Guitar Curriculum

Guitar Curriculum

Designed for seventh and eighth grade students at Emerson Middle School for a guitar elective meeting daily for forty minutes for twelve weeks.

The class has a maximum enrollment of twenty-four students. Students may borrow a guitar to keep at home for the duration of the trimester,

Class Materials consist of:

24 classical guitars

3 electric guitars and amplifiers

2 electric bass guitars and amplifiers

12-string guitar

Acoustic/electric guitar

Vocal microphones and boom stands



Essential Elements Guitar Book 1: for beginning students

Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 2: for intermediate students

Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 3: for advanced students.

Supplemental tabs on an individual basis.

Relevant holiday music.

Listening selections provided by the instructor and students

The purpose of the Guitar elective is to develop:

Guitar Playing Skills:

Students will:

    1. Identify the parts of a guitar.
    2. Identify and play the pitches on each string in the first five frets
    3. Be introduced to how to tune the guitar.
    4. Be able to play melody lines from the repertoire
    5. Play and identify the following chords: C, G, D, A7, em, A, am, D7, and G7
    6. Play chord songs from the repertoire.
    7. Be introduced to basic strumming and finger picking.
    8. Be introduced to a 12 bar blues pattern.
    9. Play in small ensembles.
    10. Perform a final song in a band.


Students will:

    1. Be exposed to a variety of guitar repertoire by:
      1. Listening to the original versions of every recorded song in the repertoire
      2. Listening to selected supplemental guitar music
      3. Viewing selected video performances
      4. Viewing live performances
    2. Develop ear training skills:
      1. Reinforce knowledge of major and minor tonalities and scales
      2. Recognize a I, IV, V progression
      3. Recognize a 12 bar blues progression
      4. Begin to aurally classify the listening selections by style.
      5. Begin to aurally recognize the sound of specific performers.
    3. Play with attention to appropriate dynamics, and tempos.
    4. Improve their ability to read standard notation and tablature.
    5. Compose a simple accompaniment to a melody line.
    6. Begin to develop the ability to play with other performers.

Civil Behavior Goals:

    1. Self regulation:
      1. Get their guitar, music, and pencil at the start of the class
      2. Be attentive during the group playing time.
      3. Put away all their materials at the end of class.
    2. Responsibility:
      1. Complete each group of songs in a timely manner. Students who complete their songs before Friday may play the electric guitars and drum set.
    3. Self Awareness:
      1. Evaluate their class participation and playing twice during the trimester
    4. Empathy:
      1. Respond to classmates’ performances in an encouraging manner.
    5. Social Awareness
      1. Participate in the group final project, and practice being a cooperative, contributing member of a team.



1. Each song on the syllabus will be played for a possible ten points using the following rubric:

10 points: 0 – 1 rhythmic or melodic error

9 points: 2 – 3 errors

8 points: 4 – 5 errors

7 points: 6 – 7 errors

6 points: 8 – 9 errors

5 points: 10 – 11 errors

2. Every song may be replayed as many times as the student prefers. The highest grade will be recorded.

3.Extra credit songs may be played upon approval.

4. The final project is worth 50 points.

a. Using practice time effectively: 10 points

b. Playing with the same beat. 10 points

c. Playing with a high level of melodic and rhythmic accuracy: 10 points

d. Playing with attention to dynamics and tempo: 10 points

e. Playing with showmanship: 10 points

5. Anyone who disrupts another group’s performance will earn a 0 for the final project.


There is one written quiz:

      1. Labeling the parts of the guitar
    1. Students who attend guitar concerts will earn 5 extra credit points/concert.

Civil Behaviors:

    1. The appropriate behaviors will be demonstrated each day, earning a daily 5-point participation grade.
    2. Students who choose not to demonstrate the appropriate civil behaviors will write a handwritten report on a guitar related topic, the length and subject in accordance with the severity of the infraction.