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FOR STUDENTS

Welcome! This page has been created to share resources, community events, videos and other information with anyone who may be interested in learning more about guitar. The content varies from information for beginning students to very advanced players. The page was created with my college and adult students in mind, so please monitor young students with content and links. I hope you find the page useful. 

Explorations in Listening

 

Laura Snowden is a British-French guitarist and composer who studied with Julian Bream, played on the soundtrack for the Marvel film Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson, wrote guitar arrangements for Charlie Fink (frontman of the British indie rock band Noah and the Whale), plays in a folk group who performed at Shakespeare's Globe by invitation of John Williams, and has been described by Classical Guitar Magazine as "linking the guitar's past, present and future." 

In this featured video, Snowden is performing a beginning piece she composed for the RSL Classical Guitar Syllabus. She demonstrates how players can explore and enjoy storytelling and expression in less demanding works.

Questions to Consider:​

  • What expressive tools are being used in this interpretation?

  • What technical skills are needed for this graded piece? Consider the challenges and opportunities presented when writing a piece that can only use certain techniques.

  • Have you ever thought that you would only be able to play expressively when you gain skills for more advanced works? Is there a piece in your easier repertoire that you could enliven through a second consideration of expressive possibilities?

Note: Laura Snowden will perform for the John E. Marlow Guitar Series on March 24, 2024. 

You can learn more about Laura Snowden and listen to her music at www.laurasnowden.co.uk

Featured Score

 

Each year, Marlow Guitar International commissions three new works that serve as set pieces for the Myrna Sislen Youth Guitar Competition. The sheet music is shared with the public for free leading up to, and during, the competition. Visit the links below to download the scores for this year's works.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gWklkVTjBtHEEnryXVndQeE0VKJwOl7R/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X6e85J-Spp2TSW6mwqRTlkHB3UEwqCSF/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PN2LTDFL7OZU8ppipkB0Cgbl9cfIrTXe/view

 

Composed by Dr. Olga Amelkina-Vera, the pieces are inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Here is an excerpt from the composer's notes for the works:

"In the Golden Gleam was commissioned by Marlow Guitar International as a collection of three set
pieces for the 2024 Myrna Sislen Youth Guitar Competition (Youth Division, 11 years old and younger;

Junior Division, 12-14 years old; and Senior Division, 15-18 years old). Though no requirement was
presented to me about grouping the three pieces as a set, I chose to tie them together into an interconnected
triptych inspired by “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll. The title of
the entire piece is taken from the last few lines of the poem that concludes “Through the Looking Glass:”

Ever drifting down the stream—
Lingering in the golden gleam—
Life, what is it but a dream?

The dreamlike, phantasmagorical world of the Alice books has always had a special allure for me, and
I enjoyed discovering musical ways of portraying my impressions of their images and moods.

In the spirit of introducing young performers to some of the common musical devices used by
composers, I included notes in the score when an important motive was inverted or retrograded, or
rhythmically augmented or diminished. The subject matter created many rich opportunities to use these
compositional devices to illustrate Alice’s adventures and transformations: growing bigger or smaller,
entering a mirror-image world, and living backwards, to name just a few. Below are some details about the
individual movements..."

And, professional players, please do not assume the works to be only meant for students: the youth who participate in this competition play at a very high level.

Resources 

 

Daily Scale Videos

You can practice your major scales along with me in these videos made for my beginning students learning notes in first position and key signatures. Goals include mastery of note knowledge, consistent use of first-position fretting-hand fingerings, right-hand finger alternation, and tone. The tempo is 80 bpm. 

Major Scale Exercise Video C G D A

Major Scale Exercise Video E B F# C#

Major Scale Exercise Video F Bb Eb Ab

Major Scale Exercise Video Db Gb Cb

Basic Chord Switching Exercises for Group Beginner's Guitar Classes

Students who are learning to switch between basic chords while strumming can use these videos for daily practice.

Open Position Chords in Pairs

G Em C D7

Tech Resources

https://online-voice-recorder.com/

https://www.metronomeonline.com/

https://www.fender.com/online-guitar-tuner/

https://musescore.org/en

Beginning General Guitar Method Book (free download):

Lou Warde Method Book for Beginning Guitar

Graded Classical Guitar Repertoire Series (for purchase):

Royal Conservatory (previously "Bridges") - Full Set

Royal Conservatory (previously "Bridges") - Individual Books

Community Events

Myrna Sislen MGI Youth Guitar Competition

*The sheet music for the set pieces is available to everyone for free download from the website

https://marlowguitar.org/myrnasislen/

John E. Marlow Guitar Series Concerts - Silver Spring, Maryland and Online

https://marlowguitar.org/

Southern Guitar Festival and Competition - North Carolina

https://southernguitarfest.com/

Baltimore Classical Guitar Society - Concerts and masterclasses

https://www.bcgs.org/

Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society - Concerts and festival

https://www.phillyguitar.org/

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