Undergraduate Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships available
Students majoring in Instrumental Performance (classical guitar) and Jazz Studies receive first consideration for Guitar Scholarships

Course offerings in Guitar:

Private Instruction
Guitar Repertoire Class
Survey of Guitar History and Literature
Guitar Pedagogy Class
Jazz Guitar Lab
Classical Guitar Ensemble
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Jazz Combo
Jazz Band (large ensemble)
Commercial Music Ensemble

Bachelor of Music Degrees available for guitarists:


A classical performance degree for those who intend on being solo concert performers and/or college educators. This degree is suited for those who wish to continue on to graduate music study in guitar. Solo performance requirements: one 30 minute Junior Recital and one 60 minute Senior Recital


A jazz performance degree with an emphasis on fretboard theory, reading, ensemble playing, improvisation, jazz history, and repertoire . Performance requirement: 60 minute Senior Recital, 1/3 of which must be solo guitar. Note: Jazz studies majors must pass a minimum classical proficiency in their upper division jury (see below).


A degree which incorporates courses in both music, music business, and recording industry. Performance requirement: one 30 minute Senior Recital. Students can choose jazz or classical guitar as their primary instrument.


A degree for composers. Senior recital will consist of a 60 minute program of original compositions.


A degree which will enable graduates to become certified to teach in public school systems. Performance requirement: 30 minute Senior Recital.

Guitar Instruction for Music Minors
Music minors must audition for placement. Beginning students who do not read music and/or have limited experience will generally be placed in Guitar Class I: MUSI 155. A classical guitar is required for this class. This class can be used to fulfill the private instruction requirement for a Music Minor (with the appropriate course substitution form). Music minors who can read music and can demonstrate sufficient ability will have the option of taking a 1 credit private instruction class (MUAP 241) in classical or jazz guitar. The last audition opportunity is on the first regularly scheduled day of classes each semester. There will be a signup sheet on the guitar office door (SFA 214). Students who have completed Guitar Class I may take Guitar Class II MUSI 156 or audition for private instruction.

MTSU Department of Music Undergraduate Studies Information

Master of Arts in Music Degree available with emphasis in:
Music Education

MTSU Department of Music Graduate Studies Information


The guitar is an extremely popular instrument in today's culture, arguably the most popular aside from the human voice. Due to the many different styles, genres, and levels of expertise of guitarists in today's society, it is important to provide students with the highest level of technical training in order to be competitive among guitarists today. It is impressed upon students that they should "aim high" and endeavor to develop performance skills which require the highest level of expertise and competence. This undoubtedly requires the ability to function as a solo performer with some fingerstyle classical technique. Classical guitar is NOT a style of music, it is a technique of playing the instrument. Guitarists are fortunate to have the largest historical repertoire of any instrument (excluding the human voice), 500 years. It is this solo literature that provides the greatest challenge, literature from the 1500's to the present day. All MTSU guitar students will be evaluated on their solo performing ability (this does not mean only "soloing with accompaniment") and all guitar students must have a classical guitar for private instruction. It is important to note that the development of classical technique is not exclusive to any style of music, it is generally essential in becoming the best solo performer one can be with the ability to perform a variety of styles of music. Solo guitar performance is central to guitar study at MTSU but not exclusive. Guitarists are also required and encouraged to participate in various ensembles (Guitar Ensemble, Mixed Chamber Ensemble, Commercial Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and Blues Crusade). MTSU offers opportunities for a variety of ensemble performance styles but does not offer a degree specifically in commercial music. Jazz Studies majors are required to have basic classical technique. For the first two years, Jazz Studies majors will study both classical and jazz in private instruction. After completing the upper-division jury, Jazz students will study Jazz guitar only and focus on refining skills in improvisation, theory, comping, and sight reading, while familiarizing themselves with standard jazz repertoire. The guitar program seeks students who have a capacity and interest to study repertoire which requires the highest level of technical and musical ability. Students who meet this challenge will be successful at MTSU and will have the option and the skills to continue their studies on the graduate level. It is a goal of the program to provide the necessary skills required to place guitar students in the best and most competitive Doctoral Degree programs in the nation. Further, it is expected that MTSU (guitar) graduates will embark upon successful careers in college teaching, concert performing, and in the music industry.


1) Degree Recitals as listed above

2) Student Recital Hour: Required of all music majors every semester beginning in the third semester of study. Student Recital Hour programs involve student performances of a work or works, each not exceeding 10 minutes in length in the Wright Music Hall (concert hall) before an audience of students, faculty, and the public.

3) Juries: At the conclusion of each semester of study, all guitar students must perform a jury before the guitar/string faculty to demonstrate progress on their instrument. The jury consists of a performance of a piece and a theory element such as scales. The students jury performance will be considered as part of the evaluation for the private instruction grade.

4) Upper Division Jury - All Music Majors declaring guitar as their principal instrument must take and pass an upper division jury exam in order to continue as a music major and to receive upper division private instruction credit. Normally given at the end of the students' 4th semester but may be delayed until appropriate. The jury will consist of two elements, repertoire and applied theory.


Performance Majors:
Theory- Major scale positions (at least 5), Harmonic minor scale positions (at least 3), I,IV,V,I and i,iv,V, i chord progressions with voice-led closed position triads. Three octave major and melodic minor scales (at least one of each), basic rhythm and drop-two voicings for chords: major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th, dimiished and half-diminished 7th. Sight reading.

Repertoire- Two major works or evidence of efforts toward completing them (at least two movements of each if a multi-movement suite or sonata for example). A set of etudes may be used to fulfil the requirement for one. One shorter work of the students choice in contrasting style.
Repertoire choices must be approved by the instructor. Suggested repertoire: Two movements of a Baroque Suite by Bach or Weiss, a set of variations by Sor or Giuliani, a set of etudes by Sor, Villa-Lobos, or Sagreras. Pieces by Barrios, Turina, Torroba, Ponce, or other 20th century composer. One piece may be an arrangement of a jazz standard.

Jazz Studies Majors:
Theory- same as above, except sightreading will include comping from a lead sheet.

Repertoire- Solo arrangements of two jazz standards and one classical piece performed on classical guitar demonstrating acceptable level of technique.

Theory/comp, Music Industry, Music Education:
Theory- same as performance major

Repertoire- Same as performance major but with only one major work.

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