Course Director: Luke Dunlea, ALCM, LTCL, Adv.Dip.BKA

The Junior Academy First Guitar Experience (FGE) caters for children aged between six and nine and offers specialist training over a three-year period in order to provide for future musical progress.

Please note: this course is intended for children who have not had previous guitar tuition and no additional private lessons should be arranged while children are on the FGE course.

Using the method written by the course director, Jigsaw Guitar Course Musicianship and guitar playing using the Kodály Method, the course begins with a pre-instrumental year (45 minutes) and continues with two years of study of the classical guitar (1 hour 20 minutes). The classes advance the children’s basic musicianship skills in areas of pulse, rhythm and pitch. The child’s participation in game and singing activity is key. The lessons develop a solid foundation in classical guitar technique and explores the necessary skills for the playing of early guitar repertoire eg. Aguado and Carulli, as well as original material.

During the guitar study parents are requested to attend to assist the teacher and offer help with home practice.

The course takes place at the Royal Academy of Music on Saturday afternoon during normal school term time. The teaching will be in small groups, with the following structure:

1st Year (ages 6-7), 2.15-3.00pm: a 45 minute session developing initial melodic and rhythmic skills using the Kodály method.

2nd Year (ages 7-8), 3.00-4.20pm: a 40 minute session of guitar tuition and a 40 minute session continuing Kodály aural work.

3rd Year (ages 8-9), 4.20-5.40pm: a 40 minute session of guitar tuition and a 40 minute session combining guitar ensemble playing with further Kodály work.

There are three terms during the year, normally each of ten teaching weeks. Thirty lessons will be taught over the course of each year. Towards the end of the third year of the course, we will offer advice on finding a suitable individual guitar teacher to continue your child’s progress.

Fees for September 2020- July 2021 are given below as a guide – there will be a small percentage increase for 2021/22.

FGE – Year 1 £111 per term (£333 per year)
FGE – Years 2 & 3 £205 per term (£615 per year)

Fees are payable on receipt of an invoice each term. A full term’s notice in writing to the Junior Academy Administrator is required for withdrawal of children from the course, or fees are payable in lieu of such notice.

Places on subsequent years are subject to continuing satisfactory progress and commitment.

For the second year onwards, guitars must be provided by the parents.

It is important for the success of group work that children on the course should be of the same year-group. Children applying to start in September 2021 must have been born between 1 June 2014 – 31 May 2015.

Application is made by submitting the 2021 application form online which will be available from late October 2020. The closing date will be Monday 11 January 2021, and no further applications will be considered after this date. No exceptions can be made for the age requirement and it will not be possible to join at an older age mid-way through the three years of the course.

As the course is very popular and space is limited, places will be allocated by random ballot. A short waiting list will also be drawn by ballot. All applicants will be notified by email with the outcome of the ballot in early January 2021.

The Royal Academy of Music welcomes applications from potential students with disabilities or special needs.