Guitar Program

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Our Goal

Music Stream Center provides high-quality guitar instruction in an encouraging atmosphere for students of all ages. Lessons focus on development of technical skill using classical technique; awareness of balance and relaxation; sensitivity to phrasing and musicality; and cultivation of good practice habits. Students learn to read both musical notation and chord/lead sheets. The goal of instruction at Music Stream Center is not only to draw students into the discipline and joy of playing an instrument, but also to develop life skills such as poise, awareness, focus, and the ability to accomplish long-term tasks.

 

Why should I choose Music Stream Center?

University Trained Teachers

Michael Silva has been teaching classical guitar for over five years. He is Suzuki certified and has taught students of all ages. He has a B.M. in guitar performance from California State University, Sacramento and is currently completing his Masters in Music there, where he studies with Grammy nominated guitarist Richard Savino. 

If you want to know more about our guitar teachers, please visit Our Teachers page. You can enjoy their beautiful performances also!

 

Lessons uniquely tailored to the student's needs

Many different kinds of students are drawn to the guitar, for many different reasons. Our aim is to be flexible and to respond to what you need. Private lessons can be designed specifically for children, aimed to challenge classical guitarists preparing for university, or geared towards adults who simply want to strum and sing along for their own enjoyment.

The Unique Combination of Private Lessons, Musicianship Class and Music Lab
Students enrolled in private lessons have the opportunity to participate in the Music Stream Center's musicianship class and music lab. This is an invaluable resource, as many of the broader aspects of music cannot be covered thoroughly within the time constraints of a private lesson. The musicianship class teaches theory, ear training, music history, composition, etc, while the music lab promotes total musical growth through computer MIDI technology.

Ensembles
Ensemble playing is an important part of every musician's education. The growing popularity of guitar ensembles such as the L.A. Guitar Quartet, the New West Guitar Quartet, and the legendary Romeros has made ensemble experience an even more exciting and indispensable opportunity for young guitarists. Our ensembles, included in the Musicianship classes, provide the opportunity for young guitarists to grow in excellence within the circle of peers dedicated to the same goal.

Regular Student Recitals
Opportunity is given to all the students to perform in recitals held five times per year. Recitals are both goals to work towards and joyous occasions for celebrating what students have learned. Families and friends are encouraged to attend.

 

Program

Music Stream Center’s comprehensive private lesson program combines individual lessons with music lab time, musicianship classes, recitals, Music Teachers’ Association concert opportunities, and various auditions, competitions, master classes, special awards, etc.

Individual Private Lessons

  • Students must bring music and an instrument for each individual private lesson.
  • Private lessons will focus on development of technical skill using classical technique; awareness of balance and relaxation; sensitivity to phrasing and musicality; note reading; and chord/lead sheet interpretation.
  • Lessons and practice strategies will be tailored to help meet the musical goals of the student, as discussed with the instructor.

Music With Friends

  • As another option for an affordable and enjoyable musical experience, MSC also offers beginning guitar classes for groups of 2-3 students. This is an excellent way for friends, spouses, or siblings to enjoy learning music together. These lessons will cover the same material as private lessons, while accommodating the pace of both students in the class. Please see our tuition chart for pricing information.

Musicianship Classes

  • Musicianship classes will consist of various ensemble repertoire, rhythm, theory, ear training, music history, music appreciation, composition, improvisation, transposition, singing, movements, sight playing and technique, etc.
  • Students learn each subject through the benefit of group teaching and games.
  • The detailed content of each class will depend upon the age and level of each group.
  • Each class will have 3 to 5 students and will last for one hour.
  • There are five musicianship class weeks from September to June. Please refer to the school calendar for the dates.
  • The classes will be held in place of the private lesson for that week.

Recitals

  • There will be 5 recitals throughout the school year.
  • Every student must dress up for any recital or musical event. This is part of the student's training. Boys need to wear a dress shirt, dress slacks, a tie, and dress shoes. Girls need to wear a suitable dress or skirt and blouse. (Do not wear short or tight skirts, as these do not work for guitar sitting position. A long, flowing skirt is preferable.) Dressing up always makes the performer feel good and play better.
  • All the students are expected to perform at EVERY studio recital.  This is perhaps the most valuable part of the student’s musical education.
  • Students will also be given the opportunity to perform in recitals presented by CAPMT (California Association of Professional Music Teachers), DMTA (Davis Music Teachers’ Association), MTAC (Music Teachers’ Association of California), MTNA (Music Teachers’ National Association) and SMAC (Suzuki Music Association of California).

Buying A Guitar

To begin lessons, you will need a nylon string, classical guitar. This is the easiest type to start on (especially for children, as the strings are softer than steel), and will work well for classical music and technique.

A suitable beginner guitar will cost about $100-$200. While it is not necessary to spend a lot of money on your first guitar, it is necessary to ensure that the guitar is playable. While it may seem economical to start on a used guitar from a friend or relative, this is not recommended, since that guitar has likely been sitting in a closet for years, warping and cracking with the changes of humidity and temperature. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to learn on an unplayable guitar. If you have any questions regarding the playability of your guitar, please bring the instrument to your instructor for evaluation.

Guitar Sizing

Here is a general guideline for choosing the right size of guitar for your child:

Age Height of Player Size of Guitar
4-6 years old 3'3" to 3'9" 1/4-Size
5-8 years old 3'10" to 4'5" 1/2-Size
8-11 years old 4'6" to 4'11" 3/4-Size
11-Adult 5' or taller 4/4-Size

The best child-sized guitars are made by Strunal, and can be purchased online at www.meantone.com. Other good brands for beginner guitars (for all ages) are Jasmine (made by Takemine), Montana, and Yamaha.

Essential Accessories

In addition to a guitar, you will also need a guitar case, music stand, and footstool.