Classical Guitar Corner Academy
The Best Online School for Classical Guitar
The CGC Academy serves adult amateur guitarists by providing them with the highest quality education available.
It is an opportunity for you to access a world-class education from your home and join a vibrant community of guitarists who are studying the classical guitar alongside you.
Highlights of Membership
A world-renowned curriculum “The Cornerstone Method”
Used by teachers, schools, and students around the world, this modern progressive method builds upon the great methods of the past and incorporates all of the advantages of 21st century multimedia technology.
A vibrant community of over 1000 students to share ideas and draw inspiration
Students in the CGC Academy are dedicated and engaged in learning. You can watch and learn in private or immerse yourself fully in the active community forum.
Regular live member sessions give you the opportunity to play and watch
Live Zoom session give you the opportunity to play, receive feedback, or watch and enjoy. A wonderful way to learn and feel the camaraderie of the community.
You have a variety of ways to receive personal feedback at the academy: Coaching calls, exams, member challenges, member Q&A, forum questions, and dedicated email support.
Regular Events and Activities
There is always something going on at the Academy. Member challenges, duets, live concerts, member meetups, workshops, guest classes, and even an international Summer School!
Meet Your Teacher, Dr. Simon Powis
I am a guitarist just like you and I am excited to share my knowledge and experience. I was awarded a doctorate from Yale University, performed in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, taught in international universities and masterclasses and I maintain an active performance career. I say this only to convey that I have passion for both performance and education and through this site I have been privileged to help hundreds of guitarists like you to improve their playing.
“Simon Powis is the rare combination of a virtuoso guitarist and a thoughtful, forward thinking pedagogue.”
“Although he has performed, taught and given master classes all over the world, the talented and personable guitarist is perhaps most widely known these days for his highly regarded online classical guitar pedagogy: Classical Guitar Corner.”
“Originally from Australia, New York–based guitarist Simon Powis has built his online school into one of the most widely respected sites of its kind.”
A World-Class Curriculum
The Cornerstone Method for Classical Guitar
A structured learning path to help you focus, save time, and enjoy the journey.
There are so many tips and tricks videos out there, thousands of pieces to choose from, and a variety of teachers that range from experienced to novice. This can leave you feeling lost, overwhelmed, and ultimately, frustrated.
The CGC Academy provides you with a guided learning experience that helps you improve step-by-step. You will feel a sense of clarity knowing what to work on next, have the opportunity for feedback, and save time by focusing on what needs to happen right now.
Lessons are taught with a variety of resources to help you learn key concepts:
- High quality video recordings
- PDF sheet music downloads
- Focused exercises to work on and develop your skills
- Audio backing tracks to play along with
- Q&A under each lesson
You can keep track of your progress, mark off lessons as “complete”, and easily navigate back to your current lesson when you log in to the Academy.
There are 20 progressive units which organize the following elements:
- Notation & Sight Reading
- Solo & Duet Repertoire
- Technique & Musicianship
- Scales & Arpeggios
- Practice Tools & Routines
- Theory & Analysis
Each unit represents a set of achievable goals that keep you focused and provide you with the right material to work on.
8 Grades – Beginner to Advanced
Starting with a preparatory course (the Fundamentals) the 8 Grades take you from complete beginner material through to intermediate and advanced lessons. Each Grade has a clear set of goals to achieve and if you would like, you can submit a grade exam and get detailed feedback.
The Fundamentals Course prepares the absolute beginner to start studying with correct technique, posture, and a working knowledge of the guitar. It is a quick course that will get you started and playing within a short period of time. No prior experience is needed with guitar or music.
The first four grades cover core techniques that are used in classical guitar playing. Techniques such as free stroke, rest stroke, arpeggios, and nail shaping are all covered. In addition to technique you will learn how to read music, get and introduction to music theory, musicianship, and sight reading.
Repertoire has been carefully selected to help you progress without frustration. You will have lessons for all of the repertoire in level one and even duets to further use your new found skills.
