Road to Guitar Recovery – Part 1, Musicianship

IMG_1117My four month hiatus from playing taught me a lot about the guitar. Since my methodical return I have gained new technical, musical and performance skills. I hope guitarists, and perhaps even non-guitarists find these posts worth following. Guitarists who want to improve their technique as well as musicianship and performance skills should apply themselves as instructed in this three-part series.

Each part of this series will include one chapter from my three part method for classical guitar. In Phase I Primary Skills for the Classical Guitarist devotes over thirty chapters to positioning, movement and movement forms for the classical guitarist. Phase II Secondary Skills covers additionial skills, often the ones that differentiate more professional level playing from novice playing.  And Phase III Practice Directives covers repertoire practice directives that will aid in increasing musicianship, technique, memory and performance skills. Each chapter will eventually include introduction and practice-along-with-Scott videos. While my Private and Independant Studies students currently have access to all three parts of my method all will be available to the general public in early 2017.

At the beginning of January 2015 I took a nasty fall off some stairs, landing on a sharp object which caused my patella tendon to tear and my quad muscles to rupture in my left knee. My recovery was as the doctors promised – long and painful. I was unable to practice, mostly due to lack of mobility and pain, finally returning to the practice room for short spurts of work 5 months later in late May.

A few months ealier I had begun to work on vocalizing my pieces, (the subject of this article) but as I hit the guitar I studied my technique carefully through technical exercises and a new set of Carcassi and Sor study pieces. Only returning to concert repertoire in the fall of 2016. In the process I’ve bettered my technique, musicianship and performing skills. I’m playing at my best and with more confidence than ever. I also gained a deep gratitude for the skills and career that I worked so hard to achieve.

These gains are not the result of any new information but the application of what I already knew and from my method. But now I had the luxury of time. My wonderfully supportive wife encouraged me to take a full year before taking on responsibilites of performing. And so in each of the phases I worked I was able to do so with more time and focus. In this three part series I want to share with you what I discovered.


My accident robbed me of my old life, housebound as it were but not playing guitar was the hardest; this was my first abscence for over 51 years. And I knew I was a few months from getting back in the practice room. As the medications wore off it became apparent that I needed to do something. If not 3:4playing perhaps I could learn to sing my pieces. I began conducting and sight-singing my scores. I downloaded a piano app to my ipad to help with starting pitches and to help recover any notes in question. (I also downloaded a harpsichord app for my baroque works). I began to notice I was singing phrases differently from the way I remembered playing them. Soon I began recording my sessions and marking my scores accordingly.  As I continued to listen, critique and refine I eventually was able to ‘perform’ a number of works with clear and new interpretations, from memory without the guitar! I felt like I was on to something new and exciting. Of course I had sung through parts of pieces before but this was different, somehow having no access to the guitar forced me to think more clearly about my musical choices and overall interpretation. I felt like I owned the score musically with compete interpretations.  I came to call this my ‘musical map’. Like a map it became a guide for how I wanted to interpret the composers intensions. I remember some of my happiest days reclined on my deck with the sun and breeze in my face, internally hearing and performing my repertoire; three movements from the Bach’s 1st Cello Suite, some studies by Carcassi and Tarrega’s Capricho Arabe.  It’s hard to explain how meaningful and fulfilling this felt. The music was nurturing my soul back and even though singing my repertoire came very close to the satisfaction recieved from actually playing I couldn’t wait to feel the touch of my strings.

Eventually working my new interpretations into my hands was something I would do months later and subsequent performances were transformed not only by my new found musical map but also from the welcomed absence of internal interference. Gone were the distractions, replaced by a wonderful duet playing between my hands and my ears. Stay tuned for Part 3 and you’ll see how this works.

What follows is a chapter I wrote from this experience that will be in my upcoming method Phase III, Practice Directives for the Classical Guitarist on Vocalization.

Phase III, Part 4 – Chapter 5 Vocalization

The Practice Directive that follows is a thorough training in vocalization and creating a musica map. This can take well up to a month or six weeks to complete. Once completed subsequent vocalization exercises will become easier. Eventaully you’ll be internally singing everything you play; from scales to your concert repertoire pieces. And thats a good thing!!

Chapter 6 – Vocalization

Weeks to Completion: 4

Number of Practices in Two Week Cycle: 10

Time per Practice Session: 15 minutes

Repertoire Demand Level: 5 and below

In this practice directive, you’ll learn to vocalize and develop a personal interpretation or musical map of the music.

