Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this report was to formulate a methodical approach to the teaching of guitar skills needed for the effective use of the guitar by music educators and music therapists. In both these professions, the guitar is used in an accompanimental capacity and also is taught as an applied instrument. Presently, there is an ever-increasing supply of instruction books available which fulfill many different needs and explore various styles of guitar playing. However, at the time of this writing, a search of guitar texts has revealed no available text which is designed to develop the various skills needed to prepare the professional music educator or music therapist to use the guitar effectively in his work. From the vast array of styles and techniques of the guitar, this report chose to develop the knowledge and skills most useful to the classroom teacher and practicing music therapist. Such topics include tuning, note reading, basic classical and plectrum technique, first position chords, use of the capo, bar chords, diminished seventh chords, open chord tuning, introduction to guitar history and literature, and elementary fretboard harmony. The text is not intended for the beginning musician and builds on an expected knowledge of music fundamentals to accomplish quick and efficient assimilation of beginning guitar technique and musical concepts on the instrument. Note reading is developed through the use of non-traditional, not easily memorized exercises, often in unusual meter signatures. This report is not intended to be used as an exclusive text in any guitar learning situation. Supplementary material is essential, especially in the classical technique section where only developmental exercises and studies are given. It does not contain any literature from the guitar's standard repertoire, nor traditional pedagogical studies. The chord reading section does not contain any songs as these (and songbooks) can become quickly outdated and lose their meaning to passing generations of students. It is imperative to use supplementary material to fill these needs. This method should be used along with the aid and instruction of a teacher. It is not, nor could be, thorough enough to replace explanation, demonstration, and augmentation by an experienced guitarist.