Lead Guitar at Aspen Music Festival







The Lead Guitar Method teaches classical guitar through a co-teaching model. Students learn technique, theory, ensemble-playing, and performance skills. These are the same aspects of other music programs that have been proven to improve test scores, attendance, and graduation rates.
Our goal is to appeal to students not usually drawn to band and orchestra programs using an instrument to which young people relate well while mirroring the curricular integrity of those more traditional programs. If there is a population at your school that is not receiving music education, then Lead Guitar can help.

How does

Lead Guitar


A Lead Guitar instructor partners with a certified teacher from your school to co-teach a year-round guitar class. Your classroom teacher learns and plays along with the students while the LG instructor models our curriculum. When the class meets without our instructor present, the Teacher-of-Record (TOR) guides practice and reviews concepts introduced in previous meetings.
For high schools and middle schools that meet five days per week, the TOR often pushes forward in the curriculum. Whenever possible, our LG instructor stays for an additional hour each week to offer private or small group lessons for students or the Teacher-of-Record.


else does 

Lead Guitar


Five Pillars of Service:

  • Up to 70 hours of on-site teaching including classroom instruction and private/small group lessons

  • Annual Teachers Workshop for Professional Development credits as well as private lessons for teachers, where needed

  • Access to in-school guest artist assemblies

  • Access to on-campus performances, master classes, and the end-of-year Lead Guitar Showcase Concert

  • Digital access to instructional videos, method books, sheet music, and evaluation and assessment resources


much does

Lead Guitar


Lead Guitar is a 501c3 nonprofit and we are almost entirely funded by private and corporate donors, foundations, and grants. Lead Guitar's mission is to prioritize services for schools with the greatest need. We ask schools to contribute a fee along a sliding scale based on how many students are eligible for the federal Free and Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL) program:
More than 80% of students eligible  =  FREE PROGRAM
Between 60-79% of students eligible  =  $1,125 fee
Between 40-59% of students eligible  =  $3,010 fee
Between 20-39% of students eligible  =  $4,515 fee
Less than 20% of students eligible  =  $7,525 fee = FULL COST





  1. Contact us to set up a meeting so we can learn about the specific needs of your school.

  2. We invite you to fill out an application, including basic information about the proposed partner teacher and class.

  3. Upon being accepted, schools purchase guitars, make footstools, and add the class to the school schedule with guidance from Lead Guitar.

  4. The partner teacher attends our Teachers' Workshop and/or receives supplementary private lessons.

  5. Schools sign final agreements, establish a PO, and classes begin.


Our mission is to create a permanent classical guitar program at your school. We train teachers to teach classical guitar so that the program can continue long after a school requests our services. We do not replace or undermine music teachers, but rather partner with band/choir/orchestra (and sometimes non-music) teachers to give them a new subject to teach. This aims to increase overall enrollment in music and in many cases stabilizes our partner music teacher's job by helping them add hours to their schedule and new skills to their resume. 
Our contract with a school is more accurately described as a partnership--we could not do what we do without the incredible certified teachers who partner with us! Certified teachers are also invaluable in passing on wisdom and classroom management techniques to our teaching artists, often early-career concert artists and college professors.