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Guitar Study at APSU

Guitar Studio


Directed by well-known concert performer, teacher and scholar Dr. Stanley Yates the APSU Guitar Program is well known for its pedagogical excellence and student achievement.

APSU Guitar Ensemble
audio samples

Featured in Teaching Guitar Magazine, the APSU Guitar Program has an established record of student achievement. Our students and alumni have been prize-winners at major performance competitions, have gone on to obtain graduate assistantships and doctoral teaching fellowships at major graduate programs throughout the country, and have obtained teaching positions at numerous schools, colleges, and universities.

Guitar study at APSU focuses on classical (fingerstyle) technique with students studying and performing music across the full range of classical styles in addition to contemporary ones, as soloists as well in collaboration with other guitarists, instrumentalists, and singers.

In addition to general music courses such as music theory, music history, and music technology, guitar majors take specialized courses in guitar pedagogy (teaching guitar), guitar literature (guitar history and repertoire), guitar ensemble (group performance) and Guitar Styles I & II (exploration of additional styles of guitar playing). Guitar majors also perform regularly in weekly guitar performance classes, in departmental student recitals, and in other on and off-campus performance events.

Guitar majors also have the opportunity to interact with our many nationally and internationally-renowned visiting artists. Sponsored by APSU’s Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, our Concert Artists Series and APSU GuitarFest bring concert guitarists to campus each year for performances, masterclasses, and workshops.  

Financial Aid

Music scholarships and out-of-state tuition waivers are available to prospective undergraduate students through competitive audition. Additional, university-wide scholarships and other financial aid are also available. Undergraduate auditions are normally are held in November, March and April of each year. Additional information.

Prospective graduate students are invited to audition for a graduate assistantship (full tuition waiver plus stipend). Graduate auditions are normally held in the Spring semester. Additional information

Programs of Study


  • Bachelor of Arts / Science in Music Performance—prepares students for careers as freelance performers and teachers, and for further study at the graduate level
  • Bachelor of Arts / Science in Music Education—prepares students for K-12 certification and for careers as K-12 music teachers, and for further study at the graduate level
  • Bachelor of Arts / Science in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Music—allows students to emphasize music study within a broader liberal arts curriculum which includes a minor in a non-music area
  • Music Minor—a condensed course of study for students who wish to major in an area other than music


  • Master of Music in Music Performance—prepares students for careers as freelance performers, as freelance and institutional teachers, and for further study at the doctoral level
  • Master of Music in Music Education—prepares students for careers as freelance and institutional teachers, and for further study at the doctoral level

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Student Achievements

We are proud of the outstanding and varied accomplishments of our guitar alumni. During their time at APSU guitar majors have won top-prizes in regional and national performance competitions (as well as regularly receiving departmental awards and honors here at APSU); have gone on to receive graduate assistantships and doctoral teaching fellowships at numerous graduate schools throughout the US; have established successful guitar teaching academies and obtained teaching positions at numerous schools and colleges throughout the region; and continue to perform and record in a wide range of settings.

  • competition prizes include the Music Teachers National Association Competition, the Rantucci International Guitar Competition NY, the Southeastern Guitar Congress AL, the Memphis International Guitar Competition, the Appalachian GuitarFest Competition NC, the Stroud Competition OH, the Southern Guitar Congress, the Memphis Beethoven Competition TN; along with the APSU Concerto CompetitionOutstanding Music Major awards, and numerous named scholarship awards.
  • full-time and adjunct teaching positions include Delaware State University, University of the South Sewanee, Trevecca Nazarene University TN, Western KY University, Northern KY University, Kentucky Wesleyan University, Cumberland University TN, Nashville Bible College, Dyersberg Community College TN, Volunteer State Community College TN, Owensboro Community College KY, Nashville State Community College, the Renaissance Center TN, Manatee School of the Arts FL
  • CD recordings include Andrew Winner Italian Serenade and Platero y Yo; Gary Stewart Come to the River (with Apollo’s Fire – a Billboard Top 10 recording) and Guitar Foundation of America Archive (recorded c350 excerpts); John Martin Live at Tedesco’s; Alan Mearns The Tree, Songs for Crying Out Loud, and Love Is Covered in Dust.
  • publications by APSU guitar alumni include William Tiger Fitzhugh Classical Guitar for Steel-String Guitarists (Hal Leonard Publications); Alan Mearns  Fin (Fingerstyle Magazine) and Tolkein Gesture (Contemporary Guitar Anthology, Mel Bay Publications); Douglas Seth Byron’s Storm and Andrew Winner Farewell (Graded Repertoire Anthology, Mel Bay Publications)
  • APSU guitar alumni have recorded and toured with major-label artists appearing on MTV, the Jimmy Kimmel Show, and many others

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Visiting Artists

Visiting artists and masterclasses teachers have included the Albeniz Guitar Duo (Germany), Stephen Aron, Carlo Barone (Italy), Manuel Barrueco, Vladislav Blaha (Czech Republic), Ben Bolt, Julian Byzantine (Australia), Cory Christiansen, John Duarte (UK), Falla Trio, Hanser-McClellan Guitar Duo, Philip Hii, Pete Huttlinger, Douglas James, John Johns, Frank Koonce, David Leisner, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Carlos Perez (Chile), Bill Piburn, James Piorkowsky, Johnny Pizzarelli, Stephen Robinson, Douglas Rubio, Pasquali Rucco (Italy), John Scofield, Richard Smith, Mike Stern, Gary Stewart, Tim Thompson, Richard Todd, Anna Vidovic, Jason Vieaux, Christopher Wilke, Karl Wohlwend, Andrew York and Andrew Zohn.


Dr. Stanley Yates
Coordinator of Guitar Studies