Classic guitar : methods for the evaluation of technique and the gradation of repertoire

Schwartzer, Bonnie Jan


The intent of this study is two-fold: the development of an observational scale for measuring student proficiency in classic guitar technique, and the development of a methodology for grading guitar repertoire. The observational scale, here tested through application, can provide the researcher with a valid and reliable measurement tool and the inservice and prospective teacher with an instructional aid for assessing technical proficiency. The scale includes the full range of basic technical skills along with definitions of correct and incorrect ways to perform each skill. Photographs have been included illustrating the correct method to perform many of the skills. In establishing validity and reliability, the scale underwent rigorous testing. Nine guitar majors attending California State University, Fullerton, during the Spring semester of 1982 provided the population for the study. Based upon their college standing and length of guitar tutelage the students were divided into three proficiency levels: least, moderate and very experienced. Five guitar educators, with three different degrees of teaching experience, observed and evaluated each student’s technique according to the correct and incorrect descriptors set down within the scale. The findings of the test indicate that moderately experienced students scored higher than least experienced students and very experienced students scored higher than moderately experienced students. Furthermore, a minimum of 90% agreement among observers was achieved for each student evaluated. Accordingly, the scale is a valid and reliable measurement tool. The method for grading classic guitar repertoire provides educators with a comprehensive approach to grading music. Conventionally, music has been graded primarily from two perspectives–technique and fingerboard conceptualization. However, a student should be guided not only in technical improvement but in the ability to understand the music he performs as well. With this objective in mind, the repertoire included in this study was graded from three perspectives–musical texture, technique, and fingerboard conceptualization. Included in the graded repertoire text are musical examples from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern periods. In addition, a classification of terms for musical texture, an outline stating the general objectives, and an outline of the specific objectives for each musical example has been developed and incorporated.

Classic guitar : methods for the evaluation of technique and the gradation of repertoire

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