About the Class

This class is being offered to 8th grade students at Cedar Middle School.

OBJECTIVES: Students will learn the basic skills necessary to know how to approach and learn any song. Skills covered will include basic rhythms/struming patterns; basic chord mastery and understanding of theory of chord construction and a beginning understanding of the theory of music. In addition, students will learn numerous songs, including songs of their own choosing.

Students must be prepared to practice. Although this is a beginning class, it will not be an easy one. Those students who do not commit fully to practicing their instrument will quickly find themselves behind. This class has become a popular one with far more students requesting the class than can be enrolled, sooooo if you are lucky enough to be in the class, you should be committed to work hard.

GRADES: Students will be expected to practice and be prepared for each class. Songs and assignments will be given as well as some general music theory tests and demonstration of chords, picking and strumming patterns learned. Grades will be based upon total points earned and will follow the grading percentages established by the school and shown in the Student Handbook.

A Daily Participation Grade will be given. In order to receive full points each day students must:
(1) Have their acoustic guitar, strung and ready to play, with them
(2) Participate in the day's lessons
(play when we play, listen to teacher instruction, not talking)
(3) Have a pen or pencil and have three-ringed binder out with songs and instructional materials which have been provided for student. Note: Your binder does not have to be a separate binder can be just a section in your regular school binder.

Most weeks there will be a song to be passed off. These pass offs will be scheduled for Wednesdays (see schedule on course calendar). Grades for pass offs will be as follows: 100 points (can play the song at tempo and with correct chords/notes); 80 points (can play most of the song at, or near tempo and with the majority of chords/notes correct). Pass offs which need to be redone will have to be completed before or after school.

REQUIRED MATERIALS: Students must have an ACOUSTIC guitar for this class. In addition, students must have a 3-ringed binder to organize and keep their music and lesson materials available for practice. The purchase of a guitar tuner is suggested to help students keep their instruments in tune but is not required.

PERFORMANCE: Students are expected to participate in our class performance.

MISSED CLASSES: Should a student find themselves ill or excused for a school approved activity, the materials, quizzes/tests for the missed day can me made up. All assignments, quizes/tests are available by going to the Schedule webpage. STUDENTS MUST MAKEUP THE TIME MISSED. CLICK HERE to download a pdf document to be completed for class time missed makeup work.

YOUR INSTRUCTOR . Ryan Durfee has been teaching for over 25 years. Although primarily in the social sciences and accounting and economic fields his experience with music and guitar go back 30 years and include playing guitar with jazz and western swing bands as well as teaching private lessons and group guitar classes at Southern Utah University.

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