Choosing Repertoire for Classical Guitar Students

Drawing by Peeter Piik

Twice a year I have to think seriously about the repertoire that my students at the academy are going to play. Luckily, my colleague Heiki took some time in summer to update our repertoire lists. The list goes together with the study program. My students are mainly studying to become guitar teachers so they have to go through lots of music. In my opinion they should be able to play even more. But let’s see what we’ve got this semester.

1. Final semester (Guitar pedagogics BA graduates)

BA exam (program ca 30 min.)
– Cyclic form or a movement from a concerto
– 2 polyphonic pieces from baroque guitar or lute repertoire
– 20th century piece or some jazzy pieces
– Work with a pupil (a short live lesson)

I have 3 students who will complete the 3-year bachelor this semester and one of the programs is like this:

Giuliani. Variations on a theme by Händel, duration 8’30
Bach. Prelude and Fugue 998, duration 8’00
Brouwer. Elogio de la danza 5’30

A very mainstream program but the teachers have to know that music.

2. 4th semester

– A baroque lute concerto or dances from baroque lute suites
– Cyclical composition from 20th century
– Spanish or Latin-American piece
– Technical test (scales, thirds, sixths, octaves, decimes, triads and cadenzas)

I have one student on 4th semester and I chose the following:

– Weiss. Prelude, Allemande, Bourree from an e-minor suite
– Torroba. Suite castellana
– Nazareth. A Choro
– Sor. Studies Op 35 No 23-24

3. 2nd semester

– Classical variations or a sonatina (at least in two movements)
– Pavane/Galliarda or a fantasy (scordatura fis)
– 2 classical or romantic character pieces
– Technical test

I have one student on 4th semester and I chose the following:

– Sor. Op 28 variations
– Dowland. Galliard and Midnight
– Nazareth. 2 choros
– E. Pujol – El Abejorro

As for the chamber ensemble, I have students who play guitar duo, guitar trio and one violin+guitar. The latter ensemble is going to play Bartok’s Romanian Dances and the trio is playing Haydn.

Yes, everything looks so average. But I enjoy the music. After all, it’s been a while since I’ve taught or played real classical guitar music. The only thing that annoys me now is the slow speed: students read music like children. Shame on me.

Here is the complete list of the compulsory repertoire for guitar pedagogy students

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