Classical Guitar

Students in the Classical Guitar Department enjoy the environment of a time-honored performance degree program while gaining the benefits of a curriculum rooted in a pedagogical tradition. With a curriculum certified by the Aaron Shearer Foundation, students reinforce positive performance habits to serve them well not only on stage but also in the teaching studio.

Students planning performance careers, whether in concert, classical guitar ensemble, or chamber ensemble, can enroll in the Bachelor of Music Performance program. Classical Guitar can also be the applied instrumental major even when enrolled in an interdisciplinary degree such as Music Technology, Music Education, or Music Therapy.

Jazz Guitar & Electric Bass

Our jazz guitar faculty focuses on developing your maximum musical potential and confidence by strengthening and fostering creativity, self-expression, and discipline so that you have the skills necessary to generate your own musical identity. Our curriculum focuses on proficiency in jazz theory, sight-reading, improvisation, chordal harmony and rhythm techniques, jazz and commercial repertoire, and ensemble work. No matter what your applied instrument is - jazz guitar or electric bass - you can enroll in any of our degree programs, giving you the ability to focus on any professional musical career, while still learning the skills necessary to be a successful performer.

We also enhance your educational experience throughout the academic year by providing opportunities for performance, both on student and professional levels. Student ensemble concerts, small group concerts, and even local jam sessions are all available to our students. In addition, you will have the opportunity to work directly with industry professionals in clinics featuring a variety of visiting artists. Students have had opportunities to study in master classes and clinics with guest guitarists and bassists such as Pat Martino, Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, John Stowell, Carl Verheyen, Jimmy Bruno, Derek Trucks, Marcus Miller, Gerald Veasley, and many more.

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Graduate Students

We are proud to offer highly competitive Graduate Performance Awards and Assistantships that can cover up to 100% of tuition.

Questions About Studying Guitar?

Contact the Guitar Area Coordinator.

Thomas Kikta

Chair of Commercial Music, Media, and Jazz Department; Associate Professor of Music Technology; Area Coordinator of Guitar; Director of the Institute of Entertainment, Music, and Media Arts (IEMMA)

Classical Guitar Faculty

Thomas Kikta

Thomas Kikta

Chair of Commercial Music, Media, and Jazz Department; Associate Professor of Music Technology; Area Coordinator of Guitar; Director of the Institute of Entertainment, Music, and Media Arts (IEMMA)

Ben Meyer

Ben Meyer

Adjunct Professor of Classical Guitar

Studio Jazz Guitar Faculty

Eric Susoeff

Eric Susoeff

Adjunct Professor of Jazz Guitar

Electric Bass Faculty

Jeffrey Mangone

Jeffrey Mangone

Adjunct Professor of Double Bass/Bass Guitar

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

Adjunct Professor of Jazz Bass

Upcoming Guitar Events

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The Dean's List - Concert I: Strings Attached

Pre-concert Discussion with Thomas Kikta at 2:30 p.m.Schubert’s sublime String Quintet...

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  • Mary Pappert School of Music
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Uptown Jazz Series: Retrospective - Concert 1

Performers Trumpet: JD ChaissonTrombone: Jeff BushSaxophone: Mike TomaroPiano: Max LeakeGuitar:...

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  • Mary Pappert School of Music
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Graphic featuring a silhouette of the Pittsburgh skyline on a textured sunset background.

Uptown Jazz Series: Retrospective - Concert 2

Performers Trumpet: JD ChaissonTrombone: Jeff BushSaxophone: Mike TomaroPiano: Max LeakeGuitar:...

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  • Mary Pappert School of Music
More About This Event
Graphic featuring a silhouette of the Pittsburgh skyline on a textured sunset background.

Uptown Jazz Series: Retrospective - Concert 3

Performers Trumpet: JD ChaissonTrombone: Jeff BushSaxophone: Mike TomaroPiano: Max LeakeGuitar:...

  • -
  • Mary Pappert School of Music
More About This Event
A close up photo of a classical guitar.

Classical Guitar Ensemble

Ben Meyer, directorAdmission$10 Suggested Donation (at the door)

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  • Mary Pappert School of Music
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Guitar Facilities



The Jazz Studio is equipped with a drumset, baby grand piano, guitar/bass amps, and a digital piano/synth workstation that is used for private instruction and small combo rehearsals.