NIU student playing the guitar.

Guitar Studios

The School of Music’s long tradition of excellence in guitar continues with current faculty members Bobby Broom and An Tran heading up NIU guitar studios.

Through private study with artist/practitioner educators, NIU guitar students are exposed to the best of both worlds. With pedagogical methods highlighting repertoire, individual and ensemble performance techniques and fretboard mastery, NIU guitar studio’s aim is to produce employable professional musicians and performers.

Both Broom and Tran are accomplished recording artists and working musicians with strong backgrounds as instructors.

Jazz Guitar

Jazz guitar students are provided the unique opportunity to study performance aspects and idiomatic language of jazz from a widely recognized, pedigreed recording artist and educator. Via weekly, one-hour private instruction, monthly studio classes and when possible, guest artist master classes, lectures and performances, students will study a variety of areas necessary for success in the field of jazz music.

Weekly lessons and assignments engage jazz guitar students in listening and analysis and performance aspects such as idiomatic vocabulary development, phrasing, rhythmic interpretation and execution, accompanying techniques, theory, harmony and improvisation. Additionally, sight reading skill development, implementation of recording and music technology, composition and some aspects of music business are areas of focus.

The goal of the studio is to help to develop students into graduates who can enter the field as professionals who are employable – ready to perform, teach or pursue a career as a jazz instrumentalist if they so desire. 

Classical Guitar

The classical guitar studio offers opportunities for guitarists to explore various elements to be successful musicians. Guitarists will take weekly one-hour private lessons and participate in weekly studio seminars. The seminars will include opportunities for students to perform for each other, as well as lectures for guitar-related topics such as career development, networking opportunities, competitions, interpretation, recording, technique, etc. In these seminars, students are encouraged to offer constructive comments to each other.

The classical guitarists will also be required to explore new music from woman composers and composers from diverse backgrounds, as well as their own compositions. Students are required to compose an étude or make an arrangement for the classical guitar each year, in order to develop their knowledge for the guitar composition. When provided, students will be required to attend masterclasses from guest artists. Opportunities for outreach concerts are also available.

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