Classes for

Classes For

Summer Guitar Symposium

The BSM Guitar Symposium is an immersive program offering guitar students the opportunity to participate in an intensive and performance-focused learning experience. This one-week symposium will be led by BSM’s classical guitar faculty, with appearances by special guests. Participants aged 10-adult with prior classical guitar experience welcome.

The symposium will be conducted in person at the Bloomingdale School of Music. The daily schedule will run from 9 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, July 12-16 with additional evening concerts that can be attended in person or streamed online.

Summer Guitar Symposium
    10-Up years
    Summer Workshop
    1 weeks*
$1000 per semester*
*Summer semester courses are shorter and reduced in price. Select a section to learn more.
Summer 2021*
Start Date
9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
José Maldonado

What you will learn

Participants will explore a broad range of techniques and repertoire alongside their peers through a daily regimen of interactive workshops, ensemble rehearsals, private lessons, performance seminars, and master classes. The symposium will feature concerts by faculty and guest artists and will culminate in a student concert open to all participants.


Participants will have the opportunity to perform live for their peers in a supportive atmosphere in which open discussion will be encouraged by faculty.


Each participant will take part in an intensive masterclass with a member of the faculty, an invaluable experience that combines live instruction and coaching with the experience of performing in front of an audience.


Each participant will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a guitar ensemble along with their peers.


Faculty will lead workshops exploring diverse musical genres, playing techniques, and historical performance practice where participants will participate in discussion and practical application of musical concepts on their instruments


Every participant will receive a dedicated private lesson with one of Bloomingdale’s classical guitar faculty.


 Mark Appling, Nora Spielman, Alejandro Cote, and José Maldonado

The symposium will be lead by BSM’s classical guitar faculty who will offer one-on-one lessons, teach master classes, lead hands-on workshops, present evening concerts, and prepare the students for a final performance.

Daily Warm-up & Technique Practice | José Maldonado, Faculty

José Maldonado will lead a daily warm-up and technique practice that will prepare students for the activities of the day. In this three-day workshop, students will learn a practical warm-up routine using materials from the diatonic major and minor Scales by Andrés Segovia, the 120 Right-Hand Studies by Mauro Giuliani, among other technique exercises.

Arranging on the Guitar | Nora Spielman

Did you know that many great works of the guitar repertoire were actually written for other instruments? In our workshop, we will discuss the process of arranging a piece of music for the guitar! The skill of arranging music for the guitar is a great tool for guitarists to use when they want to play pieces that haven't been played on the guitar! Together we will arrange a song using our understanding of chords, melody, and rhythm!

Spanish Guitar Techniques | Mark Appling, Faculty

This workshop will focus on some of the foundational rhythms and techniques are drawn from the Spanish flamenco tradition. Participants will have fun exploring their guitars in exciting new ways in this interactive technique session.

Practice Strategies | Alejandro Cote, Faculty

This seminar will focus on helping students find strategies to organize their practice sessions, particularly when confronting musical and technique challenges, to give insight on how to memorize music, and to find innovative ways to bring variety to the practice session to make practicing fun.


In addition to BSM’s classical guitar faculty, the symposium will feature five workshops presented by five guest lecturers:

Dalcroze for Guitar Performance | Aaron Butler, Guest Lecturer
Dalcroze Education offers the chance to integrate our ears and minds through movement games and singing.  Emile Jaques-Dalcroze wanted students to say, “I know because I have felt,” and he devised exercises putting experience before cognition.  Often listening to improvised music, students change and modify their movements in real-time as the music shifts. In this workshop series, we will dive into classic Dalcroze exercises, featuring coordination, active listening, social interaction, notation, and gesture.  We will apply our work to an array of repertoire to investigate meter, tempo, note-durations, and phrasing.  Finally we will consider the applications–and implications–of this work to the business of sitting down to play our instrument.
Improvisation Clinic
| Mark Mollica, Guest Lecturer
This clinic will be focused on improvising in rock and blues styles. Blues forms and must-know rock vamps and progressions will become the canvas for student improvisations using a “toolkit” of skills including pick technique, blues/rock conventions, scales, bends, vibrato, slurs, and articulations, as well as conceptual work such as phrasing, question and answer, and the arc of a solo. Highly interactive and hands-on from the outset, a variety of musical levels, tastes, and personalities are welcome.
Unlocking the Fretboard | Sebastián Cruz, Guest Lecturer
Through various exercises, we will get the building blocks required to find any given harmony all across and up and down the fretboard. We will apply what we learn to specific songs as a practical application of the incredible versatility that can be gained with the acquired knowledge.
Introduction to Jazz Guitar | Jamie Fox, Guest Lecturer 
This workshop will explore the jazzy side of blues and the bluesy side of jazz-exploring the using songs by Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk. In addition, we will study the world of jazz standards learning about the use of standards in jazz performance. We will focus on the song “Autumn Leaves” as an example of a standard tune adapted to jazz.


Opening Concert
July 12 @ 7 PM

This concert will feature the full-time faculty (José Maldonado, Nora Spielman, Alejandro Cote, and Mark Appling) performing solo works for the classical guitar. 

Faculty Ensembles
July 14 @ 7 PM

An evening of faculty collaboration featuring ensembles comprised of the Classical Guitar Faculty and the Jazz Guitar Faculty. The opening half of the program will feature the Classical Guitar Faculty performing works for guitar quartet composed by John Dowland (1563-1626), Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767), and Eduardo Martín (1956). The Jazz Faculty will close the concert with a performance featuring arrangements for Jazz Guitar Trio.

Closing Student Concert
July 16 @ 7 PM

Students participating in the symposium will perform solo and ensemble works in this closing event. This will also work as the final presentation for the work students completed in the workshops.

Guitar Symposium 2020

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut ero labore et dolor eiusmod tempor dolore magna aliqua.



We provide access to music education to anyone who seeks it, regardless of economic status, ability, ethnicity, or religion, which has a profound impact on individual lives as well as on our entire community.

We offer Need-based financial assistance

Our goal is to make music education accessible and to remove the financial barrier that may prevent students from participating. Therefore, we offer need-based financial aid to as many students as possible.