Too often, musicians interpret in reaction to the music, without thought to musical form or phrasing. A purely reactionary approach may seem more intuitive and thus easier, individualistic, or creative. But the approach is misguided. First, it takes too little of the composer’s intentions into account. A higher art form is reached when player and composer unite in an understanding of form and expression. Secondly, because the reactionary approach is based on one’s ever-changing and subjective reactions to the music, it introduces inconsistency and uncertainty, which can increase anxiety in performance. As a reactionary interpreter, you can also find yourself focusing on smaller musical figures instead of on overall phrasing. Focusing on smaller figures can cause distractions and increased anxiety. Adhering to a mapped interpretation allows you to focus on the big picture, making performing much easier.

In The Inner Game of Music (2011), author Barry Green  states, “When you can hold the sound and pitch of the music clearly in this way, performing it accurately becomes easier. Your body has a sense of its goal. Effectively, you are playing a duet between the music in your head and the music you are performing. Any notes you play that don’t correspond to your imagined sense of the music stand out, and your nervous system is able to make instant, unconscious adjustments.” (p 60)

Following a musical map gives you a feeling of finality and a benchmark for how you want to continue to practice and perform the work. If those weren’t enough reasons to look askance at the intuitive approach and take a more consistent interpretive approach, imagine the joy that comes from the connection made between you and an audience as a result of your confident expression of the composer’s intentions.

There are two stages to this practice directive: vocalization and integration. In the vocalization phase, you learn to sing the melody a cappella, only using the guitar to check pitches. It is in this phase where you develop your interpretation. The ‘integration’ consists of playing your interpretation on the guitar. Throughout the vocalization and integration phases, record yourself for review and refinement purposes.

Vocalization can be an intimidating process, but it needn’t be, as we’re not concerned with singing perfectly in tune. Be less concerned about how you sound and more concerned with what you hear. Let’s practice hearing.

Below, find the song “Beautiful Dreamer” by Stephen Foster (Example 1). Sing it in your head first. You can likely imagine the melody quite well. Now, sing it out loud. After a few audible attempts, sing it back in your head. It should be clear that you can recall and internally sing the familiar tune Beautiful Dreamer.

Example 1

Beautiful Dreamer

What follows is a quick tutorial to get you started. As you begin to sing these examples, don’t worry about singing perfectly in tune. While you want to hit the pitches (and playing along occasionally on the guitar can help with that), don’t be overly concerned with hitting the pitch perfectly in tune. It’s more important that you hear the pitches. Also, don’t worry about the exact range. If a voicing is too low or high, simply move it up or down an octave. Rhythm, on the other hand, should be strictly observed. While vocalizing, apply the conducting skills you learned in Part 4, Chapter 1.

Because you are only capable of singing one note at a time, you should focus on the melody. Melody is occasionally interwoven within an arpeggio pattern, as in Francisco Tarrega’s “Study No. 2” (Example 2).

Example 2


Example 3 shows the extracted melody from the same work. Try singing the melody, play along on the guitar if you need help.

Example 3

StudyNo2 Melody-1

Here’s another example from Fernando Sor’s “Study in Bm”,(Example 4).

Example 4


Example 5 shows the extracted melody from the same eight measures. Sing the following.

Example 5


Occasionally, another voice asserts itself as an active voice. Active voices are those that are not melody, but are integral and can be sung with the melody. Consider Matteo Carcassi’s “Study No 3 in A minor,” a good example of a work with a melody and an active voice (Example 6).

Example 6


In Example 7, the melody is on top and an active voice is in the bass, both of which you can sing, since they don’t sound at the same time. Play and sing along. You may not have the vocal range to sing the notes at pitch. If needed, raise the bass an octave up, or the melody an octave down.

Example 7




For your first two weeks of practice, learn the notes that you’ll be singing. Extract the melody, as well as any other active parts you can sing. As you work through the vocalization phase, observe the phrasing by using the expressive tools of dynamics and tempo. Remember the concepts learned earlier in Part 4. If you’re not familiar with these chapters suffice it to say you’ll want to follow the contour of the melody with dynamics and rhythm, observe the arc of the phrases and sections. Try increasing your tempo and dynamics at the three quarter mark (or high point) of each phrase, and decrease your tempo and dynamics at the end of the phrases. As a few phrases make a section — and a few sections make an entire piece — you should begin to hear the relative high points in each phrase and section.

