year since the

inception of the guitar program, Varsity 3 has traveled to participate in one or more national

conventions or festivals.  These trips are educationally sound and have been the highlight of

many guitar students' experiences at LVA.

 

All students in Varsity 3 are expected to travel.  These trips are NOT OPTIONAL.  Any student

wishing not to travel during the school year may opt to be removed from Varsity 3 during the first

week of school.

 

It is the teacher's discretion if a student travels with the group or not.  Considerations include academic

eligibility, classroom behavior, disciplinary record, history with the student, etc.

 

IN SUMMARY:  COSTS AND COMMITMENTS FOR THE LVA GUITAR PROGRAM

 

COMMITMENTS:

1.      LVA guitar classes meet daily for 85 minutes

2.    Students are expected to practice daily lessons outside of class.

3.      It is recommended that students take private lessons.

4.      All guitar class performances are required attendance.

5.      Students will have bi-weekly playing exams.

6.      Students will have a semester exam and semester jury.  The semester jury is a performance

       for music faculty outside of the guitar department.

7.      Students will attend at least one performance each quarter of student performances other than

      guitar and write a Peer Review.

8.      From time to time there may be after school rehearsals and weekend commitments

which will all be a part of the final grade.

9.      All guitar are members of the LVA Guitar Club.

 

COSTS:          

1.      There is a $40 annual lab fee for all guitar classes due at the beginning of the school year. 

This covers use of a classroom guitar, replacement strings, music and guitar club dues.

2.      Students will be expected to purchase an LVA  Polo Shirt.  These will be made available through

the school.  The cost is approximately $20 and will be part of the required casual attire.

3.      Varsity 2 and 3 students will be expected to purchase or rent a black tuxedo for boys and a

       tea-length black formal dress for girls.  This will be the required formal attire.

4.      From time to time there will be festival fees for students participating in Solo & Ensemble

competitions and/or performances.

5.   For Varsity 3 students, there will be the cost of 1 or 2 trips.

5.      It is recommended that each student own a better-than-beginning quality classical, nylon

      string guitar.

  

THIS HANDBOOK IS ONLY A SUPPLEMENTARY GUIDE FOR GUITAR

MAJORS.  EACH STUDENT SHOULD ALSO HAVE A COPY OF THE

MUSIC DEPARTMENT HANDBOOK WHICH COVERS THE DEPARTMENT

WIDE PROCEDURES AND A TENTATIVE CONCERT SCHEDULE FOR THE

ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR. 

 

PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK TO THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT HANDBOOK,

SIGN, AND RETURN THE APPROPRIATE PAGES.

 

LVA Music Handbook

 

 

Please visit the Performance Schedule and copy the dates into your calendar

and/or planner. 

 

Please sign this portion of the handbook and return it to Mr. Swick.

 

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STUDENT/PARENT AGREEMENT

 

I have printed and read the LVA Guitar Class Handbook and Performance Schedule

for the school year.  I understand performances and rehearsals are a required part

of the class.  I also understand the costs and commitments to the LVA Guitar Program. 

I understand this is my child's major course of study at LVA and will assist him/her

in fulfilling the commitments as outlined in this handbook.

 

 

_____________________      ____________________________     __________

Student's Name (Please Print)            Student's Signature                                              Date

 

 

_____________________      ____________________________     __________

Parent's Name (Please Print)                Parent's Signature                                              Date

 

 

Parent's Email Address: ______________________________________________________

                                               (Please Print)

 

 

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