Guitar study at CSUF offers a variety of opportunities for the developing classical guitar student at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Having offered degrees in guitar for over 30 years, CSUF has one of the nation’s most comprehensive programs and has won an international reputation as one of the finest guitar programs today. Many graduates from the CSUF program are now active professional performers and teachers.
Classes in guitar history and literature complement the student’s individual instruction. In addition, the guitar performance workshop and the guitar chamber ensembles provide frequent opportunities for performance, both solo and with groups of various sizes. State-funded lessons are available, as is scholarship assistance in various forms.
The CSUF guitar orchestra and chamber ensembles perform repertoire drawn from the performing literature for multiple guitars, from duets, trios and quartets, to works for full guitar orchestra. The ensemble also travels once each year to perform at various events throughout the Western United States, in addition to regular performances on campus and in the community.
The guitar student’s experience is greatly enriched by a steady stream of noted artists and teachers visiting our campus for master classes and recitals, including an annual visit from Artist in Residence, Alvaro Pierri.
The Classical Guitar Club is one of the most active student organizations on campus, organizing recitals, service activities, and social functions.
The Artist Faculty is dedicated to promoting the growth and progress of each student’s musical expertise. Members of the guitar faculty are established professional performers, scholars and educators, and maintain a high profile in professional activities.
Classical Guitar Curriculum
Guitar Performance Workshop
Guitar Orchestras and Guitar Chamber Ensembles
Guitar History and Literature
Seminar in Guitar Literature
Bachelor of Music: Classical Guitar Performance and Composition
Bachelor of Arts in Music: Liberal Arts, Music Education, Music History & Theory
Master of Music: Performance
Master of Arts in Music: Music Education and Music History & Theory
Minor in Music
Prior to scheduling an audition, all prospective students must submit a video. Videos need only be about 3 minutes long, including just one short piece that shows a fundamental understanding of classical guitar technique and repertoire appropriate to the level of degree for which you are applying. No further guidelines will be given about suitability of repertoire. It is recommended that students work with private instructors to determine what would be most appropriate. Audio alone will not be accepted.
Repertoire and Other Audition Information for the BM and BA in Music
The first step involves a pre-screening video. All prospective classical guitar majors -- regardless of their intended degree -- must submit a pre-screening video.
Once you submit your pre-screening video, and you are approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how to sign up for a live audition.
Repertoire requirements Please be prepared to perform 15 minutes of contrasting selections of your choice, representative of the major solo repertoire for guitar. Ideally, at least two style periods will be represented.
- Audition length 15 minutes. Sign up instructions
- Audition location Clayes Performing Arts Center, East Lobby. See directions below.
- Parents meeting Each audition day includes an informational meeting for parents. This is normally held at 12:00pm in CPAC 257. Look for confirmation of this time and room in an email you will receive before the audition weekend.
- Your university admission Sign up for and complete your audition regardless of the status of your university application and admission. Even if you have been denied admission to the university, the School of Music may advocate that you be granted admission based on your musical talent.
- Directions and parking When you arrive at the CSUF campus , park in the Nutwood Parking Structure (NPS) (at Nutwood Ave. and State College Blvd.), using either entrance 3 or 4. Parking is free. Walk toward the elevators and out onto the performing arts walk, and you will see signs directing you to the East Lobby of the Clayes Performing Arts Center (CPAC). CSUF music majors will be awaiting your arrival in the East Lobby outside our Recital Hall, and are there to assist you throughout the day.
Guitar Adviser Martha Masters, (657) 278-3598
String Area Coordinator (secondary contact) Dr. Ernest Salem, (657) 278-3552
Master of Music in Performance
Audition Requirements and Other Essentials
The Master of Music degree in Performance is an applied-based degree, requiring 30 units of study in private lessons, ensembles, chamber music, history and literature, and theory. Cal State Fullerton School of Music faculty include nationally and internationally recognized performers. Students thrive in an environment large enough to engage in challenging, vital music-making, but intimate enough for specialized individual attention. For those intending to pursue doctoral studies, the Master of Music degree normally leads to the DMA.
Auditions and Scholarship Auditions for the Master of Music in Performance are held in Spring (for Fall semester entrance) as well as each semester (Fall and Spring) during Registration Week, just prior to the start of school. It might be possible to arrange an audition at another time convenient to the student; however, this is unlikely to include scholarship consideration. A live audition is required, except as approved by the guitar faculty, based on excessive distance from the school. In such cases, an unedited video recorded audition will be considered. Contact faculty for further details.
The student should be prepared to perform 20 minutes of contrasting selections of their choice, representative of the major solo repertoire for guitar. Ideally, at least two style periods would be represented.
Letters of Recommendation
Arrange to have letters of recommendation from three music professionals familiar with your preparation for graduate study sent to the School of Music graduate program adviser.
After being admitted, all entering graduate students take entrance exams in music history and music theory. The exams cover undergraduate level material and are given Thursday before the first week of classes.