6096 Guitarapalooza


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Recital Highlights


Whether you’re starting a guitar class from the ground up or looking to bring your existing class to the next level, this course addresses all aspects of playing and teaching guitar. Tried-and-true resources for engaging and setting goals for elementary, middle school, and high school guitar students are explored in depth. The essentials for classical guitar technique, jazz guitar basics, rock guitar, alternative styles, solo and ensemble repertoire, and basic guitar repair are also covered. Some previous guitar experience required.

Instructors: Dr. Julie Goldberg, Matt Hudson, & Jeff Peek


Dr. Goldberg has beunspecifieden with VanderCook since 1999. She was the first guitarist to receive a doctorate in music performance from Northwestern University, and also holds degrees from the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University and College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

A Chicago native, Julie Goldberg leads the Chicago Community Classical Guitar Orchestra, directs the Annual Day of Guitar Festival at VanderCook College of Music.

An effective and popular instructor, Julie presents yearly guitar clinics for the Wisconsin Center for Music Education, CPS High-School Guitar Classes, and serves as a lead teacher for the national, Teaching Guitar Workshop, sponsored by GAMA.

She is a frequent adjudicator of guitar contests and competitions, including the Chicago Classical Guitar Society Evaluated Recital and Showcase Competitions and the Society of American Music Annual Guitar Competition. An active recitalist Julie performs as a soloist and with the Avanti Guitar Trio.  She was named Guitarist of The Year by Classical Guitar Alive magazine.  Dr. Goldberg is the co-author of 100 Classical Guitar Lessons, published by Hal Leonard.


Matt_HudsonMatt Hudson is a jazz guitarist from Erie, PA who is currently teaching Guitar and Recording Arts at Lane Tech High School in Chicago. Matt  began his formal music studies at the University of Pittsburgh in 1999.   He was the winner of the Mellon Bank Jazz Scholarship.  This opportunity gave him the chance to study with ex-patriot saxophonist Nathan Davis as well as world renowned guitarist Joe Negri.

Hudson had a voracious appetite for jazz improvisation and studied many eras of the form with a particular emphasis on blues and bebop. He became a regular fixture at jam sessions in Pittsburgh and by the time he graduated in 2003, he was performing in many top venues with artists such as Gene Stovall, Reggie Watkins, The Marvelettes, Jay Willis, and Curtis Fuller.

By the end of that year Hudson decided to settle in Chicago to pursue creative opportunities that blended Rnb, hip hop, jazz, and rock.  This began a fertile period for Hudson marked by collaborations with William Kurk Enterpise, Siji, Aaron Getsug, Scott Hessy, and Karl E.H. Siegfried.  

It was during 2006 that Hudson met producer and dj Anthony Nicholson and his son Quincy Nicholson.  This began his affiliation with the jazz recording group Scientific Map. Over the course of five years, this group recorded and toured to support albums for Imaginary Chicago Records. Each of these recordings was produced and recorded by Anthony and Quincy Nicholson. Hudson earned his Masters of Music Education at VanderCook College of Music in 2010.

Peek-1Jeffery Peek has been the Guitar Program Director at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago since the Fall of 2009. Prior experience includes ten years teaching Band, Choir, General Music and Drumline at several Chicago neighborhood schools from Pre-K through High School.  His prior programs received several awards, including being featured in a VH1 Save the Music biography that also included Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys.


Jeff’s innovative guitar program features an almost entirely rock and blues-based curriculum, with an emphasis on music theory, performance, soloing, songwriting, and guitar part-writing.  After being recruited by Whitney Young to expand the existing guitar program,  Jeff initially embarked in a somewhat traditional manner. The first five years were a journey of trial and error, focusing on blending traditional music genres with  popular music. By 2015, and with extensive feedback from students, the curriculum had slowly moved away from traditional genres and evolved to its current format. To fill the void in relevant and available classroom material, Jeff wrote his first set of books for Whitney Young Guitar classroom use beginning in 2015 school year.

The program has grown in popularity as students have embraced the uniqueness of the program. Two sections of guitar existed prior to Jeff’s tenure, and currently there are seven, with a waiting list. There are 250 students enrolled from the Whitney Young student body of 2100. The concerts have grown in complexity and popularity, with the Spring Guitar Showcase regularly selling out multiple shows in the 500 seat capacity theater.  


Jeff began playing guitar in earnest at the age of 16, when he joined the Downbeat Award-winning “Rithum Machine” jazz ensemble, led by respected instructor David Hans. Almost entirely self-taught through high school, he enrolled at the University of North Texas for three semesters to study with Jack Peterson, then completed his BA in Music at Northern Illinois University. He enrolled in DePaul University full time in the Fall of 1996 to pursue an additional BA in Music Education. Then in 2008, after after ten years of classroom experience he was awarded an MA in Music Education from DePaul University.

Jeff’s thesis project at DePaul focused on the use of the popular music genre in education.  At that time there was very little material available that treated Rock/Pop & Blues music as a valid, established curricular subject.  Being thoroughly trained in traditional music subjects and pedagogy, this proved an eye-opening experience. This served as a catalyst for Jeff’s passion to use these contemporary genres at Whitney Young to engage high school music students by teaching them the music they want to play. Every class essentially becomes it’s own rock band, with vocalists, bassists and drummers.



Click to Register for Summer MECA Courses

Course Information

6096 Guitarapalooza
July 25-29
3 graduate credits
Location: TBD

Click HERE for a campus map.

Tuition: $960
A $75 deposit is required at time of registration. Tuition balance is due in full by the first day of class.

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


VanderCook College of Music

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

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