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 2023 - July 2024 are given below as a guide – there will be a small percentage increase for 2024/25.

FGE – Year 1 £125 per term (£375 per year)
FGE – Years 2 & 3 £220 per term (£660 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.