The guitar is an amazing, unique instrument. On one hand it is so simple that you can learn a few basic chords by merely learning how and where to place your fingers on the fret board (so-called chord shapes). Those basic chords will allow you to strum along as you sing, or even just strum the chords because they sound nice. For many people, that is enough.
On the other hand, the guitar as it was designed centuries ago is so complex it is considered a PhD level instrument. Unfortunately, for various reasons, the predominant view of the guitar is that of the simple instrument. A perspective reinforced by the many guitar method books which basically treat the instrument as a non-serious, fun thing that can be learned in 10 easy lessons, all without actually learning to read notes – the written language of music – or the core skills necessary to play at an advanced level.
At Allegro we acknowledge and affirm both views.
For many people, learning some soothing chords to help settle and calm a hectic day is all they need from their guitar. For those we offer a recreational track of study.
For others, learning the guitar is a serious undertaking. For those we offer a conservatory track which is a commitment to an in-depth study of the instrument itself, along with repertoire and associated music theory necessary to audition for acceptance into a guitar program at a conservatory or university.
There is a lot of territory between those perspectives and most people fall something in between. They are serious about studying the guitar, but do not want to commit the time and effort necessary to earn a degree.
Allegro does not subscribe to a one size fits all theory of the study of the arts. Each student will have an assessment done to determine tools and objectives, and a course of study is defined for each individual. Above all, we highly encourage each student to bring their own creativity to their study – at every level of commitment.
We emphasize building foundations of knowledge and skill sufficient to support the goals of each student. To do otherwise would deny the student the tools necessary to exercise the creativity we so highly encourage.
We emphasize study of the instrument (design and function) at a level appropriate to each student's goals.
We teach many styles of guitar playing, from blues to flamenco. However, we do not teach those styles until we have studied the music foundations upon which those styles were built. Again, short cuts offer only the illusion of rapid progress. And ultimately, result in a lot of frustration.