Guitar Ensemble Method

An arts standard-based classroom guitar method created and taught by world-renowned players and pedagogues.

Finally, a guitar method designed specifically for classroom use.



An online learning system with more than 200 instructional videos from Dr. Jaxon Williams, Dr. Bokyung Byun, Denis Azabagic, and Curt Chambers, Grammy-winning guitarist for Alicia Keys.

Method Books honed through 22 years of collaborating with major public-school districts—including LAUSD and Chicago Public Schools—and institutional affiliates, such as The Aspen Music Festival and School, University of Southern California, University of Georgia, and University of Arizona.

Teaches core music competencies, ensemble and solo playing using music from diverse traditions.

Customizable pacing, age-based curricular milestones, and a range of student and teacher choice make Guitar Ensemble Method effective for grades 3-12 and any experience level.

Subscription also includes:

  1. Live (remote), 1:1 pedagogy and/or technique consultations with an expert Teaching Artist
  2. Professional Development workshops
  3. Method Book I en español
  4. An Adaptive Method Book for integrating students with exceptional needs
  5. A Method Book II to take 2nd through 4th year students up to college audition level
  6. Lesson plans
  7. Arts Standards documentation
  8. Extension activities and curated performance videos
  9. And a large library of ensemble music
screenshot of a course curriculum

Method Book I - 6th edition Excerpts

See Excerpts

Explore our Method

Explore the sample lessons below. Select a Level, then simply click on the preview button to the right of the lesson plan to begin a lesson sequence. Click the complete and continue button in the upper right of each lesson segment to move to the next video or teacher prompt.

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Guitar Ensemble Method – Level One

Set-up and First Songs

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Guitar Ensemble Method – Level Two

Increasing Rhythmic Complexity

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Guitar Ensemble Method – Level Three

Chords and Key Signatures

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Guitar Ensemble Method – Level Four

Using the Right-Hand Thumb

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Guitar Ensemble Method – Level Five

Free Strokes

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Guitar Ensemble Method – Teacher Resources

All materials needed for use with Guitar Ensemble Method

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Testimonials

Profile image of Roneaka Thomas-Morgan

Roneaka Thomas-Morgan

High School Music Teacher, DH Williams Preparatory School of Medicine-DuSable Campus, Chicago

“Up until partnering with [Guitar Ensemble Method], I had mainly taught choir and general music. I did not have any experience teaching or playing guitar. Students now get a chance to study an instrument they do not usually have access to. The rigorous curriculum also promotes critical thinking and problem solving—21st Century skills students need to develop to thrive in life."

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Mayra Luís Juan

Classroom Teacher, Van Nuys Elementary, Los Angeles

“Partnering with [Guitar Ensemble Method] impacted Van Nuys Elementary in a positive way as parents and staff came together as a community to donate guitars for the students. Our students have gotten a sense of pride in themselves and previous students have mentioned that guitar was one of their favorite things to do at school."

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Ryan Glasspoole

Social Studies Teacher, DSST College View Middle School, Denver

“The class is GREAT! The kiddos always LOVE being in guitar class. They insisted on starting a music club that meets on Fridays after school as well. I am able to get some of the kids who cannot be in my class…into learning guitar and other instruments. We have a fiddle, a cello, a few basses, a keyboard, and a kid who makes beats using his laptop. At any rate, the Guitar class started it all.”

Profile image of Ryan Glasspoole

Ryan Glasspoole

Social Studies Teacher, DSST College View Middle School, Denver

“The class is GREAT! The kiddos always LOVE being in guitar class. They insisted on starting a music club that meets on Fridays after school as well. I am able to get some of the kids who cannot be in my class…into learning guitar and other instruments. We have a fiddle, a cello, a few basses, a keyboard, and a kid who makes beats using his laptop. At any rate, the Guitar class started it all.”

Nick (teacher) teaching a group of young students

Wondering exactly what's right for your classroom? Ask Nick!


