Certification

Denver Guitar Orchestra Certification

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You should contact us as soon as possible so we know you’re working toward playing with the group.

Why we encourage certification: We don’t want to waste your time. For newer players, we want to make sure you have a good ability with chord playing and we need you to be able to read tablature and certain aspects of standard notation. When you have completed Level 2, you will have the skills necessary to play for the rest of your life quite happily and you’ll have the ability to join the orchestra and not feel lost.

There is a small fee to cover the cost of printing and binding for instruction books. You’ll almost certainly need to own a copy of each book prior to your certification appointments. If cost is a concern, we have a scholarship program. Please contact us at info@denverguitarorchestra.com to make an appointment to get your books and discuss certification. The arrangements posted on this site are the same ones as in the certification books, but they do not include all of the instructional materials you’ll need to be successful in your exam.

Certification appointments for Levels 1 through 3 will generally last less than an hour.

All our sheet music contains standard notation and tablature, chords and lyrics (if applicable), and staves for straight melody playing, guitar ensemble work, and “fingerstyle” chord-melody performance. Arpeggios are added in later levels. Sheet music is updated from time to time and the dates next to the song titles on the website indicate the latest edit. You may request copies of the sheet music without tablature displayed if you prefer reading standard notation only.

If you need help getting up to speed on reading music, we’re happy to help you with introductory classes or private lessons. We are also motivated to work with your guitar teacher to make sure they can help prepare you for entrance into the Denver Guitar Orchestra.

Let’s get started–>

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Certification Program

Certification Appointments: Levels 1 through 3 require a half-hour appointment with a certified instructor. Level 4 and above require more time to demonstrate group skills with the performance requirements. Certification appointments should give you an opportunity to celebrate your achievements – and hopefully stress you out only a little! Maintain open communication with your instructor to help you prepare for your appointment. All certification appointments require a fee to compensate your instructors.

Prior to Your Exam, We Will:

  • Offer you a pre-test to assure readiness.
  • Prepare you to pass the performance skills tests.
  • Approve any “pre-selections” you want to use in the exam.

During Your Exam:

  • Material used in a lower level may not be duplicated in a higher level.
  • You are not judged on singing ability (thank goodness!), but singing is required.
  • Use of sheet music is always acceptable unless a skill is to be memorized.
  • There will be an oral examination to assure mastery.
  • You will help create a written plan with next steps.
  • If successful, you will receive your graduation certificate.

Level 1: One Chord Songs — During your exam, you will:

  • Effectively tune and hold your guitar.
  • Demonstrate memorized chords
    • A, E, D, G.
  • Play all four songs with voice and chords.
  • Play all four melodies using tablature or notation.
  • Discuss tonality, posture and theory.
  • Create a written plan for Level 2.

Level 2: Two Chords-ish Songs – During your exam you will:

  • Demonstrate memorized chords
    • A, Am, A7, B7, C, C7, D, D7, E, E7, F, G.
  • Play songs of instructor’s choice with voice and chords.
  • Demonstrate understanding of TuffAxe (chord melody).
  • Play melodies of instructor’s choice using tablature or notation.
  • Discuss tonality, posture and theory.
  • Create a written plan for Level 3.

Level 3: Multi-Chord Songs – During your exam you will:

  • Demonstrate memorized chords
    • A, Am, A7, Bm, B7, C, C7, D, D7, E, Em, E7, F, F#m, G, G7.
  • Play songs of instructor’s choice with voice and chords.
  • Play TuffAxe on two songs of student’s choice.
  • Demonstrate understanding of arpeggios.
  • Play melodies of student’s choice using tablature or notation.
  • Play a duet of instructor’s choice.
  • Discuss tonality, posture and theory.
  • Create a written plan for Level 4.

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Level 4: Iconic Songs – During your exam you will:

  • Play songs of student’s choice with voice and chords.
  • Play TuffAxe on two songs.
  • Play a memorized solo.
  • Play arpeggios in a duet with instructor.
  • Play a lead in a duet with instructor.
  • Discuss tonality, posture and theory.
  • Create a written plan for Level 5.

Level 5: Multipart Arrangements – During your exam you will:

  • Play songs of student’s choice with voice and chords.
  • Play two memorized solos.
  • Play a prepared duet with another student or instructor.
  • Play an arrangement with a small ensemble written by the student.
  • Discuss tonality, posture and theory.
  • Create a written plan for Level 6.

Level 6: Member Created Arrangements – During your exam you will:

  • Play songs with voice and chords.
  • Perform a half-hour solo show.
  • Play in a small ensemble.
  • Conduct a large ensemble with new arrangement.
  • Discuss tonality, posture and theory.
  • Create a written plan for Level 7.

Level 7: Teacher Certification – During your exam you will:

  • Demonstrate playing ability.
  • Provide evidence of a daily practice routine.
  • Organize and present a concert with DGO.
  • Complete a written examination on standard notation.
  • Complete a written examination on music theory.
  • Provide a written plan to develop teaching studio.
  • Discuss your goals, mission, and philosophy of guitar pedagogy.

 

Here is a PDF with a printable version of the certification levels.

 

Certified Members page will be found here.