Academic Program – Guitar Lessons

Students in the Academic Program will have extended private one-on-one music lessons each week. To foster a successful learning environment students are expected to practice regularly and participate in a minimum of one recital and one festival per year. Students will also be invited to participate in masterclasses throughout the year to improve student performance and technique. Students will have extra lessons and mock exams prior to examinations and competitions to better prepare them for a successful experience. Supplemental classes are encouraged for the full growth and music education of each student. Students may meet with the Coordinator of their program to set out goals, examination expectations, and address any questions or concerns regarding their music education.

Examination preparation for Royal Conservatory of Music and Conservatory Canada is available at all grade levels from our experienced teachers. Preparation for University entrance auditions and University course help are also available. Students taking lessons from Harmony Music School have ranked within the top 5% of students across Canada based on the Royal Conservatory practical examinations. In addition, theory students have achieved first class honours with distinction on examinations with many successful students who have even obtained 100% as their theory mark. Many of our students have placed 1st and 2nd in the Kiwanis Festival and received scholarships from the RCM Alumni.


Classical guitar studies versus other genres?

Harmony Music School strongly believes that building a strong foundation for all music students is crucial. The techniques learned through classical training improve right hand stability, finger picking style, arpeggios, musical ear development, control of ‘touch’ / tone and dynamics. All of these benefit playing beyond classical guitar studies. Many students who start in the Classical Guitar Program can also enjoy their steel string or electric guitar as well.

Offering variety and stimulating curiosity in a student are as important as developing musical and technical skills. Therefore it is important that students experience as many different styles, repertoire and composers as possible from an early stage on (including modern pieces you hear today). Once the student has musically ‘matured’ with a better view on what spectrum the guitar covers, it is completely up to them how they see their musical career develop. Whether they stick with Classical Studies or not.

Classical Guitar students have the option to advance in Royal Conservatory of Music examinations. Examination preparation is available for all levels up to Grade 10 and ARCT.

Why should I purchase a Classical Guitar?

steel-vs-nylonA ‘Classical Guitar’ is often used to describe a guitar with Nylon Strings. Nylon stringed guitars are a great beginner instrument because the nylon strings are softer to the fingertips and the instrument is slightly smaller. In fact, the Nylon String Guitar covers a rich (often under-explored) repertoire that expands a time period from over 400 years of different cultures, countries and classes, each with their very own guitar heroes. On an acoustic or steel stringed guitar the narrow neck, and large body are often hard to use and the steel strings can cause pain in the fingertips as a beginner.

What size guitar should I purchase?


Size is crucial in developing a proper technique and posture in order to avoid injuries. Most Nylon String Guitar brands (Yamaha, Cordoba, Alhambra,…) offer several different guitar sizes. Nylon String Guitars have a wider neck with more room for left hand fingers and due to wider string width, the right hand finger-picking / plucking style benefits as well.

The following are some ‘general’ rules to have a better idea on what size of guitar your child needs:
1/4 size guitar: 4-6 years old, height from 3’3″ to 3’9″
1/2 size guitar: 5-8 years old, height from 3’10” to 4’5″
3/4 size guitar: 8 and 11 years old, ranging in height from 4’6″ to 4’11”
full size guitar: age 11 and up, height 5′ and taller

Information provided by Sam Desmet, Size Does Matter… Posted on February 16, 2015.