After 13 years as an instrumental music teacher, Nick understands the challenges you face. Let him help you make sure that what you buy is actually what you need.



Ask Nick
Nick (teacher) teaching a group of young students

Subscription Pricing and Services

Our team of active educators are also the content creators of GEM. If you’re unsure of which subscription is right for you, write us here to get personalized advice.

Old School

Hard Copy Books Only, NO SUBSCRIPTION

$765/one-time payment

Save $205

Purchase Now

INTRODUCTORY BONUS

  • One Live 1:1 session with a GEM Teaching Artist ($110 Value)

HARD COPY BOOKS

  • Teacher's Edition w/ lesson plans, links, and extension activities
  • Method Book I - set of 30 copies

SESSIONS WITH LIVE (REMOTE) TEACHING ARTIST

  • Curriculum Overview Session (for Teacher) - 1 session, 90 mins ea
BEST VALUE

All Access

$1,195/year

Save $365

Purchase Now

HARD COPY BOOKS

  • Teacher's Edition w/ lesson plans, links, and extension activities
  • Method Book I - set of 30 copies

SESSIONS WITH LIVE (REMOTE) TEACHING ARTIST

  • Curriculum Overview Session (for Teacher) - 1 session, 90 mins ea

GEM SUBSCRIPTION

  • Library of Pedagogy and Playing Workshops for Teachers
  • Lesson Plans
  • Instructional Videos
  • Warm-up Videos
  • Technique and Theory Videos
  • Play-along Ensemble Videos
  • Method Books I & II (digital copy)
  • Supplemental Music Library
  • Adaptive Curriculum (digital copy)
  • Spanish Language Curriculum (digital copy)
  • Evaluation Materials
  • Extension Activities Guide

Prodigy

$695/year

Purchase Now

INTRODUCTORY BONUS

  • Two Live 1:1 session with a GEM Teaching Artist ($220 Value)

SESSIONS WITH LIVE (REMOTE) TEACHING ARTIST

  • Curriculum Overview Session (for Teacher) - 1 session, 90 mins ea

GEM SUBSCRIPTION

  • Library of Pedagogy and Playing Workshops for Teachers
  • Lesson Plans
  • Instructional Videos
  • Warm-up Videos
  • Technique and Theory Videos
  • Play-along Ensemble Videos
  • Method Books I & II (digital copy)
  • Supplemental Music Library
  • Adaptive Curriculum (digital copy)
  • Spanish Language Curriculum (digital copy)
  • Evaluation Materials
  • Extension Activities Guide

Prodigy

$695/year

Purchase Now

INTRODUCTORY BONUS

  • Two Live 1:1 session with a GEM Teaching Artist ($220 Value)

SESSIONS WITH LIVE (REMOTE) TEACHING ARTIST

  • Curriculum Overview Session (for Teacher) - 1 session, 90 mins ea

GEM SUBSCRIPTION

  • Library of Pedagogy and Playing Workshops for Teachers
  • Lesson Plans
  • Instructional Videos
  • Warm-up Videos
  • Technique and Theory Videos
  • Play-along Ensemble Videos
  • Method Books I & II (digital copy)
  • Supplemental Music Library
  • Adaptive Curriculum (digital copy)
  • Spanish Language Curriculum (digital copy)
  • Evaluation Materials
  • Extension Activities Guide

Note: The pricing above is for single-school use.


For district-level pricing, please email us at [email protected] and tell us how many schools you serve.