Eventually, you need to find what I call the ‘high’ point of the piece. This usually comes near the end. Everything builds to this moment, and this is where your tempo and dynamics should create the most tension. The expressive qualities should be relative to the level of tension and release created in each. This becomes the musical map I spoke of earlier.

Breadth in Phrasing

Phrasing owes its form to the characteristics of the human voice so it behooves you to use your breadth to aid in phrasing. Try to breathe when there are natural musical breaks — for instance, at the end of phrases. Observe these breadths in your interpretation as well. Your score should eventually use expressive and breadth markings.


Melody helps determine tempo, so use the vocalization practice to learn the appropriate tempo for the piece.

Once you have a good feel for your interpretation, you can perform an internal vocalization anywhere: sitting outside, taking a walk, or even before you go to sleep. This in itself can be quite rewarding.

Remember to record, review, and refine your interpretation until you have your musical map memorized.


Once you have a recording of your memorized mapped interpretation, begin playing along on the guitar as you continue to sing internally. Internal singing is a critical bridge between these four weeks of practice where you should try to match the expressive qualities (rhythmic and dynamic) as well as the breath marks in your recorded vocalization. It’s critical that you record and review your playing of the piece to make sure that you’re getting all the expressive nuances you were able to sing. By the end of the last two weeks, you should be consistently internally singing along with your playing, observing your learned interpretation.

At this point you can also add timbre changes to your interpretation. Experiment with playing passages with ponticello (near the bridge) and tasto (above the soundhole) for further expression.

Just as you did a vocalization recording, now aim to get a recording of your playing that you consider a good representation of your final interpretation. Save that recording for future reference. From this point forward, always internally sing as you play the piece.

Maintenance Practice

When you cycle the piece back into your maintenance practice, always adhere to your interpretation as you apply other practice directives. You can also continue to internally vocalize your interpretation without the guitar, and occasionally review or revise your recording.

As your musical experience continues to grow, you may choose to alter your interpretation. Having laid the foundation, small changes will be relatively easy to implement.

Independent Study:

Send a recording of your vocalization and performance of the work on guitar.

Stay tuned for Part II!

Posted in Performing Skills, Practicing the Classical Guitar | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Road to Guitar Recovery – Part 1, Musicianship

Clatskanie Cultural Center Concert June 5th, 2016

On Sunday June 5th I’ll be performing an afternoon program at the newly remodeled Birkenfield20141011-_MG_3136 theatre located in the Clatskanie Cultural Center, 75 South Nehalem in Clatskanie, Oregon. The concert begins at 3 pm. Tickets are $10 and may be reserved by calling 504.728.3403 or purchased at the door the day of the performance.  The ticket booth opens opens 30 minutes prior to the performance at 2:30. 

20150824_150918Elsa Wooley, Executive Director of the Clatskanie Arts Commission, and I have been talking about my performance at the intimate 168 seat theatre for a few years. Finally, as the 18 month and 3 million dollar plus renovation finished we settled on a date. “We thought of you right off the bat” Elsa said – the 168 seat hall could a great setting for a classical guitar recital.

One of the aspects I enjoy most about playing smaller communities is the fervent support for the arts. Sometimes that passion comes in the form of historic renovations. I’ve played in many Opera Houses and theaters in historic buildings that were once slated for demolition and turned into performing spaces when local arts advocates stepped. This changes a communities landscape dramatically.

For decades, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall (home of the new Birkenfield Theatre) was a prominent center of community life inclat Clatskanie. The building was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2012. Nearly every adult who grew up in Clatskanie remembers going to movies, dance classes, public celebrations and civic meetings at the I.O.O.F Hall. Watching movies at the ground floor Avalon Theater was a popular activity, but by the 1990s the building became an eyesore. After it was sold by the dwindling membership of the Odd Fellows Lodge, it fell into disrepair through neglect by a series of private owners.

Renovating the I.O.O.F. Hall began to emerge as a dream of community members in the late 1990s. In 2005 when the Clatskanie Foundation received a significant bequest from the estate of C. Keith Birkenfeld, for whom the building’s new theater is named.

On the Sunday June 5th program I’ll be performing works from my Romance for Guitar recording as well as works by Weiss, Walton and Albeniz.