Should you want to take a grade exam, you can submit in either a Spring or Fall exam period. From these submissions you will receive personal feedback, guidance, and a certificate to mark your achievement.
Grades 5 & 6 are designed for the intermediate guitarist and includes repertoire from Bach, Tarrega, Giuliani, Carcassi and more.
Courses are available in all core areas of study: Technique, Musicianship, Notation, Sight Reading, Theory, Analysis, Duets
Grades 7 & 8 incorporate advanced techniques and true masterpieces of the repertoire. Examples include: Bach Allemande BWV 996, Bach Prelude from Cello Suite No.1 BWV 1007, Scarlatti sonantas, Giuliani etudes, Legnani, Tarrega’s Capricho Arabe, Villa Lobos Prelude No.1, Julia Florida by Barrios and more.
You will find advanced courses on rasgueado technique, and in depth workshops from Ben Verdery, Gohar Vardanyan, Fred Hand and other teachers.
You will find a vast library of solo works to study inside the CGC Academy. These solo works come with downloadable PDF editions, video lessons, score analysis, performance examples, and some are provided with full study guides!
Solo works span from beginner pieces to advanced grade 8 repertoire and include:
- Selected studies from Fernando Sor Opus 60, 35, and 6
- Lágrima by Francisco Tárrega
- Bourée by J.S. Bach
- Capricho Árabe by Francisco Tárrega
- Julia Florida by Agustín Barrios
- Allegro by Mauro Giuliani
- Españoleta by Gaspar Sanz
- El Testament D’Amelia by Miguel Llobet
The Practice Routines at CGC Academy provide you with exercises focused on a comprehensive and balanced approach to technique and musicianship.
Exercises focus on the following kinds of elements:
- Left Hand
- Right-hand balance and voices
- Fingerboard knowledge
- Finger independence
- Speed development
The Graded Duets for Classical Guitar course features a variety of musical styles that are organized in a progressive series that develops your playing. Each piece is offered with sheet music, performance tracks and play along tracks, video lessons, and video performances.
The extensive library of duets includes:
- Mazurka by Francisco Tárrega
- Moderato by Carulli
- Invention in A minor by J.S. Bach
- Canarios by Gaspar Sanz
- Der Spiegel by W.A. Mozart
- Canone a due liuti by F. da Milano
- Canon by G.P. Telemann
Music theory can help you understand how a piece of music is put together, how you can interpret different aspects, and it will impact general comprehension and memorization. Inside the Academy you will find step by step lessons that start from the absolute basics of reading music to harmonic analysis of repertoire.
Theory lessons inside the Academy cover a variety of topics that include:
- Learning to read music
- Score markings and expression terms
- Extended harmonies
- Harmonic analysis
- The CAGED system
Scales & Arpeggios
Scales and Arpeggios can be incredibly useful in your development as a guitarist and a musician. Not only can they be used as tools to develop technique but they can also be used to explore fingering approaches, work on expressive aspects, and outline harmony on the fingerboard.
Inside the academy you will find a collection of over 40 lessons on scales and arpeggios that feature:
- An introduction to scale practice approaches
- Speed development
- Fingering approaches
- Right and left hand approaches to arpeggios
- Articulation and expression practice
- Rhythmic challenges
5 Ways to Get Feedback
1. Personal Coaching Calls
There are several ways for all members to get feedback on their playing in the Academy. These include performance seminars, grade exams, forum posts, and member challenges. However, if you want to get ongoing, immediate, and regular personal feedback on your playing you should consider joining our coaching calls.
Each week you will have the opportunity to sign up for one-to-one sessions with a selection of world class performers at a variety of time slots. You can use this time to ask a specific question, play and get feedback, set practice goals, or get general guidance with your studies. Sessions are fifteen minutes each, you can schedule them up to two weeks in advance and they are open in a wide range of time slots over each weekend.
2. Performance Seminars and Open Mic
All members are welcome to participate and or watch our live performance seminars. Students are welcome to perform a piece, exercise, or whatever they might be working on and get detailed feedback to help them improve. Replays are available in the forum and performance seminars are run every other weekend.