A LA CARTE Options

HARD COPY BOOKS
Teacher's Edition w/ lesson plans Book I - Single Copy $125.00 each   Purchase Now
To order sets of student books including Method Book I en Espanol, our Adaptive Curriculum and Method Book II, please email us at [email protected].
Books purchased in bulk (20 or more) are $25 each. For quantities below 20, books are priced on a sliding scale. Please email us at [email protected] for a custom order that fits your needs.
LIVE (REMOTE) SERVICES
Curriculum Overview Session (for Teachers) (After Year 1 subscription) $110.00 Contact Us GEM Teaching Artist/Content Creator meets with you 1:1 to give a thorough overiew of the method over the scope of a year, answers any questions, and offers private instruction on guitar technique, if desired
Observation Session $100.00 Contact Us GEM Teaching Artist observes your class in action and shares ideas and feedback on use of the curriculum and guitar pedagogy.
Informance Session $100.00 Contact Us GEM Teaching/Concert Artist visits your classroom (remotely) to perform a short concert and give a preview of what students will learn throughout the year. This can also be utilized for teachers aiming to increase enrollment or pique interest from students.
LIVE (REMOTE) SERVICES
Curriculum Overview Session (for Teachers) (After Year 1 subscription)

$110.00 Contact Us

GEM Teaching Artist/Content Creator meets with you 1:1 to give a thorough overiew of the method over the scope of a year, answers any questions, and offers private instruction on guitar technique, if desired
Observation Session

$100.00 Contact Us

GEM Teaching Artist observes your class in action and shares ideas and feedback on use of the curriculum and guitar pedagogy.
Informance Session

$100.00 Contact Us

GEM Teaching/Concert Artist visits your classroom (remotely) to perform a short concert and give a preview of what students will learn throughout the year. This can also be utilized for teachers aiming to increase enrollment or pique interest from students.

Please email us at [email protected] to set up a brief consultation about our live services.

FAQ

You can begin your annually renewing subscription at any time. We know teachers need time to absorb and plan before implementing a new method in the classroom and that the most convenient time to renew it (or not) is between academic years. All GEM subscriptions purchased between April 1 and December 31 expire on June 30 of the following calendar year. This gives those who purchase early up to 3 bonus months of access as they get to know the resources and method. This also ensures you do not lose access at a critical time during the academic year should you choose not to renew. If you are purchasing a subscription between January 1 and April 1, please reach out to us to discuss customizing a package to fit your needs.

Guitar Ensemble Method is designed to avoid any collection of student data by requiring only a single account, username, and password for each enrolled school which all students may use. Any number of students can use this same login information on multiple devices to access content online. Play-along videos can also be accessed at home through GEM’s unlisted YouTube channel.

Your first year’s subscription includes two 90-minute sessions with a GEM Teaching Artist and content creator. They will get you acquainted with how to use the platform and also give you private guitar or guitar pedagogy consultation according to your needs. The GEM Team will email you with scheduling instructions after your purchase. If you would like additional sessions, you may purchase them separately.

Yes! In addition to the PDF versions of all of GEM’s method books included with your subscription, you can purchase official hardcopy classroom sets, teacher’s editions with lesson plans, Method Book II, Adaptive Curriculum Books and Spanish Language Books here [Pricing section of Sales Page]. Books may also be purchased without a subscription

We are a team of educators, most of us currently teaching as subject matter experts in public-school classrooms. Our priority is to provide a method and service that make your life easier and your students’ learning experience enjoyable and productive. You can schedule a consultation with one of our content creators who may be able to help you use the curriculum more successfully or, in some cases, we can refund your purchase entirely. Contact us here to schedule a meeting. [email protected]

teacher helping student play guitar in a classroom

About Us


Guitar Ensemble Method is the curriculum of Lead Guitar, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization focused on expanding access to in-school music education.

Lead Guitar’s vision is to engage every learner with an instrument that appeals across genres and generations, using music from a broad range of traditions, and differentiated materials like Adaptive and Spanish-language curricula.

100% of proceeds from Guitar Ensemble Method supports Lead Guitar’s core mission of building free guitar ensemble classes by sending expert Teaching Artists to partner with neighborhood schools that lack a certified music teacher or have low arts participation due to inadequate funding.

teacher helping student play guitar in a classroom