Teaching Guitar Workshop: NAfME Members Master New Skills


Playing guitar may be the answer for students who love making music but may not want to take part in traditional music performance programs. Through the Teaching Guitar Workshops, open each summer only to members of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), attendees will learn how to establish a guitar program or bring new energy to their general music classes or guitar classes.

In addition to the week of instruction, program participants receive:

  • A free guitar to take back to school
  • Various guitar publications and accessories
  • Three graduate college credits from VanderCook College of Music

In the summer of 2013, workshops were held in a number of U.S. cities from Riverside, California, to St. Louis, Missouri to Reston, Virginia, where NAfME is headquartered. GAMA (Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association) and its partners, NAMM (International Music Products Association) and NAfME, sponsor the workshops.

In July,  50 music educators attended the Reston workshops and a few oparticipants discussed their experiences


Regina McCann


A classically-trained  singer, Regina McCann wants to learn guitar so she can teach it during her choral classes.

“I was a little intimidated at first because everyone seemed to have so much more experience with guitar than I did, but I kept working at it and I have learned a lot. The guitar instruction is great, but I was surprised at all of the wonderful sharing that goes on with other teachers. It’s been an incredible learning experience.”


Kelsey Failes


Kelsey Failes, is a choral teacher at Cooper Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia.

“I want to bring something new to my music program. Anything we can do to get more students involved with music is great. I’d like to bring a guitar to school and accompany my students’ vocals,” Failes said. “I am also pleased to be getting the graduate credits. It shows I am continuing to learn.”



Gina Gaspry


Gina Gaspry teaches  band and general music at Union Vale Middle School near Poughkeepsie, New York. She’s  familiar with the guitar but didn’t know how to teach the instrument. “I am interested in learning techniques so I can bring the guitar into my classroom. I’ve learned a lot this week. She also said was “very excited” to receive a number of teaching manuals, song books and other guitar materials to take home. “Those will be so helpful when I go back to school. I love my guitar, too.”


Photos by Roz Fehr



More information on the Teaching Guitar workshops

Find a variety of Guitar resources


Another Reston workshop attendee was Carla K. Bartlett, a California music teacher whose school was awarded $10,000 in the Glee Give a Note contest. Read her story.


Roz Fehr, NAfME Managing Editor for News, August 30, 2013. © National Association for Music Education