Third Street’s Guitar Department offers individual, partner and beginner group classes in many styles for students of all ages and levels. Instruction is available in the following styles: Classical Guitar, Blues, Flamenco, Folk, Jazz and Rock. Students can also study electric guitar or electric bass. New students age five and under, or students with prior playing experience, will have the opportunity to meet with the Guitar Department Chairperson for placement.
I believe every guitar player inherently has something unique about their playing. They just have to identify what makes them different and develop it." - Jimmy Page
Students may opt for Suzuki approach-based lessons which pair individual instruction with a weekly Repertoire Class that immerses the student in the world of music with a group of their peers, or a traditionally taught class for those over 5, who have begun to read words.
Instruction for guitar is available in focused, one-on-one individual lessons; in shared partner lessons where two students of a similar level learn from the same teacher; and in larger group lessons for 3-5 students that are a great place for beginning students to start.
The Guitar Department also provides a special Acoustic Guitar for Children curriculum, focused on students ages 5 to 8 that uses size-appropriate, nylon-stringed classical guitars and methods geared toward young beginners to teach them the basic skills and techniques required to play all styles of guitar.
Class Types: Traditional & Suzuki Instruction Methods
There are many methods for teaching music; furthermore, all instruments and voice can be taught traditionally. The most effective teachers bring the best of what they have learned through their own training and experience and develop an approach that enables them to respond to the needs of each individual student. In general, the traditional approach to music study integrates note reading and playing with a customized repertoire based on the student’s needs and interests.
The traditional approach is best suited to adults and children over the age of five who have already begun to read words. Parent/guardian participation in a child’s lesson, though desirable, is optional with the traditional method of instruction.
The Suzuki Method of instruction is available for piano, violin, viola, cello, string bass and flute. As much a life philosophy as it is a method, The Suzuki Method of instruction was developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan after the end of World War II . Dr. Suzuki believed that all children are innately musical, that they can excel musically and that a “beautiful heart,” sensitivity and discipline can be achieved through hearing and playing music when started early in life. The Suzuki Method is most effective when started with very young children.
Here are some hallmarks of the Suzuki Method:
- The method is based on the way children learn their native language—by listening and imitating. Pieces are learned by ear (without reading music) and played from memory. Note reading is incorporated later on in the child’s training, when the child is beginning to read words.
- Parent, teacher and child are all active participants in the learning process. Parents must be willing to learn the instruction method and make a commitment to attend lessons, group classes and performances. Parents are also required to participate in at-home practice.
- The curriculum uses a common repertoire which is organized by books of advancing levels, starting with Book 1. The common repertoire enables students to play with each other and creates an international community of Suzuki learners.
- In addition to individual, partner or group lessons, young Suzuki students are required to attend a weekly repertoire class. The purpose of this class is to review and reinforce pieces learned in lessons while developing musicality and ensemble playing skills, often using games to highlight important technical points and encourage music reading. Repertoire classes also promote development of musical rapport among students.
Jazz Theory & Improvisation
One key element common to almost all jazz styles is improvisastion. A strong base in jazz theory, performance and improv can also provide an excellent background for other popular styles of music. Third Street offers an a class in Jazz Theory & Improvisation which complements participation in band and jazz ensembles for students of any instrument.
Third Street offers many performance opportunities to its students, including Music Hours, Studio Recitals, Department Recitals and more. Click here for details on these fun and fulfilling opportunities.
Students are encouraged to join and play in one of the School's many ensembles. Ensembles available to guitar students include Chamber Ensembles, Jazz Bands, Rock Bands, and Guitar Instrumental Ensemble. Click any of these links to learn more about each ensemble.
The Music Development Program
Initiated by the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada), The Music Development Program is in an effort to establish a standardized course of music study throughout the United States. Periodic, non-competitive assessments (examinations) are a core component and help to measure each student’s progress. Third Street is a Founding School and Assessment Center for the Music Development Program. Click here for more details about the program and to register for an assessment.