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Classical Guitar (ages 10 - 18)

Summer School for Children and Young People


This summer school is for young guitarists aged 10 – 18 who want to spend a week playing guitar and focusing on improving their technical and musical skills.

Throughout this course, students will develop skills to help them in further study, audition preparation, competition entry and practice planning. At the beginning of the week each student will be assessed on technique, musicianship and current level, enabling tutors to tailor the course to the individual’s needs.

You will have the opportunity to experience the life of a full-time music student whilst working with our renowned conservatoire teaching staff.

This summer school is open to young classical guitarists who are looking for an intensive, inspirational learning experience.

During the course you will:

  • develop technically and musically
  • build repertoire and performance experience
  • receive advice for practice planning and further study
  • access guitar teaching of the highest level
  • meet like-minded guitarists and develop ensemble skills

The course will culminate in a performance for friends and family on the Friday afternoon.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at


The important details

10 - 18


15 - 19 July 2024

Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G2 3DB

Course Information

Daily Warm-up

Morning group classes will focus on warm-up exercises and techniques, setting up the hands for each full study day. Helpful tips to avoid injury and how to get the best out of every practice session will also be covered.

Individual Lessons

One to one lessons will focus on developing the student’s interpretation and understanding of current repertoire and knowledge of the instrument. Technical weaknesses will be identified with tutors offering solutions and repertoire for further study.

Technique Class

This will include group work on scales, arpeggios, slurs, stretches, tone production, posture and other areas of classical guitar technique.

Performance Class

Students will have the opportunity to perform to fellow students whilst improving stage presence and learning techniques for calming nerves.

Tab Clinic

So you think tab is so much easier than reading music? The Tab clinic will dispel all the myths and get you up to speed with all of the advantages of reading music.

Guitar Orchestra/Guitar Ensembles

Guitarists rarely have the opportunity to play together in large groups. Participation in this class will encourage and develop chamber music skills and demonstrate the importance of teamwork whilst producing high quality music making.

Repertoire Class

Students will be guided through the main study books/technical manuals available today alongside an introduction to the cornerstones of the guitar repertoire and their historical importance to the instrument’s development.

Sight Reading

An in-depth look at the skills required to play a piece of music at sight. Skills developed here include key signature recognition, rhythmical accuracy when reading from a score, note recognition, chordal awareness and positional playing on the guitar.

The course is open to all. The experienced teaching team allows for beginners to be given an introduction to classical playing alongside help with reading music, intermediate players can develop performance skills and access new repertoire whilst the most ambitious of young players who are thinking of applying to Conservatoires or Universities gain invaluable insight into life studying in that environment.

This is an open access course and is available to any young musician aged 10 – 18 who is keen to learn more about the guitar. There are no specific entry requirements.


Please wear long sleeved T-shirts or tops as this will prevent your arms sticking to the edges of the guitar. Please also bring your guitar, pencils, an eraser, a notebook, spare strings, a tuner, a footstool or other guitar supports.

This is an indicative schedule from a previous summer school and is subject to change.

Daily Schedule
Day One
10:00 – 10:15 Welcome Meeting
10:30 – 11:30 Warm Up Class
11:30 – 12:30 Rhythm Class
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:30 Guitar Orchestra
15:30 – 16:00 Break
16:00 – 17:00 Performance Class

Day Two
10:00 – 11:00 Technique Class ‘Ligados’
11:00 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:30 Rhythm Class
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 Nails – All Questions Answered
15:00 – 15:30 Break
15:30 – 17:00 Performance Class

Day Three
10:00 – 11:00 Technique Class ‘Finger Independence’
11:00 – 12:30 Guitar Orchestra
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:30 Practice Psychology
14:30 – 15:00 Break
15:00 – 16:00 The role of the conductor – musical and technical
16:00 – 17:00 Performance Class

Day Four
10:00 – 11:00 Technique Class ‘Barres & Stretches’
11:00 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:30 Guitar Orchestra
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 Home Recording
15:00 – 15:30 Break
15:30 – 17:00 Performance Class & Sharing Rehearsals

Day Five
10:00 – 12:00 Guitar Orchestra
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 15:00 Masterclass
15:00 – 15:30 Break
15:30 – 17:00 Sharing

The course runs Monday, 15 July – Friday, 19 July, from 10am to 5pm.

There will be a short sharing of the work students have been engaging with on the Friday afternoon for invited family and friends.

Matthew McAllister: Widely regarded as one of the most exciting and talented Guitarists in Europe Matthew has been delighting audiences worldwide with his insightful performances and effortless presentation in a concert career spanning well over a decade.

