Guitar - General Information
Centennial offers Instrumental and Vocal music courses in grades 9-12, and Guitar courses in grades 10-12. Instruments for the courses are provided to students for free by the school and school board.
Each first year course is a beginner course open to anyone interested in learning music. No previous skills or knowledge are required. Subsequent courses are no longer beginner courses and will build upon the skills and knowledge acquired in the previous courses. Towards the end of each semester, students in each performing Arts class perform a few songs at the annual Winter or Spring Concert, which is open for parents, families and friends to attend.
All Arts courses have three main components: Creation, Analysis, and Foundations. In music, the Creation component involves playing, composing and improvising. This section is worth the most marks, as students will spend the majority of course time playing their instruments. Analysis involves critically listening to a wide variety of music (i.e. world music, music history, genre study, etc.). Foundations involves learning the symbols, concepts and conventions used in music (i.e. music theory).
Grade 10 Guitar (AMG2O1) - First Year Guitar
This beginner course is open to anyone, in any grade, interested in learning to play the guitar. No previous guitar or music experience is required. A guitar is provided for free for students to use in class. The course covers these playing fundamentals: warmup exercises, melodies, scales, open chords, strumming and picking techniques, rhythms and metres, dynamics, etc. Students will hear and play songs in a wide variety of musical styles, including blues, pop, rock, country, etc. Students play from Hal Leonard Complete Guitar Method plus much other repertoire.
Most students who already play a bit of guitar (i.e. self-taught, some private lessons, YouTube, etc.) would greatly benefit from taking the First Year Guitar course. Students who feel they are already very proficient should still sign up for the First Year course, and will be given a chance to audition for the Second Year course.
Grade 11 Guitar (AMG3M) - Second Year Guitar
This open guitar course is for students who have either taken the First Year Guitar course (i.e. Grade 10 Guitar) or who have ample previous guitar experience (i.e. pass the audition to skip the First Year course). While there is no official pre-requisite required, it is not a beginner course and will build upon the skills and knowledge acquired in the First Year course. New material covered includes: playing in keys with more sharps and flats, playing higher up the neck, bar chords, more complex rhythms and metres, more advanced strumming patterns, pentatonic and blues scales in all positions, etc. Students play from Hal Leonard Complete Guitar Method plus much other repertoire.
Grade 12 Guitar (AMG4M) - Third Year Guitar
This guitar course is for students who have taken the prerequisite Second Year Guitar course (i.e. Grade 11 Guitar). It will build upon the skills and knowledge acquired in the Second Year course. New material covered includes: jazz chords and songs, finger-picking techniques and songs, more complex rhythms and metres, improvisation and composition, etc. Students play from Hal Leonard Complete Guitar Method plus much other repertoire.