VANCOUVER CLASSICAL GUITAR FESTIVAL
and Other Events
The Afternoon Daily Workshops comprises of various workshops that target specific skills related directly to guitar playing:
Guitar Orchestra will be daily rehearsals where different players will learn and play different parts of the music to make one piece come to life. The Guitar Orchestra aims to simulate the large ensemble experience by rehearsing together, following a conductor, and listening to how the different parts move together. The rehearsals happen daily and are geared towards the closing concert, where participants will showcase the results of the week’s rehearsals.
Musicianship is a class where we will work on note-reading, rhythm-reading and developing a sense of beat. These skills are too often omitted during private lessons due to the limitation of time. Learning how to feel the beat and internalizing rhythm, is one of the most crucial aspects of playing music and by the end of this workshop, participants should feel comfortable breaking down rhythm in their own pieces.
Technique workshops give students insight on how the basic mechanics of the body work around the guitar and what exercises are good to develop different skills. From why we sit “the classical way,” to why we use a footstool and alternatives to using one, to how your hands work best for each technical demand, this workshops will help participants develop a basic consciousness of their bodies while playing and a variety of technical exercises on which they can work on for the year. The three technique sessions are meant to tackle specific aspects of right hand, left hand technique and how to put it together to maximize what our hands are capable of doing.
Learning Effectively is a two-part workshop where we will discuss aspects of how to best learn a piece and how to appropriately translate the information on the page to your fingers to your guitar. During Assimilating the score, we will look into how to break down the piece into manageable chunks of information that your brain can understand and manipulate most effectively, creating chains that we can convey at will. From breaking down pieces into different issues, finding good fingerings, why right hand fingering matters as much as left hand one, how to create good muscle memory, and how to use the metronome will be explored in this series. In the second part, Putting it to Practice, we will take a look at how to practice and talk about how consistency in the practice room is the way to achieve more successful and rewarding performances.
The Late Night Workshops are a variety of lectures that target other aspects of guitar playing or put together some of the concepts explored in the daily workshops.
Taking Ownership (Of Your Passion) is a talk on how to maintain your passion alive and going. The reality is that many of us begin with a high interest in learning how to play the guitar but due to the demand of the instrument and long term improvement it is very easy to get discouraged and slowly stop liking it. In this talk, we will address ways to maintain your interest, to keep in mind the long term goal and enjoyment alive.
The Performance Practice Night is an invitation to participants to play for each other in a safe space where we can talk about all the stress and anxiety related to performing and how to learn to deal with them. We will answer questions like “why do I always sound better at home” and explore practice methods that ensure the best performance under the worst conditions.
The Latin American Guitar Night is an exploration with guest faculty David Sossa of Latin American guitar repertoire and composers that will help inspire a student’s musical growth and development. In this lecture, students will get a dive into repertoire that is rarely learned or talked about during a normal course of guitar learning.
The Luthier Presentation is a presentation given by Rye Bear from G.R. Bear Guitars, a super successful local guitar builder whose guitars are sold all over the world. This talk is meant to explore how guitars are being made today as well as to talk about what you can look for when you are looking for a good guitar. Find more about Rye Bear in his website: https://www.grbear.com/
The Closing Gala Concert is a chance for participants of the festival to perform in front of an audience and put into practice what was learned over the week.
The Masterclass will be an opportunity to learn without being in the hot seat, by watching a lesson taught by the guest artist. There are only four 45-min spots for players to perform for the guest artist and are subject to extra costs.