Screenshot 2016-05-15 17.09.04



Posted in Concerts and Events | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Clatskanie Cultural Center Concert June 5th, 2016

25th Annual Northwest Guitar Festival Recap and 2017 Festival Announcement

IMG_5698The 25th Annual Northwest Guitar Festival took place the last weekend in March at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho under founding director James Reid. The festival was started in 1991 to give students in the Northwest an opportunity to attend an event similar to the international GFA Festival but at a lower cost and for a shorter period. In recent years, the addition of a youth competition (this year aided by a generous donation from Michael Nicoella and Michael Partington) and the guitar orchestra has helped the festival grow. The annual festival travels around to a different city in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.

The 2017 Northwest Guitar Festival will be held April 7-9 at Portland State University under the direction of PSU Guitar Instructor and Oregon Guitar Quartet member Jesse McCann.

This year’s festival delivered fantastic performances. Interestingly there were only two solo guitar programs; Seattle guitarist Michael Nicoella, (on classical and electric guitar) and Michael Videon MCfrom Bozeman. Other performances included interesting ensembles including Michael and Kelleren Millham (voice and guitar), David Feingold (solo guitar, guitar and violin and guitar, violin and bass) and of course The Oregon Guitar Quartet. IMG_0175Finishing the weekend was a performance by artistic director James Reid and John Paul Shield, the South Hill Guitar Duo from Idaho. Oh, and I almost forgot the NW Guitar Festival Orchestra under the direction of Mark Wilson (Seattle). Guitarist/Composers also shined at the NWGF. Michael Nicoella and David Feingold have written some substantial works for solo guitar. Bryan Johanson’s “Quartet on an Abandoned Prelude” performed by the Oregon Guitar Quartet showcased his skills as a composer, arranger and guitarists. All of these composers deserve looking into for the guitarist who wants to venture into 21st Century repertoire. Aside from the performances the three days were filled with masterclasses by Michael Nicoella, Bryan Johanson (OGQ) and David Feingold, a lecture by Spokane guitarist Dr. Paul Grove, guitar orchestra rehearsals as well as a youth and adult competitions.
IMG_1786Mark Wilson reminded me that I performed in the first NW Guitar Festival, also held in Moscow, Idaho in 1991 and even remembered some of what I performed; Electric Counterpoint by Steve Reich and a major work that I commissioned from Bryan Johanson. It was about that time frame that I began to tour heavily throughout the US, Canada and Europe and left my teaching jobs at Lewis & Clark and Reed Colleges. While I was out ‘goofing off’ teacher/performers like Bryan Johanson, David Feingold, James Reid, Alex Dunn, Michael Nicoella, Michael Partington, and others were training students who went on to develop collegiate programs and active studios in cities throughout the NW including Pullman, Spokane, Pasco, Cheny, Lewiston and Bozeman. Many of their students were performers at this year’s festival. Its inspiring to see how their work has flourished.

It was a great weekend personally. My student Michael Hermes placed first in the youth competitionIMG_1793 (see more on the Youth Competition HERE). and I was able to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. Inspired by the performers and masterclasses I got up early each morning to get a solid practice completed  before my day began! Don’t miss next year’s festival!

Big thanks to founder James Reid for his forethought and endurance, to all the teacher/performers in the regions who have been instrumental in furthering the guitar in our region!!


Posted in Concerts and Events, Kritzer Studio News | Comments Off on 25th Annual Northwest Guitar Festival Recap and 2017 Festival Announcement

All Classical Portland Radio Station Performance – Thursday May 12, 2016

Each week, All Classical Portland presents Thursdays @ Three, live broadcast concerts showcasing local musicians, arts partners, and visiting artists.  Senior Announcer Robert McBride hosts the lively format of music-making anSenior Announcer Robert McBride with Senior Guitar Player Scott Kritzerd conversation for members of an intimate studio audience. Live Studio Audience Reservation

Thursdays @ Three concerts are broadcast live and in real time from our studios in the Hampton Opera Center, and programs last about an hour. If you would like to join our studio audienSign Up to be a Live Studio Audience Member!ce open this link (Live Studio Audience Reservation), and select the Sign Up button at the bottom of the May 12th event listing.  These are small group audience experiences that fill up fast. Seating is available on first come, first served basis.

