Classical Guitar Corner has always pursued excellence in education for our beautiful instrument. At this point in time the Academy is flourishing with a global community and robust curriculum, and the broader community is served with podcasts, articles, live broadcasts, learning materials and lessons that are all provided with free access.

Moving forward, I would like to invest in our educators by providing opportunities and resources to help young teachers make a positive impact in our community.

Two years ago, at the Sydney Classical Guitar Summer School, I saw an opportunity for a young musician to work alongside seasoned educators in a week full of hands-on teaching. This year, I am glad to announce that Classical Guitar Corner will be funding a paid annual scholarship to support this teaching opportunity.

The first recipient of this scholarship was Caleb Lavery-Brook. You can read about his experience below:

My name is Caleb Lavery-Brook, I’m a classical guitarist completing my Masters of Music at the Elder Conservatorium of Music at Adelaide University, Adelaide, South Australia. I recently attended my fifth Sydney Classical Guitar Summer School and was delighted to be the inaugural recipient of the Sydney Classical Guitar Summer School Teaching Internship Scholarship which was supported by the Sydney Guitar Society and Classical Guitar Corner. This scholarship was used to fund my travel and accommodation expenses and also meant that I received payment for my time teaching.

As both a student and a teacher this year, my week was divided between being in chamber groups and leading them amongst many other activities. The student portion of my week encompassed being able to drift between the various chamber groups which are decided on by skill level and age. By doing so I was able to watch the other teachers of the school and observe how they lead the groups. In particular the various techniques they use to overcome problems and cultivate the impressive performances that each group gave at the end of the week. Another aspect of my student role meant that I was able to attend lectures given by other tutors, watch their open-lessons (similar to masterclasses) and finally was a leader in the guitar orchestra.

My teaching roles consisted of primarily working in the morning (from day 2 onwards) with the junior summer school. This group ranging in ages from 8 to 14 was a fantastic bunch of kids. The activities that we did were rhythm and aural games, guitar technique games, improvisation, sight reading and preparation of their chamber pieces for presentation at the end-of-week concert. The students were also given the opportunity to perform solos for one another and afterwards the other children gave feedback and suggestions/compliments on the performance. While working with the kids I was able to watch their tutor and as the week progressed I was given more and more responsibility for taking sectionals, conducting the ensemble and running various games. All of the knowledge that I gained while working with this group will be very useful for me when I arrive home in Adelaide as I can use it not only with my students and their ensembles but also with SAYGE, the South Australian Youth Guitar Ensemble for which I am a conductor, teacher and committee member. Working with the students in this environment was a highlight of my week alongside being given the chance to take three open-lessons. For so long I have been an observer or performer in masterclasses and have always aspired to one day be the teacher of these. This goal was achieved while at the school I came away with more confidence in my one-to-one tuition abilities. Being able to share my knowledge, understanding and love of music has always been a large part of why I choose to continue to be a musician.

Caleb conducting the junior ensemble

The opportunity presented to me as part of the Sydney Classical Guitar Summer School Teaching Internship has given me an invaluable experience and learning opportunity and would not have been possible if not for the generous support from both the Sydney Classical Guitar Society and Classical Guitar Corner. I will be returning home with not only knowledge that I may otherwise have never gained, but also the experience of a fantastic week filled with friends, colleagues and wonderful music making and sharing as well with inspiration to last until my return trip to the school in January 2020 and beyond.