6016 From Rock to Bach: Straightforward Guitar for the Classroom


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Immerse yourself in a weekend of guitar with master educator and author Joe Sweet. This class focuses on teaching guitar in a classroom setting using pedagogical techniques as found in Sweet’s book Introduction to Guitar for Ensemble. The four key components of guitar performance – rhythm, sight-reading, chords and soloing – will be covered in the context of guitar styles as diverse as blues, rock, jazz, Latin and classical.


Instructor: Joe Sweet

Joe_SweetJoe Sweet currently Chairs the music department at Lane Tech College Preparatory in Chicago and has developed a Guitar program which has grown to over three hundred guitar students in eight classes. Joe teaches both Beginning and Advanced Guitar classes. With a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Berklee College of Music in Boston, as well as a Master’s degree in Education from Northern Arizona University, he has successfully taught music in the public schools for over 20 years. In addition to guitar classes, he has also taught Advanced Placement Music Theory, Jazz Band, and Beginning Orchestra classes.

In 2010, Joe Sweet published Introduction to Guitar for Ensemble which is being used in schools throughout the United States and Canada. Introduction to Guitar for Ensemble has been well received by music teachers, especially those whose principal instrument is something other than guitar. Many Band, Orchestra and Choir teachers find his book intuitive and easy to use.

What leading music educators are saying aboutIntroduction to Guitar for Ensemble:

“I highly recommend this introduction to guitar as a primer for making aspiring guitar players into musicians”- Bobby Broom Jazz guitarist, Bandleader, Recording Artist and Educator

“Finding new and effective ways to reach and teach students is a quest all great teachers aspire to accomplish. In his book, “Introduction to Guitar For Ensemble”, Joe Sweet focuses on innovative methods and steps in achieving those goals. I've also had the pleasure of watching Joe teach his guitar ensemble while utilizing his book and the results were a thing of beauty to witness in person. Congratulations Joe… Bravo on being such a wonderful teacher and such an inspiration not only to your students, but to all the students who will receive the substantial benefits of using your book!!!” -Paul Wertico Seven time Grammy Award-winning percussionist & Professor of Jazz Studies, Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts

“I’ve observed Joe Sweet’s guitar classes several times and am very impressed with the organization of his method. Taking a class of up to fifty guitarists takes a lot of thought and energy. Joe has, in this book, distilled essential information in a logical, well-thought out way for a beginning musician playing the guitar. And, the results I've heard in the young guitarists coming from his classes are remarkable. They are very prepared after his class to take whatever further steps they want in their future endeavors.” -Scott Hesse Head of the Guitar Program at Eastern Illinois University


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Course Information

60616 From rock to Bach: Straightforward guitar for the Classroom
1 graduate credit
Tuition: $320, due in full with registration
Dates: March 12-13
Location: VanderCook(3125 S. Federal St.)
Room: M116

Fall MECA Online Courses
All Fall MECA online courses
are generally held from
Sept. 21 through Dec. 13, 2020,
unless specified.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m.  
on September 18, 2020

Visit our MECA FAQs page.

Drop, withdraw or change using
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For other MECA-related questions,
contact us at
or 312.788.1139


VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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