2013 Thursdays @ Three AppearanceOn May 12th I’ll be joining lutenist Ronn MacFarlane in a program of music for lute and classical guitar. I’ll be previewing works from my June 6th performance for the newly remodeled historic performance hall in Clatskanie, Oregon with works by Walton, Turina and even playing some lute arrangements for the classical guitar, under the watchful eye of lute master Ronn! (Tickets for my June 6th performance in Clatskanie, Oregon can be purchased by calling the Clatskanie Arts Commission at 503.728.3403).

So join us in the studio on May 12th or listen at All Classical FM89.9. And if you can’t do either you can still listen to archived broadcasts at the link provided above.



Posted in Concerts and Events, Kritzer Studio News | Comments Off on All Classical Portland Radio Station Performance – Thursday May 12, 2016

Michael Hermes takes 1st Place at the NW Guitar Festival Youth Competition in Moscow, Idaho

Fifteen year old classical guitarist Michael Hermes, (Kritzer Studio student since 2012) took first place in the 25th Annual Northwest Guitar Festival’s Youth Division Competition held at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. The Youth Competition was made possible by generous donations from Michael Nicoella and Michael Partington.

Michael warms-up

Michael warms-up

Michael competed against a large field of guitarists ranging in age from 13-18 years old. In the semi-final round Michael played Valse, Opus 8 by Augustin Barrios. Three guitarists were then chosen for the final round where each played a 15 minute program of their choosing.

Third Place went to Abigail Gilbert who played with confidence and strong tone. I really enjoyed her O’maggio pour Debussy by Manuel de Falla. The first ‘modern’ piece written in the 20th century which calls for mature color and phrasing – all of which Abigail brought out like a seasoned player.

Lucas Victor placed Second. Deeply felt emotion was Lucas’ strong point. His unique phrasing was personal, intimate and effective. A very enjoyable performer who puts 100% of himself into the performance.


Michael played a stellar program of mostly virtuoso works. In addtion to the Barrios Valse mentioned earlier he performed Las Abejas by the same composer. His tempo on the latter perhaps reflected our pep talk backstage or the fact that he had to get all the repertoire in under 15 minutes. Regardless, his tempo was quick and playing increadibly clean.

His second work was meant to contrast the virtuosity of the opening set and Michael didn’t disappoint. He played Endecha by Francisco Tarrega with beautiful phrasing and warm tone. Finally he finished with the Prelude and Allegro from Bach’s famed Prelude, Fuge and Allegro, Michael Lorimer edition. The Prelude  was thoughtful and the Allegro was a real romp.

Michael’s stage presence was fantastic. Dressed sharply with a bow tie he walked confidently on stage and literally took the stage, occasionally looking out the audience and smiling while simultaneously negotiated trecherous passages.

IMG_1787Sitting and waiting for the judges decision was grueling. Micheal was joined by his mother and grandmother and we were a row of bundled nerves. I looked over at Abigail’s father and saw the same look on his face and gave him a ‘thumbs up’. Relief came when the final decision was announced.

IMG_1793I was so proud of Micheal – he fought the demons that all competitiors and performers must learn to do. He faced his fears and beat them down with probably the best performance of his lifetime.

Bravo to Micheal, Abigail and Lucas and the parents of these fine kids, and to all the other competitors. As my teacher taught me, and I try to instill in my students; the preparation is where you gain 95% of the benefits.

In addition to his first place dollar award Michael and his family won a trip to his favorite restaurant, (Sharis), courtesy of his guitar teacher.

A special thanks to James Reid, Founder Northwest Guitar Festival.


Posted in Kritzer Studio News | Comments Off on Michael Hermes takes 1st Place at the NW Guitar Festival Youth Competition in Moscow, Idaho

Acoustic Guitar Masters in Baker City, Oregon Saturday, April 16, 2016

AGMBaker City Community Concerts will be presenting the Acoustic Guitar Masters in performance on Saturday, April 16 at 7:00 pm at the Baker City High School Auditorium in Baker City, Oregon.

IMG_5252Acoustic Guitar Masters brings together fingerstyle, jazz and classical music in the hands of three masters of the instrument. AGM features jazz guitarist Eric Skye. finger style guitarist Mark Hanson and yours truly on the classical guitar.

We had a great time travelling and performing in Red Bluff, California (and Eugene, Oregon) last January where we performed to a sold out house and also had the opportunity to perform for over 200 school children.
For ticket information to our Baker City performance please go to the Baker City Community Concert page.


