Classical Guitar Certificate Courses

//Classical Guitar Certificate Courses

Classical Guitar Certificate Courses

Setting a clear goal with a deadline can be a powerful action. In the case of practicing and progressing on the classical guitar it is something that I encourage and try to facilitate in the CGC membership.

The CGC Certificate Course has been created to serve two purposes:

  1. To provide a pre-set path of lessons that incorporate lessons from all core courses of the membership (Technique & Musicianship, Notation & Sight Reading, Theory & Analysis, and Repertoire)
  2. To provide a clear goal (the certificate and performance submission) for a student of the classical guitar to reach through these progressive set of comprehensive lessons.


In the first instance, the certificate course provides members with a very clear line of study, should they wish to practice comprehensively in a highly structured manner. There is still the option to pick and choose what lessons to take in the membership, but this linear path offers a clear guidance to those who want it.


As for the certificate, this involves the submission of several pieces of repertoire and technique exercises in video format as well as a piece of writing. After you have put in this substantial effort, I will too by providing individualized feedback and advice on where to focus your time and practice. If you are ready to move onwards and upwards in the CGC curriculum you will be awarded a certificate for each level that you complete. If there are things that still need work, I will let you know and ask you to re-submit your work.

The real purpose and point of these certificates is to provide a positive source of motivation. I realize there is a substantial amount of work that goes into each one, but I feel that the reward of achievement and progress is well worth it.

Submission & Review

Currently I will be the one reviewing each submission and making decisions. I take this process “seriously” in that if I feel that there is room for improvement with an element of technique, musicianship etc. I will as for the materials to be re-submitted. As I have stated many times, I believe it is incredibly important to establish solid fundamentals as we progress in our playing and I would be doing musicians a disservice to encourage moving on while there are important issues that need to be addressed.

Submission dates

As there have been several submissions already, and I have found that each one takes quite a substantial amount of time to review and respond effectively, there will be set dates for submission throughout the year. This allows me to be prepared, and set time aside to review submissions and it also provides a clear timeline for anyone who wishes to submit a certificate performance.

The upcoming submission dates for 2016/17 are:

  • June 1st
  • October 1st
  • February 1st

Time needed

The time it will take each individual to complete these courses will vary depending on current ability and the amount of time available. However, I would recommend 6 months to 1 year of focus per level.

To put things into context, each Level in CGC is roughly equivalent to two Grades of other examination organizations.


The structured path Certificate Courses can be accessed by both Monthly and Annual members, however, to submit a certificate performance you must be an Annual Member of CGC. As you progress through the course lessons, mark them off as complete.

Level 1 and Level 2 courses are complete and many members have already commenced their path of study. The Level 3 Certificate will be launched in Fall 2016 but as many of the elements are already complete, members can start working on repertoire in advance. Level 4 will be coming in early 2017.


I am excited about this valuable addition to Classical Guitar Corner and I look forward to your certificate submission!

If you have any questions please ask them below.

2017-02-26T01:15:40+00:0011 Comments


  1. Mike Steinbrecher May 17, 2016 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Hi Simon,

    I have contacted you in the past and plan to sign up for the annual program beginning in June. I will officially retire on June 6 and my wife and I are going to take a few days to celebrate. After that I intend to get going on my classical guitar studies. Do you recommend the certificate program from the beginning or is it best to explore the site and get a few lessons checked off before jumping into the certificate?

    • Simon May 17, 2016 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      Hi Mike,

      Congrats on the retirement!

      In short, yes, I think the certificate course offers a very thorough progression with a great goal to work towards. I am also encouraging of people who are curious about specific topics to look into other lessons, all of this information feeds into a larger pool of knowledge that is very much interconnected. However, in terms of actual time spent practicing, and the progression of difficulty the certificate courses would be your most effective use of time and energy.

  2. Chris June 21, 2016 at 6:26 am - Reply

    Just a quick question. If the first submittal date for course work is June 1st, if I want to start the Level 2 course will I have to wait until 2017, or can I just start and aim for August 1st for my initial submission?

    • Dave Belcher June 21, 2016 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      Hi Chris,

      As Simon says above, it will take everyone a different amount of time to make it through each course—so only you will really know how long it will take you to get through the level 2 materials. However, if you think you can get it all together, you certainly could shoot for the Aug. 1 deadline. There’s always the Nov. 1 deadline if you don’t make that one. Does that help?


      Dave B (CGC team)

  3. George July 29, 2016 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    With respect and i may be wrong but only exams to take and are recognized are the Assoc’td
    board The Royal schools of music,as i passed my grade 5 practical and theory in the 80s, and always with good intention intend to take grade 8 at some point soon,difficult enough but my practical tutor insisted that i do exam papers from past decades ie 40s/50s/60s as good practice. and by the 80s they were were difficult but not like previous decades..
    So please inform me if exams other than the above are recognize and valid?

  4. Joe Bazan September 15, 2016 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Regarding the video submissions for the technical routines, is it required they all be performed in one sitting or could the video be filmed over the course of several days?


    • Dave Belcher September 18, 2016 at 12:05 am - Reply

      Hi Joe,

      Because these certificate courses (and the performance submission process) are more for your benefit than anyone, it really would be best for them to be done in one sitting. That does not mean you can’t perform in front of the camera to practice for your submission, however. I think it’s a great idea to record yourself practicing the routines and repertoire pieces so you can get more familiar with the “performance situation” of having the camera on. That will help a great deal when you finally record your performance submission.


      Dave B (CGC team)

  5. Albert February 28, 2017 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Hi Dave, when will Level 3 Certificate Course be rolled out. I am aiming to submit Level 2 pieces by 1st June 2017. Thanks.

    • Dave Belcher March 1, 2017 at 11:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Albert,

      We don’t have a firm date on that just yet, but I will check in with Simon and see if I can give you a general estimate. Thanks!


      Dave B (CGC team)

  6. John Savage March 11, 2017 at 3:25 am - Reply

    I’m after the submission requirements for Level 3 Certificate ie how many pieces of the repertoire and any other exercises, requirements.

    I note that one section of the level 3 course (sight reading etc) is not yet in place as well as the
    “Level 3 Certificate”

    Is Level 3 open for submissions for 1 June 17 submissions?

    • Dave Belcher March 12, 2017 at 12:29 am - Reply

      Hi John,

      I’m not sure whether level 3 Certificate Course will be open for submissions by June, but I’ll check in with Simon about this and let you know as soon as possible. Thanks for the question!


      Dave B (CGC team)

Leave A Comment