Let’s start with the gift.
It has been another outstanding year at Classical Guitar Corner, and to celebrate with our members we will be offering free live coaching to members throughout the month of December all the way up to Christmas. With 8 hours of free live lessons each week, spread across various time zones, it will be an opportunity for all members to get more one-on-one time with the teachers, and receive personalized feedback.
If you are not already a member, you can take advantage of this opportunity by signing up here
CGC has grown so much it split in two!
Until recently, Classical Guitar Corner has housed its public resources and member resources all under the same roof. In October, we announced the CGC Academy. The Academy is a dedicated site just for the members and it gives a permanent home for all of our students. Not only is the site faster, it is more customized to suit the learning materials available to members.
All Levels Firing!
The curriculum at CGC is robust, and like I always say: There is no easy path to anywhere worth going. We took our time to do things right, and after the publication of our first book over seven years ago, CGC now has a full five levels of study that takes the student from the very beginning, all the way to advanced repertoire.
The level 4 recital book was released in November and has pieces such as Bach’s Cello Prelude from Suite BWV 1007, Legnani’s second Caprice, and two Scarlatti Sonata’s in A Major.
Along with the filling out of the levels has been additional materials added to Level 1, 2, and 3 including more repertoire lessons, duets, and sight reading challenges.
Certificate Courses 1 – 3 and preliminaries
There are hundreds of lessons, and years of study to be found in the curriculum. To help you navigate the clearest path to progress, we created the Certificate Courses. Over one hundred CGC students have passed their certificates in 2017 and they have all remarked how much it helped them structure their practice and set goals. In September, we launched the Level 3, which is suited for the intermediate player.
If you would like to read the Academy requirements for each certificate you can download them here.
As each Level covers a substantial amount of material, it sometimes left students with longer periods of time between level submissions, and their personal feedback. In order to make these more manageable the Preliminary Certificates were created. These provide valuable check-ins half way through each level, and allow the students to set shorter term goals. So far, the response has been fantastic with 40 submissions in October alone.
To cater for our advanced students we have a range of challenging courses that were launched in 2017. These included:
- Capricho Árabe by Francisco Tarrega
- Prelude 1 by Heitor Villa Lobos
- Romanian Dances by Bela Bartok
- Julia Florida by Agustin Barrios
- Lesley’s Song by Fred Hand
- Rasgueado and Sevillanas by Gohar Vardanyan
- Theory through improvisation by Simon Powis
General Knowledge Masterclasses
Two very popular courses that were launched this year include Performing Under Pressure by Dr. Noa Kageyama and Guitar Mechanics by luthier Garret Lee.
These courses offer general skills and knowledge that apply to players of all levels and have been a great addition to the Academy.
The Inaugural Summer School
It is quite likely that you have already heard about the 2017 Summer School, so I will keep it short. It was brilliant. Great performances, lectures, classes, workshops, ensembles, and lessons. Not to mention the late night gatherings, BBQ, open mic night and mealtime conversations! We are already looking forward to 2018.
The Usual Suspects
In addition to all of the additions listed above, we had our regular assortment of live member sessions, forum conversations, and video postings. While I can’t tell you exactly how many posts were created this year, I can tell you that there are 1,865 posts in the forum with 15,625 replies. Now that is quite a conversation going on!
What’s coming in 2018?
Well, if 2017 is any indication… a lot!
As the curriculum is coming to completion, I will be re-visiting certain materials to make them better. As I have grown as an instructor online I have refined my own teaching skills and look forward to improving on what is already there. This might mean adding some extra supplemental work, or simply recording new lessons to cater for questions that have come up along the way.
My general approach here is more quality than quantity.
Level 4 and 5 Certificate Courses
A certificate course becomes available when all modules of a level are complete (theory, musicianship, repertoire, sight reading, analysis, technique). Level 4 and 5 already have substantial amounts of material but have yet to form the full certificate course.
These levels represent advanced classical guitar technique and repertoire and the certificate requirements will be substantial. Level 4 will be building on the theory and technique concepts that we encountered in Level 3 but it will also be leaning more towards a small recital in terms of performance requirements.
At CGC I can only create materials that are either original, or in the pubic domain. As this can be limiting, there will be an expansion list of repertoire that is eligible for the certificate courses in different levels.
Dave and I have been working on short term challenges that members can undertake in various “themed” months. This will offer short term goals, and extra diversity in your learning roadmap.
We have already been adding a number of duets into the membership this year, but in 2018 we will make an even more robust collection of duets and ensemble music available. These will all include play along tracks for practice and enjoyment.
Some repertoire on the production schedule includes:
- La Catedral – Agustin Barrios
- Fugue BWV 1001 – J.S. Bach
- Variations on a theme by Mozart – F. Sor
- Asturias – Issac Albeniz
2018 Summer School
Almost at capacity right now, the 2018 Summer School will feature a line up of world class teachers and performers. I am counting down the days already!
What was your favorite part of 2017?
If you are an Academy member, tell us in the comments below what you enjoyed most about Classical Guitar Corner in 2017 and what you are looking forward to in 2018!
If you are not a member, perhaps you can share some of your accomplishments and successes over the last year.