Posted in Concerts and Events, Kritzer Studio News | Comments Off on Acoustic Guitar Masters in Baker City, Oregon Saturday, April 16, 2016

Back in the Saddle – In Performance with the Acoustic Guitar Masters

It’s been a long year of recovery. Most of you know that I took a bad fall off some stairs last January. I had to have my patella and quad muscles reattached. Nasty and painful business with a year long recovery, the anniversary of which is coming later this month! So now I’m jumping back on the saddle for the first time in over a year. Fortunately my load will be greatly lightened as I have the honor to be sharing the stage with two great musicians, Eric Skye (acoustic jazz guitarist) and Mark Hanson (fingerstyle guitarist) when we revive our Acoustic Guitar Master’s program from October of 2014.

Photo by Hiroshi Iwaya

Photo by Hiroshi Iwaya

Getting back into playing and performing shape was a fascinating sojourn. I’m at once grateful for what I’ve learned (both personally and musically) and weary of ever being forced into a recovery mode again. I was immobile for the first quarter of last year while I worked on musicianship skills away from the guitar. Singing and conducting my repertoire gave me a new appreciation for the nuances that I had been missing in even my long standing repertoire! I only started to practice again last May, and on a limited basis.
Then I spent the summer studying and advancing my technique and in the fall began to layer that work into my repertoire pieces. I’m both excited and nervous about stepping back on stage again to see where I stand. But fortunately I’ll be standing (well sitting) next to two fantastic musicians.

   Acoustic Guitar Masters was formed in October of 2014. Eric, Mark and I took turns playing AGMour own individual repertoire in front of an excited audience. I felt so fortunate to be sitting on stage watching Mark and Eric perform.  It felt like I was both behind the curtain and in the audience.
   This year we’ve added some duets and trios to our program, among them Summertime, the Afro Cuban Lullaby, Mark Hanson’s Canyon Canon and Jose Luis Merlin’s duet based on Fernando Sor’s Study in Bm. (Hearing Eric and Mark improvise around my arrangement of Summertime is inspiring – it’s a ‘gas’ to be a part of their creativity – and all I gotta do is keep the chords straight).
   We have two performances coming up – first we’ll be performing for the Tehema County Performing Arts Series on Friday, January 15th at 7:30 pm. in Red Bluff, California. The following day we’re travelling to Eugene, Oregon to perform in the Ray Kraut Studios. That’s on Saturday, January 16th at 7:00 pm. For tickets contact Ray Kraut by phone at (510) 338-2031 or by email at
The AGM will be performing in Eastern Oregon this coming April. Look for a date sometime soon in the Portland area!
Posted in Concerts and Events, Guitar Tips, Kritzer Studio News | Comments Off on Back in the Saddle – In Performance with the Acoustic Guitar Masters

Classical Guitar Immersion June 17th-24th, 2016

Classical Guitar Immersion – Performance Development

June 17th-24th, 2016
CGI is an immersion experience where 7 guitarists join me for a week of performance preparation on the historic Columbia River Gorge at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon.

In this close and intimate setting students get personal attention through daily masterclasses, ensemble rehearsals and performance workshops where technique, practice concepts and
performance skills including the tools to help eliminate the effects of performance anxiety are explored. In addition to the scheduled workshops friendships are developed through informal discussions on guitar around the dining table, morning coffee in CGI’s large private kitchen, on walks around the beautiful grounds or at the outdoor fireplace that overlooks the historic Columbia River Gorge.

IMG_1314But CGI is more than a week workshop but rather the culmination of months of direction to help in your preparation. Every two weeks, beginning in October 2015 you’ll be sent new practice directives to apply to your pieces. I’ll request a video of one of those works every two weeks to help monitor your progress. Occasionally we’ll all meet on SKYPE and of course we’ll be communicating via my forum.

By rotating through a series of practice directives you’ll be better prepared for the week where you’re playing will peak as we work on performance preparation.

Our preparation Schedule looks like this:

  • Solo and Ensemble Repertoire chosen (September)
  • Tone and Range of Motion (October-November)
  • Technical Practice Directives (December-January)
  • Musical Practice Directives (February-March)
  • Memory Practice Directives (April-May)
  • Performance Practice Directives (June)

The June 19th-24th schedule includes two master classes, ensemble rehearsal and performance classTamiecaMC per day as well as open time for practice and even exercise time. Review the video of your lesson, practice and take a walk around the trails, shoot some hoops, play tennis or swim in the pool overlooking the gorge.

