Overview and History of the Guitar

When the guitar came into its modern form in the middle of the 18th century it quickly found its way into the classical repertoire. However, the real popularity of the guitar began during the blues era of American culture in around the 1920s. Since then, the electric guitar has been the dominating force of the Pop world. You will likely hear it in rock, blues, jazz, soul, hip-hop, country and a variety of other styles. The guitar is still one of the most diverse instruments today. Technically a stringed instrument, the guitar is also incredibly melodic and beautiful in sound. An all encompassing instrument that has been a major part of every musical movement since its invention by Gaetano Vinaccia in 1779.

Age to Begin Guitar Lessons

The Royal Academy offers private guitar studies for both the beginner through highly advanced students beginning ages 4 through adults. There are a variety of methods offered including (the most popular) ” traditional ” method. The Royal Academy faculty uses a variety of methodologies and customizes each lesson plan depending upon their students practice habits, level of interest, potential and most of all their goals. The most commonly used methodologies we use for guitar are Mel Bay, Berklee College of Music Method, Guitar for the small fry, guitar methods, as well as many more. Guitar is offered 6 days per week (Monday through Saturday).

Developing The Necessary Skills

Child playing guitar

A child is most prone to developing “bad habits” in music between the early ages of 4 through 12, that is why we take great care in how we introduce to our students to music. At the Royal Academy each child will explore music in its entirety, developing all the skills necessary in being a well rounded and creative musician.  The Royal Academy ensures that all of its students are taught sight-reading skills, counting and rhythmic skills, technical skills, basic music theory and most of all, to be creativity. We do not teach our students to “play by ear” nor do we subscribe to ridiculous notions that a child can learn to play an instrument online or in a month from a “learn it yourself book or CD “.  Music is accumulative and the only way to progress and become a good little musician is to instill  healthy and productive practice habits.  It is equally important the teacher presents the material in an enjoyable  and encouraging way, carefully listening to your child and understanding how they register the material along with being  attentive to your child’s problems in a particular area is key to their music development.

Guitar Lessons for the Adult Student
The Royal Academy also offers private music studies for the adult student as well.  Whether you are a beginner, an advanced player, or simply rekindling an old
passion for music, we offer a variety of programs and lesson schedules custom suited for the adult student who has to often juggle a very demanding work and home schedule.  Lessons are offered at all three convenient locations and hours range from morning and lunchtime lessons until 9:00 PM in the evening.

The Adult student can expect to learn all genres of music ranging from classical, jazz, swing, pop, ragtime, blues and more. At the Royal Academy the adult student  can expect to learn music all the skills necessary in being a well rounded and creative musician.  The Royal Academy ensures that all of its students develop strong sight-reading skills, counting and rhythmic skills, technical skills, theory and again, to explore their creativity.

There is no question as to the many therapeutic and stress relieving benefits of music.  Not only as a listener and player does the sound of beautiful music immediately relax and soothe a very active and tense mind, but music has the ability to stir the emotions and to act as a wonderful vehicle for creative expression.

Finding an Instrument

If you do not already have a guitar there are several options that you have. You will want to decide if you plan to play acoustic (non-electric) or an electric guitar. There are also “hybrid’ guitars that are a mix of both electric and acoustic.  Whichever one you choose, you may want to first purchase an inexpensive entry level guitar. Once you have established and settled into lessons, progressed to a point that you are an intermediate player and made the decision to continue, then you can begin shopping for a higher quality instrument. Like the violin, the guitar comes in 1/2 size, 3/4 size and full size, which are pretty inexpensive for youngsters and even adults.  The Royal Academy Waltham school carries a variety of guitars, please feel free to compare or call us for more information at 508-792-1221.

The Benefit of Guitar Lessons

A student can literally produce hundreds of different sounds in order to capture those unique sounds familiar to rock, metal, jazz, blues, and R & B on guitar. For the singer/songwriter acoustic guitar lessons are great for learning blues, jazz, and folk styles as well. The Royal Academy can also provide you with a classical guitar teacher if you want to dive into the great classical guitar repertoire. Ultimately, Guitar lessons will give the student the chance to explore the many facets of  how a guitar works .

There is no question that learning to play guitar will improve upon a student’s coordination skills.  What is most notable and nothing short of amazing are the long-term positive effects music has on the brain. To elaborate, music can improve a child’s ” spatial ability”, the ability to comprehend other related materials or subjects such as mathematics and science. It is no coincidence that most scientists, physicians and immortal genius’ such as “Einstein” were all musicians.  Below is an article we thought our students might find interesting.

Interesting Article on “Music and the Brain”

Music enters the brain through the ears. Pitch, melody, and intensity of notes are processed in several areas of the brain such as the cerebral cortex, the brain stem, and the frontal lobes. Both the right-brain and left-brain auditory cortex interprets sound.  Feza Sancar (1999) writes that the right-brain auditory cortex specializes in determining hierarchies of harmonic relations and rich overtones and the left-brain auditory cortex deciphers the sequencing of sound and perception of rhythm.
Many studies have been performed to examine the affect of musical instruction on the brain. For example, researchers at the University of Munster, Germany, (1998) reported that music lessons in childhood actually enlarge the brain. The auditory cortex is enlarged by 25% in musicians compared to those who have never played an instrument. According to the study by Frances Rauscher of the University of California, Irvine, (1997) links between neurons in the brain are strengthened with music lessons. Dr. Frank Wilson’s study (1989) involving instrumental music learning to play an instrument refines the development of the brain and the entire neurological system and the brain reveal that evidence, it is clear that music instruction is essential to children’s education because it improves their academic performance. Curriculum areas that music instruction affects most include language development, reading, mathematics, and science. Music itself is a kind of language full of patterns that can be used to form notes, chords, and rhythms. Exposure to music helps a child analyze the harmonic vowel sounds of language as well as sequence words and ideas. Another curriculum area enhanced by music participation is reading. A child who participates in music activities experiences sensory integration, a crucial factor in reading readiness. Wilson’s study (1989) reveals that music instruction enhances a student’s ability to perform skills necessary for reading including listening, anticipating, forecasting, memory training, recall skills, and concentration techniques. Mathematics is the academic subject most closely connected with music. Music helps students count, recognize geometric shapes, understand ratios and proportions, and the frameworks of time. Researcher Gordon Shaw (1993) found that piano instruction enhances the brain’s ability for spatial-temporal reasoning, or the ability to visualize and transform information.


Our Classes

Private piano lessons at the Royal Academy offers encouraging, focused, individualized instruction given by the highest level instructor and serves to develop the students piano technique, rhythmic training, sightreading skills and general musicianship. At the Royal Academy students can explore the endless opportunities in piano repertoire. We offer lessons to all ages and skill levels as well as all genres of music, from classical to Jazz, blues, rock and pop.

At the Royal Academy guitar students can explore the endless opportunities in guitar repertoire. We offer lessons to all ages and skill levels as well as all genres of music, from classical to Jazz, blues, rock and pop. Private guitar lessons at the Royal Academy offers encouraging, focused, individualized instruction given by the highest level instructor and serves to develop the students guitar technique, sight reading, rhythmic and general musicianship skills.

The Royal Academy offers voice/singing lessons to students of all ages and skill levels, from the beginner to advanced vocalist. Learn to sing your favorite pop tunes, arias or jazz improvisation. Voice lessons at the Royal Academy offers a focused, encouraging, individualized program with an emphaisis on vocal technique, ear and rhythmic training and general musicianship.