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Guitar Ensemble  

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The guitar ensemble meets during 3rd/4th block every day. The class is geared toward the performance of guitar from a beginner level. Intermediate and advanced students may also participate.

  • GUITAR CLASS - JAN 8, 2018

    Guitar Students:

    Our first major lessons in guitar class are covered in videos on my YouTube channel. Below is a link to the guitar lessons playlist on YouTube.

    If you are absent, or simply need some refresher on the material, use the videos. Up to Jan. 5, 2018, we have covered lesson 1, and lesson 4 on the videos. You may choose to look ahead to lesson 2 and 3. Keep up with added lessons as they become available on the YouTube Channel.

    Rob Rawlings - Music - GUITAR LESSONS VIDEOS



    General Activities

    Evaluation Activities


    (Jan. 2)

    Confirm: class roll

    Distribute: materials

    Find out: how many students will be bringing their own guitars; assign class guitars to others

    Explain: classroom procedures, course content

    Identify:  students who say they can already play. Arrange to seat them together for days 2-6.

    Informal Observation of Students


    (Jan. 3)

    Learning Target 1: I can demonstrate proper hand and body positions

    Learning Target 2: I can demonstrate the I – IV – V7 progression in the Key of D Major

    Learning Target 3a, b, c, d, e: I can explain parts of guitar, letter names of the six strings, left hand fingers, chord diagrams, and hand stretches


    Have guitars tuned before class.

    Establish: correct body position for playing (individual attention)

    Teach: parts of the guitar; letter names of the six strings; left hand fingers; chord diagrams; hand stretches


    Teach/Play: D Chord. Check body and hand positions again.

    Explain: guide, common and relative fingers and unit terms

    Teach/Play:  G chord (3-finger)

    Teach/Play:  A7 chord

    Drill: D to G; G to A7; A7 to D -----  D to G to A7

    Informal Observation of Students


    (Jan. 4)

    LT 1-3

    LT4a: I can tune the guitar “by ear.”

    LT5: I can demonstrate EMaj to Amin; G(4-finger) to Cadd9 (relative fingers)


    Review: Daily stretches, hand and body positions, ensure the guitars are in tune (begin tuning to the recorded pitches).

    Drill: D to G; G to A7; A7 to D -----  D to G to A7 (students keeps their eyes on the left hand --- Watch the right hand strumming position to ensure there are no problems)

    Teach/Play: E chord and A minor chord -Relative fingers

    Drill: E to Amin

    Teach/Play: G (4-finger) chord and Cadd9 – Relative

    Drill: G to Cadd9


    Informal Observation of Students


    LT 1-5

    LT6: I can explain about reading the Rhythm Guitar Part in Music

    LT7: I can perform a song for the class—GUTS RECITAL

    Drill: I – IV – V7 in D; E to Amin; G(4-finger) to Cadd9

    Teach: “Reading the Rhythm Guitar Part in Music”, emphasizing terms to be memorized.

    Play: learned progressions again. To avoid finger blisters, it is very important to alternate periods of playing and lecture during the first few days of instructions. If the student’s left hand begins to hurt, he/she should PLACE THE LEFT HAND CHORD WITHOUT PRESSING DOWN ON THE STRINGS (this is called blocking). This gives effective practice on the chord shape and saves fingers.

    Play: Songs using only D – A7

    Announce: GUTS RECITAL to be held on Day 6

    GRADING CRITERIA: If you have the guts to play, the grade is a 4; no guts, the grade is 0. Students may choose any song using only D – A7. Accuracy should be attempted but is not required.


    Bellringer – Formative Assessment on LT 3a,b,c,d.


    Informal Observation Formative Assessment on LT 1


    LT 1-7

    Drill: Chords / Progressions learned to this point

    Review: D – A7 songs

    Individual Recital Practice / Informal/formal

    Formative Assesment(s) on LT 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6



    LT 1-7

    GUTS RECITAL PROCEDURE: Use the volunteer method, allowing each student to decide when he/she is ready to play. Since this is a first endeavor, there is bound to be some reluctance. A little cheerleading from the teacher, plus a reminder that the recital is a ONE-DAY EVENT, usually works.

    ANNOUNCE: Summative Assessment for LT 3 and 6

    Formative Assesment on LT 7 = GUTS RECITAL (Pass/Fail --- 4 or 1)


    LT 1-6

    Drill:  All learned chords / progressions

    Teach: (advanced students option) root-strum pattern

    Play: songs using D, G, and A7

    Formative Assessments on LT 1-6








    LT 1-6

    LT 8: I can demonstrate the I – IV – V7 progression in the Key of A MAJOR

    Review: materials for Assesment LT 1-6

    Drill:  All learned chords / progressions

    Teach: moving from chord to chord without looking at the left hand (THE “LOOKAWAY METHOD”)


    1. Place a D chord with the left hand
    2. Look away from the guitar
    3. Move to A7 without looking
    5. Look away again and move back to D

    Follow the same procedure as you move through the other progressions in this unit. DO NOT INVOLVE THE RIGHT HAND IN ANY WAY.