These live sessions are easy to set up (just like Skype only better!) and provide a wonderful sense of community amongst members.
3. Grade Exams
Twice a year you have the opportunity to submit a grade exam. This includes a performance of set repertoire pieces, a practice routine, and also a self assessment of your playing and progress. Not only do you get to enjoy the focus and motivation from this process but you will receive detailed personal feedback on your playing.
4. Progress Journals
By starting a progress journal at the Academy you will be able to watch your transformation over time. It helps you focus on what you need to work on and also provides a great source of positive motivation when you feel stuck. More often than not we are making progress but it is hard to feel that progress. Keeping a progress journal helps keep your perspective on your achievements. As an added bonus you will find that other members are happy to cheer you on with support and feedback if you ask for it.
5. Member Challenges
Making progress on the classical guitar can often feel like a turtle race: it’s a long road that takes discipline and daily work. However, it’s also important to set smaller, more achievable goals to keep you motivated and on track to reach your more long-term goals. To that end, CGC Academy hosts member challenges each season. These challenges only last for three to four weeks, giving you the opportunity to set and stick to small, achievable goals. Each challenge has a different focus: for instance, scales or left-hand arpeggios.
Finding this site has been one of the great joys in my life.
Barry , CGC Member
I’ve seen a lot of change in guitar pedagogy in my life and I think that the clarity of your teaching as well as your expert use of technology provides enormous value to guitar students at all levels.
Lou, CGC Member
I am now 56 years young and it took a lot of trial and error trying to learn on my own and jumping from one you tube channel to the next without any clear path for progression until I came upon Classical Guitar Corner!
Chris, CGC Member
CGC is Unlike Anywhere Else
Our Family of World Class Musicians
In both the online academy and in-person events we have a family of professional colleagues that share their knowledge and experience with CGC Members. These can be in the form of recorded and live masterclasses, live member workshops, and teaching at the CGC Summer School.
Current masterclasses include:
Dr. Noa Kagayama (Juilliard)
Benjamin Verdery (Yale)
Fred Hand (Mannes)
Garret Lee (Luthier)
GFA laureate, Kevin Gallagher
Our Family of Students
The community at CGC Academy is one of the friendliest and welcoming on the internet. We love to support one another through the journey of learning music. Members hail from all around the world and many friendships have started here at the Academy.
There have been several groups that decided to conduct local meetups and open mics in their local area bringing guitar enthusiasts together.
CGC Academy Events
Each year the students of CGC have the opportunity to attend an international gathering of guitarists near Boston USA. This weeklong event brings in master teachers and provides a fun relaxed environment for students to hone their performance skills, knowledge, and ensemble skills. The Summer School runs in June each year and is a ton of fun!
It’s really simple…
We put our heart and soul into this school and we are confident you are going to enjoy being a member. If you find that this site is not for you, you can let us know within thirty days of signing up, and we will give you a full refund. This guarantee means there is no risk in signing up and every reason to become a member right now. Choose your membership below.
Choose your membership below, and get instant access.
- Full Curriculum Access
- All Downloads
- Live Performance Seminars
- Member Challenges
- $200 Annual Discount
- Everything from Quarterly Plus:
- Guest Masterclass Series
- Grade Exam Submissions
Annual with Coaching
- Full Annual Membership plus
- One-to-one coaching on a weekly basis.
- Teachers include: Simon Powis, David Belcher, Niki Todesco, James Erickson, and Sanja Plohl.
Yes! You will be taught how to read music from the very first grade. Clear and progressive lessons will allow you to read with confidence and then develop the ability to sigh read. No prior reading experience is necessary and you will be provided with all the materials as you learn.
As a member you will have access to a huge library of resources and this includes the graded repertoire, 20 practice routines, and duets. You can download these individually underneath the lessons on each topic.
The materials in the membership provide years of study and they go up to an advanced level. Sometimes, if a member comes in with prior experience they might go through the early grades quickly as revision.