Academic Program – Guitar Lessons

Students in the Academic Program will have extended private one-on-one music lessons each week. In addition, students will have unlimited access to all supplemental classes in the school, which will enhance the learning taking place in the private lessons. These supplemental classes are important for the full growth and music education of each student. RCM theoretical co-requisite courses will also be included as supplemental classes we offer. Students will also be invited to participate in unlimited masterclasses throughout the year to improve student performance and technique. Students of the academy may meet with the Coordinator of their program to set out goals, examination expectations, and address any questions or concerns regarding their music education.

As well, students will have extra lessons and mock exams prior to examinations and competitions to better prepare them for a successful experience. Teachers in the Academic Program will have superior academic training in their respective instruments to ensure the maximum quality of lessons taking place in the academic program. 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 have the option to enroll in the Half or Full Academic Program. The half program consists of private lessons only once a week while the full program engages students in private lessons twice a week. Both the half and full program have unlimited access to all supplemental classes.

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.

Unlimited Supplemental Classes Include:

Choir, Beginner Theory, Ear Training, Musicianship, Composition, Song Writing, Improvisation, Music Creativity, Music Listening/Appreciation, Piano Ensemble, Junior Violin Ensemble, Adult Violin Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Flute Ensemble, Adult Voice Ensemble, Mixed Ensemble

New or transferring students from outside the school will be assessed by one of the Coordinators at the school prior to being accepted into the program.

Guitar Lessons in the Academic Program

Meet Mr. Darren Young, one of our classical guitar instructors.

Why classical guitar studies? What if I like 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?

classical_guitar_sizes

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.