Classical Guitar Immersion – Technique, May 3-8, 2020

Classical Guitar Immersion – Technique – May 3-8, 2020 Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon 

Class Size Maximun 10

Classical Guitar Immersion Technique begins with weekly workshops where participants are guided through Parts 1-4 of my Phase I Primary Skills Development.  

Players of all levels are welcome. Absolute beginners to concert artists will find a shared appreciation for the clarity and simple nature of our work. Players of all levels will experience foundational changes in their playing.

CGI begins a few months before our meeting at Menucha. Over the course of 10 Saturday webinar Workshops I will train individuals on the fundamentals of positioning and movement for the classical guitarist. Each week builds on a new set of technical skills that will develop into a strong foundation of classical guitar technique. In addition to our working together you’ll be able to access my Primary Skills Development online, complete with instructions and practice-along-with-Scott videos. Upon completion of this portion of work you’ll have an efficient and effective 10 minute per day, all encompassing, technique practice session that focuses on the fundamental techniques necessary to master the classical guitar. If your schedule doesn’t permit attendance to a particular workshop, all prior workshops will be available for review online.

Our Workshops will culminate at CGI Technique where participants will complete Parts 5 & 6 of Primary Skills where you will learn to integrate your newly acquired technical skills into repertoire and where advanced work for scale, arpeggio and tremolo will focus on speed and endurance. All participants at CGI Technique should either have completed, or have a working knowledge of Phase I Primary Skills Development. 

First, working with each student individually, I’ll review our workshop curriculum. Then taking each student at his or her level we’ll learn how to map the right hand forms you’ve learned into repertoire.  Then we’ll work on exercises for speed and endurance work in scales and arpeggios. Each lesson will be displayed to the entire class via a large television monitor. Watching other’s will help you solidify your ability to monitor your progress. In addition, where appropriate, we’ll use photo and videos for instant feedback. You’ll be able to watch them as you practice and progress throughout CGI.  Our work will include:

  • Sitting and Hand Positioning and Form Review
  • Movement Forms Review: Sympathetic, Tremolo, Compound Motion and all Alternation Patterns
  • Right Hand Repertoire Mapping
  • Speed Development Work in Arpeggios and Scales
  • Shifting Exercises
  • Hand Stretches
  • ADAPT Training Exercises

CGI Hand Stretches and Body Movement

In an effort to combat muscle and mental fatigue I’ll be teaching you hand and arm stretches as well as a series of short functional movements developed specifically for the classical guitarist by ADAPT, a functional training gym that works with clients ranging from rehabbing accident victims to professional athletes. These exercises will help revitalize the major muscle groups of the body, resetting the negative affects of sitting, making practice more comfortable and efficient.

While proven teaching concepts are the foundation for our work, CGI is also shaped by its participants. Often we find a better way to express an old idea or sometimes even new concepts are formed, all by the community of players that make up CGI. In fact what new wrinkle is discovered at CGI often becomes part of my teaching curriculum. CGI is a functional learning organization, shaped in part by you!

In addition to our daily masterclasses we will have time for people to share some informal evening performing and ensemble playing.

CGI Overview

With panoramic views of the historic Columbia River Gorge, the Menucha
Retreat and Conference Center is the ideal location to immerse yourself in a week’s worth of classical guitar education. The daily schedule includes, in addition to our classes, time for practice, reviewing the video of your lesson as well as time to enjoy the grounds at Menucha. It’s easy to find a few friends to walk the trails or play tennis (few brave the unheated outdoor pool), or spend time in contemplating your work while overlooking the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.

The social aspect of CGI is a big part of why people keep coming back. It’s all guitar, all week where we’ll find time to catch up on all of our collective guitar experiences. Great discussions often ensue around the dining table, morning coffee, or during walks around the beautiful grounds.

Three meals are provided each day in Wright Dining Hall. Special diets are available upon request.

All classes take place in Creevey Hall, a large teaching room attached to a large kitchen where personal food items can be stored and pre-breakfast gatherings take place amongst your fellow guitarists.