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.

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

All levels are accepted at CGI. The only requirement is that each student must be prepared to play 3 IMAG0040
works of any difficulty from memory and the required ensemble piece from score. We will perform our final concert on Thursday, June 24th in our own Creevey Hall. Guests from the community and Menucha Retreat Participants will be invited.

In addition we will be working on ensemble music, some of which will be part of our final concert.

CGI Hand Stretches and Body Movement
In an effort to combat muscle and mental fatigue I’ll be teaching you hand and arm stretches. We’ll also learn a series of short functional movements that will not only help revitalize the back and shoulders but also reset the negative affects of sitting.

IMG_2753Friday, June 17th
1:00-3:00 Portland Airport Arrivals and Pick-ups
4:00-5:00 Check-in
5:00-5:30 Orientation
5:30-7:00 Scott Kritzer in Concert
7:00-8:00 Dinner

Saturday, June 18th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Master Class
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:00 Ensemble Rehearsal
8:00-8:30 Performance Workshop

Sunday, June 19th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Master Class
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:00 Ensemble Rehearsal
8:00-8:30 Performance Workshop

Monday, June 20th
8:00-9:00 BreakfastIMG_1312
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Master Class
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:00 Ensemble Rehearsal
8:00-8:30 Performance Workshop

Tuesday, June 21st
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Master Class
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:00 Ensemble Rehearsal
8:00-8:30 Performance Workshop

IMG_2211Wednesday, June 22nd
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Master Class
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:30 Performance Workshop
8:30-10:00 Outdoor Fireplace Gathering

Thursday, June 23rd
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Ensemble Rehearsal & Performance Staging
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-4:30 Ensemble Rehearsal
4:30-5:45 Open
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:30-9:00 CGI Public Performance

Friday, June 24th
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 IMG_1260refrigerator. Participants can bring snacks and drinks and store them in Creevey which is locked each night. We will meet in Wright Hall each day for meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered each day except from Friday, June 17th (dinner only), through Friday, June 24th breakfast.

Alternate diets can be accommodated at an additional cost of $39.00 (payable to me). An extensive list of options are available. For more information, and to request an alternate diet, go to (Deadline is May 6, 2016).

Fees & Deadlines

  • CGI ’16 – $1995.00 and includes all housing, meals and classes.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $425.00 secures a spot. Registration to past participants opens July 6th, 2015.
  • Open Registration begins August 1st, 2016 (earlier deposits will be taken for open registration and any spots that open on that date will be given on a first-come-first-served basis).
  • Final Fee for CGI Due: March 4th,, 2016
  • Repertoire List Due April 10th
  • Ensemble Piece to be Sent September 30th, 2015
  • Alternate Dietary Requests Due: May 16th
  • Travel Itineraries Due: June 1st

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.

Getting to Menucha
IMG_0617I want everyone to arrive no later than 4:00 pm on Friday, June 17th. 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, June 24th.


Please send me the following to help coordinate your arrival:

  • Projected 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)

Posted in Classical Guitar Immersion, Concerts and Events, Guitar Tips, Kritzer Studio News, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Classical Guitar Immersion June 17th-24th, 2016

Scott Kritzer’s December 2014 Calendar

I’ve got another month of active touring with performances in Oregon and Washington including a rare Portland appearance. Please find a list of performances, program and ticket information below. Copy the link in your browser and forward to your friends who live nearby!

Eugene Radio
Tuesday, December 2nd and Wednesday December 3rd

Tuesday, December 2nd – Performing Live on FM KLCC 89.7 The ‘Q’ with Eric Alan @ 2:30 PDT

Wednesday, December 3rd – Appearing on NewsTalk AM 590 KUGN with Storm Kennedy @ in the 8:00 am hour PDT

Friday, December 5th, 7:30 pm
Works from Ballet, the Baroque and Opera

Raven Frame Works
325 W 4th Av – Eugene, OR

I’ll be performing works by Bach, Villa-Lobos, Albeniz, Default, Weiss, Puccini and Schubert. For tickets call 541-342-3067.

Saturday, December 6th, 7:30 pm
Holiday Music for Classical Guitar

Emmaus Lutheran Church
1250 18th Ave – Eugene, OR

I’ll be performing works from my Classical Guitar Christmas CD – listen HERE. For tickets call 541-953-9204.

