At Towson High School, we are currently offering three levels of guitar instruction: 

1. Guitar - First Year Guitar Students               

2. Honors Guitar - Second Year Guitar Students

3. GT Guitar - Third and Fourth Year Guitar Students

Not sure which class is appropriate for your ability? Click here for a guide on the skills needed for each guitar class. 

 For more information, please contact Mr. John Olin at

Guitar (first year) is a sequential program of year-long instruction. Through the study of music theory, vocabulary, musical styles, historical reference, and the opportunities for performance on acoustic guitar, students will learn the basics of playing guitar. No experience is necessary and beginners are welcome!  This course satisfies the Maryland State requirement of one (1) fine arts credit for graduation from high school. 

Guitar General Course Overview

  • parts of the Guitar/playing position/posture
  • time signatures and measures
  • pitches on the strings
  • instrument tuning
  • standard music notation
  • tablature (TAB)
  • chord frame diagrams
  • all first position chords
  • strumming patterns and variations
  • instrument care and maintenance
  • 12 bar blues progression
  • well-known guitarists
  • power chords
  • career opportunities
  • accompaniment styles
  • song writing
  • ensemble playing
  • technology in guitar performance
  • recital/concert opportunities.

It is expected that each student practice 2 hours per week outside of class. A limited number of acoustic guitars are available free of charge for as part of the instrument rental program at Towson High. Guitars will be rented out on a first come first serve basis beginning with the second day of school. Students wishing to rent a school guitar must fill out the new BCPS rental agreement, which must be signed by a parent/guardian. Students may also elect to practice after school or at lunch.


It is the goal of this class to teach basic guitar performance and to instill a love for guitar, learning, and music within each student. Everyday you should come to class with an eagerness to learn and play guitar! After the successful completion of Guitar students may elect to take Guitar Honors (level II) and then Guitar GT (Level III/IV) in subsequent years.
*Special Note: If a student possesses advanced skills on the guitar, they may choose to audition for placement in a higher level guitar class. Please email Mr. Olin at to schedule an audition. Auditioning students should prepare two selections of music that best represent their ability on the guitar.
Guitar Honors (second year) is a course offered to students who successfully complete Guitar and wish to expand and improve upon their technical and musical skills. It is expected that studetns enrolled in this course have an ability to perform the following skills: all open or first position chords, 6th string bar chords, basic fingerpicking (PIMA), basic note reading skills in TAB and standard notation, tuning.

General Course Overview

  • advanced fingerpicking technique
  • Travis Picking and other advanced picking technique
  • advanced note reading in TAB and standard notation
  • advanced strumming patterns and variations
  • song writing
  • singing and playing at the same time
  • advanced ensemble playing (duets and trios)
  • additional recital/concert opportunities
  • 6th, 5th, and 4th string Major, Minor, dominant 7, and Minor 7 Bar chords.


Guitar GT (third and fourth year) is a course offered to students who successfully complete Guitar and Guitar Honors and wish to expand and improve upon their technical and musical skills. It is expected that students enrolled in this course have an advanced ability to perform on the guitar and are seeking a course of study that provides opportunities for further technical and musical development.

General Course Overview

  • Song writing
  • Playing original and cover songs
  • Advanced ensemble playing
  • Additional recital/concert opportunities, such as the BCPS solo and ensemble festival
  • Performing a wide variety of popular, rock, classic rock, and folk styles.

Ultimate-Guitar Search

Guitar Chord Finder

Towson High Music,
Dec 6, 2017, 9:31 AM