    Teach: the I –IV – V7 progression in the Key of A






    Formative Assessments on LT 1-6


    LT 1-6, 8

    Drill: I – IV – V7 progressions in D and A; Relative finger progressions: E to Amin; G to Cadd9

    Play: songs in the key of A

    ANNOUNCE: Summative Assessment on LT 1, 2, 5 (playing proficiency assessment)


    TEST #1:



    Formative on LT 8


    LT 1-6, 8

    LT9: I can demonstrate the I – IV – V7 progression in the Key of G Major

    Drill: I – IV – V7 progressions in D and A; Relative finger progressions: E to Amin; G to Cadd9

    Play: songs in the keys of D and A

    Teach: I – IV – V7 progression in key of G




    Formative on LT 8


    LT 1-6, 8, 9

    Drill: all progressions, with emphasis on playing without looking at the left hand.

    Play: songs in G




    LT 1-6, 8, 9

    LT4b: I can tune the guitar “to itself”

    Teach: Tuning

    Drill: chord progressions

    Formative on LT 8, 9


    LT 4a and b (other LT’s as appropriate)



    1. As soon as students enter the classroom, have them bring guitars to you for “detuning.” TUNE STRING 6 TO E. UNTUNE ALL OTHER STRINGS (SEE HINTS TO THE RIGHT).
    2. Send each student to a predetermined ISOLATED area to practice tuning.
    3. After all students are “detuned” and isolated, go from one to another to assist.
    4. Try to check all students in the course of the hour. The most important thing is that they use the CORRECT PROCEDURE. Skill in actually tuning the instrument is acquired gradually.

    NOTE: Extend tuning beyond one day, if needed.

    Formative on LT 8, 9


    LT 1-6, 8, 9

    LT 10: I can demonstrate the I – IV – V7 progression in the Key of E Major

    Drill:  all progressions

    Teach: The I- IV- V7 in the key of E

    Play: songs in A and E

    Announce: Summative Assessment on LT: 8 & 9

    Requirements: I – IV – V7 in keys of A and G

    Grading Criteria (rubric will be given): 20% body and hand position; 40% for each progression, which must have 1) even strumming and 2) correct left hand position SOUND QUALITY IS NOT GRADED YET.

    Announce: Mandatory retake SUMMATIVE  on LT 3 and 6 (TEST #2)

    Explain: summative on LT 8&9 – deadline. Put it simply: if you don’t play the summative by the deadline the grade is F. All retakes must be completed by the deadline.

    Formative on LT 8, 9


    LT 1-6, 8-10

    Drill: all progressions


    ADMINISTER PROFICIENCY #2: Summative on LT 8, 9


    LT 1-10

    LT11: I can demonstrate the i – iv – V7 progression in the Keys of E Minor and A Minor

    Drill: only E progression

    Teach: Em and Am progressions. Students need something to practice after finishing the proficiency

    ANNOUNCE: Recital #2 (LT 7)

    Requirement: any 3-chord song in A, E, or G

    Grading Criteria: 25% body and hand position

    25% correct number of strums

    25% smooth chord changes

    25% correct l.h. chord positions

    Continue ----PROFICIENCY #2: Summative on LT 8, 9


    LT 1-10

    Drill: chord progressions

    Record: recital song choice of each student

    Continue ----PROFICIENCY #2: Summative on LT 8, 9


    LT 1-10

    LT 12: I can play 1st position notes ascending and descending while saying note names using correct technique, fingerings and letter names

    Drill: all chord progressions

    Introduce: notes of the first position scale

    Teach one string a day by rote, following exactly the drill procedures. Space these days through the remainder of this unit—it’s a good jumpstart to Unit Two

    DEADLINE ----PROFICIENCY #2: Summative on LT 8, 9


    LT 1-12

    Individual recital practice


    Test #2: retake of summative on LT 3&6


    LT 7

    RECITAL #2

    Formative Assesment on LT 7 = RECITAL #2


    LT 13: I can play the 12-bar blues with straight strums/triplet strums

    Teach: the blues



    LT 1-13

    LT 14: I can play all chords learned, in random order

    Drill: all progressions and 1st position scale

    Play: songs in Em and Am

    Drill: all chords learned, in random order


    1. Play each chord four times
    2. AS ONE CHORD IS BEING STRUMMED, the teacher calls out the next chord to be played (try to call on strum 2)
    3. Students should strive for the ability to change from one chord to another without hesitation. The left hand moves should become almost involuntary.



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