Guitar Schools

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Guitar schools are more than just vocational programs intended to crank out competent guitarists. Indeed, there are some programs that make this their primary objective, but there are other more holistic guitar schools that focus on an integrated education that combines technical expertise, performance, and creative development. If you're looking to break out not just as a guitarist, but as an artist, this is the kind of program that's right for you.

While the approaches of various guitar colleges vary from institution to institution, there are a few basics you'll want to search for in any program. One is the quality of your instructors. The people teaching you guitar mastery should have experience not just as session players and recording artists, but as instructors as well. You can learn a lot from watching the pros, but you'll learn even more when those pros are trained to impart their wisdom effectively to students of varying levels.

Other Important Traits of Guitar Schools

A second element of any successful guitar program is a strong performance-based curriculum. Studying music theory is absolutely invaluable to understanding your craft, but without a forum in which to practice and play (both for yourself and for others), it's much harder to integrate that which you've learned. A great curriculum will alternate between classroom-based lessons and live hands-on music performance.

Third, you'll want to look at guitar schools that give students the maximum control over their own course load. It's hard to believe, but there are still old-fashioned music conservatories that require their students to take at least a semester of study of another instrument. While the philosophy behind this is admirable, a musical education is already expensive enough without the addition of mandatory classes in unrelated fields. Look for schools that offer electives. Then, if you want to study keyboard or trumpet for a semester, you can do so by choice.

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