First Steps in Learning the Guitar

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Class Schedule

Starts Jan. 27, 2021
Cost $110
Grades 4-8
Meets Once a week for 6 weeks on Wednesday
Time 10:00AM - 10:55AM PST

Class Description

     - Course description:

In First Steps to Learning the Guitar, each week students will focus on 4 different areas of learning the guitar: chords, strumming patterns, performance and core. We start by learning 3-string chords that are movable (which means students are not limited in the songs they can learn). From there they move on to open chords (widely popular for guitarists), then move into more complex shapes and chords. Strumming patterns start simply and then move into more complex rhythms and syncopation. Performance is a time each week for students to show the progress they are making on the song THEY have chosen to learn. And finally, the core lesson is a short exercise to show how music is related to their other core subjects such as Math, English or Science. Students are expected to work a minimum of 15 minutes a day on their assignments, as daily repetition is very important in gaining proficiency on the instrument.

        - Syllabus:

Week 1: Strings / Power Chord 1 / introduce whole, half and quarter notes / history of the Guitar

Week 2:  Power Chords 2 / clap and count whole, half and quarter notes / rhythm as fractions

Week 3: Open Chords 1 / introduce eighth notes / science and sound

Week 4: 3-note Triads Majors / clap and count eighth notes / music and geography

Week 5: 3-note Triads minors / introduce sixteenth notes / rhythm as fractions 2

Week 6: 3-note triads 7th (dim) / clap and count 16th notes / English: Lyric report

        - Class structure:

This class is divided into 4 15 minute teaching sections: Strumming (Learning new rhythms and note values), Chords (Learning a new chord shape), Performance (Students show progress on the songs they are working on) and Core (Learning how music relates to other core subjects, such as Math, Art, English, Science and History). Classes are structured as such: The teacher introduces and explains a topic in one of the 4 sections, then the students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of the topic before working on it throughout the week as homework. Then we move onto the next section. During the last 15 minutes of class, the teacher will ask students to show their progress in the sections from last week.


        - Teaching techniques used:

The class will be taught through teacher demonstration, and then the students display the concepts of the demonstration, then teacher evaluation of the student’s performance and understanding of the topic.


        - Teaching style:

Dave is very patient, energetic and compassionate to the challenges of learning music. He stresses the importance of balancing discipline with fun and tackling a number of small tasks instead of one large task in order to learn music quicker and with much less stress.


        - Interaction:

Students get to show each other their progress each week as well as work on demonstrating new skills as a group. (Performance)

     - Learning goals:

Introductory: Strings and tuning.

Chords: Power, open and triad chords.

Rhythm: Whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes.

Performance: Be able to perform a song of their choosing by the end of the class.

        - Homework / practice time

Students should practice the assignments a minimum of 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, as daily repetition is essential in showing progress on the instrument. 1-2 hours a week will ensure they show progress weekly.


        - Assessment:

Students will be told their strengths and challenges weekly. Parents can request progress reports at any time via email


        - Next steps:

Second Steps in Learning the Guitar

Additional Information

Class size 3-5 students
Supplies Students will need to purchase the following items

Students need to have a 3-ring binder with plastic pockets on the inside of the front and back covers. Guitars can be purchased online through Sweetwater.    Here is link to a great, affordable guitar:

About the Instructor

Dave Christensen

Unique lessons for your one-of-a-kind child sums up what Dave and his teaching style are all about. Constantly writing and adapting his original curriculum to fit any group of learners is something Dave does well.He enjoys the art of teaching immensely.


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