Classical Guitar

The USC Thornton Classical Guitar program is uniquely suited to prepare guitarists for success in today’s world, offering a targeted, multifaceted educational approach that develops each student’s full potential. The pillars of the program are technical mastery, scholarly achievement, refined chamber music skills, wellness for life-long creativity and career development. Over the past five decades, it has produced numerous international competition winners, music business entrepreneurs and esteemed faculty that teach in many of the world’s elite music schools. Students receive hands-on instruction from a world-renowned faculty, including Maestro Pepe Romero, GFA Artistic Director Brian Head and William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant – founders of the USC-born, GRAMMY®-winning L.A. Guitar Quartet. Situated in the vibrant cultural hub of Los Angeles, the program regularly hosts guest masterclasses by the world’s greatest guitarists, and it played host to the Segovia masterclasses of 1981 and 1986. The musical community at the Thornton School of Music ensures that guitarists will be playing and learning alongside some of the most talented young musicians of their generation.

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Music

Classical Guitar Performance

4 years | 132 units

The BM in classical guitar is a four-year, 132-unit program consisting of course work in the major (individual instruction, functional skills, performance class, classical guitar history, and ensembles), core music studies (theory, aural skills, music history, keyboard instruction, conducting, and large ensemble) and USC’s general education and writing program. Junior and senior recitals are required.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Graduate & Doctoral Programs

Master of Music

Classical Guitar Performance

2 years | 30 units

The MM in classical guitar is a two-year, 30-unit program consisting of individual instruction and performance class, guitar history and literature, interpretation of baroque music, and music history. The program culminates with two graduate recitals. Guitar electives can include guitar pedagogy, guitar arranging and composition, or jazz or flamenco guitar lessons. Other Thornton electives can include arts leadership, recording techniques, arts journalism, among many other options.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Doctor of Musical Arts

Classical Guitar Performance

65 units

The DMA in classical guitar requires a minimum of 65 units beyond the bachelor’s degree and consists of the following areas of study: the basic DMA curriculum, course work in the major, an academic field and two elective fields. Four doctoral recitals are required.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Graduate Certificate & Artist Diplomas

Graduate Certificate

Classical Guitar

2 years | 16 units

The Graduate Certificate in performance is a two-year, 16-unit program consisting of individual instruction, studio class, and two ensembles, or the equivalent thereof, each semester. This graduate-level program is designed for students who have completed their undergraduate education in music, or its equivalent, and intend to concentrate their energies on the full-time development of their discipline.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Artist Diploma

Classical Guitar

2-3 years | 16 units

This program is designed for young artists of exceptional ability and musical sensitivity who plan careers as solo performers. The Artist Diploma Program provides young artists with the opportunity to devote their full time to concentrated study and practice for the duration of their assigned programs. A minimum of 16 units at the 754 level (from MPEM, MPGU, MPKS, MPST, MPVA or MPWP) and four full-length recitals are required. This program typically requires two to three consecutive years of study for completion.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Minors & Electives

Minor in Musical Studies


18 units

The Musical Studies minor is for students who already have a background in music performance and want to continue to develop their skills. Musical Studies minors have the opportunity to study their instrument in private lessons and participate in ensembles, as well as study music theory and music history. Through the electives, students may explore their own unique musical interests. Students may apply on virtually any instrument, including voice.

Contact

Scott Tennant, Chair
Jieun Park, Department Coordinator

Classical Guitar Department
USC Thornton School of Music
Los Angeles, California 90089-0851
(213) 740-7399
classical.guitar@usc.edu