Matthew has performed at major venues across the world such as The Concertgebouw Amsterdam, The Purcell Room & St Martin in the Fields, London, Teatro Britanico, Lima, The Sage, Gateshead, Cenart, Mexico City, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Eugene O’Neil Theatre, San Jose and Dom Armije, Sarajevo to name a few. Matthew has toured extensively throughout North & South America, Canada, Europe and Asia both as a soloist and chamber musician, and has also produced an extensive discography with Baros Records.

As an educator Matthew holds the posts of Classical Guitar Lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and is the Director of the Classical Guitar Retreat.

Matthew enjoys keeping in touch with fans and guitarists worldwide and has a very wide reaching internet presence, you can follow him easily on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.



Allan Neave, Interim Deputy Director of Music, studied at the RSAMD (1984) and the RNCM (1988) and since then has been performing worldwide. He is a regular guest at many of the world’s leading musical events and has worked with many influential musicians including Nikita Koshkin, Edward McGuire, Hans Werner Henze, Gordon McPherson and Stephen Dodgson.

To date, career highlights have included: recording Gordon McPherson’s concerto ‘Born of Funk and Fear of Failing’ with new music group, Psappha; performing Scottish Guitar Music in Peru; a tour of Australia with virtuoso flautist Alison Mitchell; a tour of the far east with Tetra Guitar quartet; performances of Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ with the RSNO in their prom season; and recording the soundtrack for a film documentary about the great Scottish painter, John Bellany.

Allan has been Artistic Director of the Dundee International Guitar Festival since its inception and in 2000 he received the Scotland on Sunday Glenfiddich ® Spirit of Scotland Award for Music. These awards were set up to recognise individuals who lead the way in Scottish culture.

Summer Accommodation

We are pleased to welcome students from across the world to our Summer Schools. Our course fees do not include accommodation or food, and these should be organised by the student. Our campus is located in Glasgow city centre, and you can find the addresses below.

We recommend Base Glasgow, as purpose-built accommodation for Conservatoire students, with Rehearsal Rooms, Practice spaces and Dance Studios. Base Glasgow is perfectly suited for our summer school students; both safe and secure, with 24/7 staff presence and only 3 mins walk from our main Renfrew Street building, keeping travel costs to a minimum.

Classic En-Suite rooms come with a 3/4 bed, en-suite bathroom, ample storage, mirror, study desk and chair. The shared area includes a spacious lounge and kitchen area.

Please note that Short Courses staff are not affiliated with BASE or on site outwith the summer school teaching hours, and therefore cannot take responsibility for students outside of these hours.

For more information about booking accommodation at BASE Glasgow you can contact them directly via website BASE – Student Accommodation in Glasgow or email

Alternatively, there are plenty of hotels, hostels, and b’n’b options available. We are located close to transport links should you wish to stay outside the city centre. If you are travelling to Glasgow for a course, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance that covers course fees, travel, accommodation, and cancellations due to COVID-19 – as RCS will not refund in this circumstance. You can view the Cancellations and Refund policy for full information.

For students under 18 years old, we strongly advise travelling with a responsible adult should any emergency situations arise during class. Students are only monitored by staff during class times.

Renfrew Street Campus: 100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G2 3DB
Wallace Studios Campus: 210 Garscube Road, Glasgow, G4 9RR

Further Information

We want to ensure as many children, young people and adult learners as possible can access the performing and production arts education that is offered through Short Courses at RCS. Financial support options available for Short Courses include:

Agnes Allan Bursary

Agnes Allan was a teacher, passionate about inclusion, and this bursary scheme exists to offer support to students to participate in the performing or production arts.

The Agnes Allan Bursary provides some support to students who may require financial assistance to take part in a short course in dance, drama, music, production or screen.

Anyone who wishes to take part in our Short Courses and faces a financial barrier can apply for bursary support to help meet the cost of tuition fees.

James McAvoy Drama Scholarships

BAFTA-winning and Golden Globe nominated actor James McAvoy is committed to nurturing the creative potential of young Scots who experience barriers to access and participate in drama at RCS Short Courses.

James is a graduate of the BA Acting programme at RCS and Patron of the Junior Conservatoire of Drama. The Glasgow-born actor has funded the new James McAvoy Drama Scholarships to enable young people to experience the world-class drama training at RCS as he did.

The scholarship aims to support applicants who would otherwise find meeting the cost of tuition fees at RCS a barrier to accessing pre-Higher Education drama training at the Royal Conservatoire.

You can find more information about these funds on our Financial Support page.

We run various promotional offers for our Short Courses and Summer Schools. You can view our current offers on our Promotional Offers page.

You should contact us at to request your discount code before booking a course.

Please note, only one promotional offer can be applied per course and should be used at the time of booking as we are unable to apply a discounts retrospectively.

Please see our Short Course FAQs for more information about all aspects of choosing, booking and attending your course.

Please see our Short Courses – Terms and Conditions for more information about your contract with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Cancellation and Refund policies.

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