Each participant will have a private room and bathroom with shower.

Maximum number of participants is 10. 

CGI Workshop Schedule (all times are Saturdays at 1 pm PDT)

February 8th – Principles of Positioning and Movement; the Free Stroke
February 15th – Simple and Complex Alternation
February 22nd – Sympathetic Motion and Tremolo Patterns
February 29th – Compound Motion
March 7th – Left Hand Patterns

Break

March 14th – String Crossing & Scale Bursts
March 21st – The Rest Stroke and your Completed Technique Practice

Break

April 4th – Left Hand Positioning with Sympathetic Motion Patterns
April 11th – Left Hand Shifting & Study Piece Assignment
April 18th – Left Shifting Cont’d & Positioning of Chords & Scale Assignments

Menucha Schedule

Sunday 

1:00-3:00 Portland Airport Arrivals and Pick-ups
4:00-5:00 Check-in
5:00-5:30 Orientation

5:30-6:00 CGI Orientation
7:00-8:00 Dinner

Monday

8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Fundamentals of Positioning & Movement Review
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Alternation Movement Forms (including rest and free stroke) Review
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:30 Informal Performances

Tuesday
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Alternation Movement Forms (including rest and free stroke) Review
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Sympathetic Motion, Tremolo and Compound Motions Reviewed
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:30 Ensemble Rehearsal
8:30-9:00 Technique Practice Session

Wednesday
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00–9:30 Technique Practice Session
9:30-11:30 Right Hand Mapping – Studies
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Right Hand Mapping – Studies
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:30 Informal Performances

Thursday
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Building Scale and Arpeggio Speed and Endurance

12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Scale Workout Metronome Settings

6:00-7:00 Dinner

7:00-8:30 Outdoor Fireplace Gathering: Q & A and Setting Technical Goals

Friday
7:30-8:00 Check-out
8:00-9:00 Breakfast

Schedule subject to change

Housing and Meals

Each participant will have a private room and bathroom/shower and a shared small living room area.

In addition we have private access to a large kitchen complete with microwave, coffee machine and refrigerator. Participants can bring snacks and drinks and store them in Creevey. We will meet in Wright Hall each day for meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered each day except for day of arrival (dinner only) and the final day of our departure (breakfast only).

Alternate diets can be accommodated at an additional cost of $40.00. An extensive list of options are available. Reserve your meals no later than four weeks prior to the first day of CGI. For more information, and to request an alternate diet, go to http://menucha.org/dining/alternatediet.

Fees & Deadlines

  • CGI cost is $1,695.00 and includes all housing, meals and classes as well as weekly workshops prior to CGI.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $495.00 secures a spot. 
  • Final Fee for CGI Technique Due: March 1st
  • Alternate Dietary Requests Due: April 18th.

General Info

Menucha is a great place for doing some simple hiking. The hiking trails are relatively flat but you can find some hills. There are tennis and basketball courts as well as an outdoor (unheated) swimming pool.

The weather can be a little rainy, usually some nice weather but of course dress in layers. Bug repellant is not a bad idea for our annual outdoor fireplace night.

There are no phones or TVs in the rooms and wifi is rather slow but available. Click HERE for more information about your stay at Menucha.

Getting to Menucha

I want everyone to arrive no later than 4:00 pm on the 1st day. We will form a carpool made of up local students who can pick-up and drop off those flying into Portland International Airport.

Students should plan on staying through Friday breakfast on the final day.

Please send me the following to help coordinate your arrival:

  • Arrival time (local or remote students)
  • Cell phone number
  • Air travelers should also send your itinerary including arrival and departure times and flight numbers. (I’ll coordinate pick-ups and get everyone in contact with each other the week before)

Menucha Retreat and Conference Center
38711 East Historic Columbia River Hwy
Corbett, OR 97019-0008
Phone: 503-695-2243 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm PST, weekdays)

Scott Kritzer

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