Monday December 8th, 7:30 pm
Chamber Music Amici – Mozart to Boccherini

Wildish Community Theater
630 Main St – Springfield, OR

I’ll be performing the popular Quintet in D Major including the famous Fandango complete with rasqueados and castanets! For tickets call 541-953-9204. For more information go to this LINK.

Sunday, December 14th, 2:00 pm
Holiday Music for Classical Guitar

Inn at Harbor Village
115 Lake St SE – Ilwaco, WA

I’ll be performing works from my Classical Guitar Christmas CD – listen HERE. To purchase tickets go to TICKETS. For more information go to this LINK. Please note, Portland fans are staying at the Shelburne Inn.

Friday, December 19th 8:00 pm
Scott Kritzer 50 Yr Retrospective Benefit Concert

Community Music Center
3350 SE Francis- Portland, OR

In this retrospective concert celebrating my 50 years of guitar playing I’ll be performing works by Puccini, de Falla, Bach, Weiss and from my Classical Guitar Christmas CD. The concert will benefit the Portland Guitar Society’s Advani Fund. The Society established this fund to help serious students who have financial need to pursue their guitar studies. For tickets go to Eventbrite. For more information go to this LINK.

Arrive early and beginning at 7:45 you’ll be introduced to my student, the very talented 14 year old Michael Hermes, who will preview part of his upcoming Portland premiere slated for the spring of 2015.

Posted in Concerts and Events, Kritzer Studio News | Comments Off on Scott Kritzer’s December 2014 Calendar

50 Year Retrospective Concert – Benefit for the PGS’s Advani Fund

From performing in London, New York, Frankfurt, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., to his hometown of Portland, Oregon, classical guitarist Scott Kritzer celebrates fifty years of playing the guitar with a rare Portland appearance in a retrospective concert to benefit the Portland Guitar Society’s Advani Fund on Friday, December 19th, 2014, 8:00 PM at the Community Music Center located at 3350 SE Francis in Portland, Oregon.

20141011-_MG_3136Advanced tickets are $15, available at  Tickets will also be available at the door for $20. All tickets are for general admission.

After making his own instrument from a cigar box, a piece of pine and rubber bands, his parents FirstGuitardecided a guitar would be a good Christmas gift. That was in 1964. “The instrument has never really left my hands,” he says. Over the decades following, Kritzer has established himself as one of America’s top classical guitarists with a lineage to the great Andres Segovia. One of Kritzer’s main teachers was a favorite Segovia protege Michael Lorimer. “I am so fortunate to have worked with so many great teachers, especially with Michael. In fact, after a thirty-year hiatus I began working with him again prior to making my recording Romance for Guitar. I also feel fortunate to have been able to sustain a career playing the guitar, and I thought it appropriate to give back to the guitar community.”

ScottKritzer’s December 19th concert will benefit the Portland Guitar Society’s Advani Fund. The late Gulu Advani was a former student of Mr. Kritzer’s and an active member of the Portland Guitar Society. The PGS established the fund in his memory in 1991 with the intent to help serious students of the guitar who have financial need to pursue their studies. Funds are available for lessons, master classes, sheet music or other expenses clearly related to guitar study.

Opening the program will be works featured on his upcoming all-baroque recording; three Scott Kritzer, Guitaristmovements from a Sonata by baroque lutenist Silvius Leopold Weiss. He will close the program with a set of works that opened his senior recital at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1980 from Manuel de Falla’s ballet The Three Cornered Hat. Also on the December 19th program are works reflecting Kritzer’s interest in working with vocalists, something he’s done nearly all his career.  In between other works by Albeniz and Villa-Lobos, he will be performing his popular arrangement of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma and a premiere of his new arrangement Der Leiermann by Franz Schubert. Kritzer will also play a few Christmas carols from his  A Classical Guitar Christmas CD.

Advanced tickets are $15, available at  Tickets will also be available at the door for $20. All tickets are for general admission.

Arrive early and beginning at 7:45 you’ll be introduced to my student, the very talented 14 year old Michael Hermes, who will preview part of his upcoming Portland premiere slated for the spring of 2015.

Posted in Concerts and Events, Kritzer Studio News | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on 50 Year Retrospective Concert – Benefit for the PGS’s Advani Fund