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, where he has developed a guitar program that has grown to over 300 guitar students in eight classes. With a BMEd from Berklee College of Music in Boston and a master’s degree in education from Northern Arizona University, Sweet has taught music in public schools for over 20 years. In addition to guitar classes, he has also taught AP music theory, jazz band, and beginning orchestra classes. In 2010, Sweet published Introduction to Guitar for Ensemble, now used in schools throughout the U.S. and Canada, has been well received by music teachers, especially those whose principal instrument is something other than guitar. 

What leading music educators are saying about Introduction 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
at 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, jazz guitarist;
head of the guitar program
at Eastern Illinois University

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288