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Academy of Tucson High School Guitar Ensemble Syllabus 2012-2013

Instructor: Mr. Caleb Nihira Contact: cnihira@aoths.net Course Description: This one-year course is designed for students on various ability levels on guitar and is open to all students. Students will learn: (1) proper body alignment/positioning, (2) the fundamentals of music theory, (3) basic chords, (4) how to play folk and popular songs, (5) various strum patterns, (6) proper concert etiquette, (7) self-discipline, and (8) how to perform alone & with others in a concert setting. Three mandatory concerts are given per year (Winter, Spring I, Spring II) that serve as quarterly/semester exams. Materials: The student MUST provide their own ACOUSTIC or CLASSICAL guitar electric guitars are not acceptable. Three-ring binders, pencils, guitar picks, and guitar cases are also required. Students will be using school-issued textbooks First Year Guitar. Course Topics: Strumming common chords Note-reading in first position Creating a bass line Beginning improvisation Beginning solos Beginning classical technique Pick technique Applying chord knowledge to song accompaniment: strumming, finger-style Playing with understanding movable barre chords, power chords and basic pentatonic scale Developing a good sound Tuning A brief introduction to various styles of popular music including rock, blues, folk, and jazz

Evaluation: Students are evaluated on the following criteria: Participation Attendance Written assignments In-class performance assessments Concert Performances (3 per year) Concerts: Being that this is a performance ensemble, concert performances are a crucial component of this class. All students are expected and required to be present at and on time to every performance whether informal or formal. Part of being a respectable musician is the

understanding that musicians work on a different timetable than the rest of the world. If a performance starts at a particular time, it is expected that the musicians are there at least an hour early to prepare. A good rule of thumb is: To be on time is to be late. To be EARLY is to be on time! Concert Attire: All guitar students will purchase a performance polo shirt for concerts. This is not optional. Special Considerations: The requirements for this class go beyond the classroom meeting time. In the event that there is a conflict with a performance date, each situation will be handled on an individual basis assuming ample notification was given- usually 24 hours. If a student must miss a performance, it is expected that the student will complete a special project chosen by the teacher. *Participation/Attendance: Eighty percent of success is showing up. Woody Allen Students receive 2 points each school day (1 for being present, 1 for being actively engaged in rehearsal.) If it is obvious that the student is not attentive and participating, they can expect to lose their participation points for that day. Participation also includes respect of peers, respect of teacher, and willingness to respond to instruction. *Written assignments: Students are expected to attend a local music concert at least once per semester and write a 1-2 page response to the event. Refer to the Concert Report Guidelines handout for specific information on what to include. These papers are worth 50 points and will be graded as if they were an assignment for an English class (grammar, punctuation, etc.) Academy plagiarism policy applies. Acceptable performances: -Local high school band/choir/orchestra concerts -Any performance by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra/Chorus or other professional/semi-professional performing ensemble in Tucson. -Any nationally touring college band/choir/orchestra -Performances by the All-Regional/All-State band/choir/orchestra -Any performance that would be considered classical in nature: symphonies, operas, musical theatre, jazz, etc. Unacceptable performances: Pop/Rock/Hip-hop concerts