While the Guitar program at PSU’s School of Music has many benefits, the location of the school is one of its greatest strengths. Portland is home to a thriving music community, and faculty use their local connections to provide you limitless opportunities to learn and grow as an artist. The proximity to performance opportunities within the city, community partnerships for unparalleled master classes and workshops, and a creative atmosphere will give you the individualized education you’re searching for. Fellow students and faculty will challenge and inspire you, developing your guitar theory and guitar performance skills, and encouraging you to grow into the musician you are meant to be.

Before You Arrive

Prior to your arrival at PSU, you will audition for the program. Our faculty encourages you to take advantage of a pre-audition lesson with one of your instructors. Not only will this give you valuable insight into what is expected of you, it also helps you build connections within the department. Your first two years in the program will be spent in intensive classical guitar study. This will give you an excellent foundation of guitar theory. You’ll also participate in a chamber guitar class which will give you the opportunity to branch out, playing with other musicians at PSU.

Performance Opportunities

As an arts-centric city, Portland is an ideal place for young artists to perfect their guitar performance skills. Not only are there countless opportunities to perform through your PSU School of Music department, but also throughout the larger community. Faculty will help you connect with gigs, and professors will encourage you to participate in performances they’ve arranged through local partnerships.

Individualized Support

The goal of all program coursework is to ensure your skills are supported and enhanced. From individual lessons to your senior recital, we want you to feel like you have been fully prepared and creatively nurtured. Your classes and ensembles also give you the chance to get to know your peers, starting career-long relationships and networks.

The PSU Guitar Orchestra

All first-year students join the large guitar orchestra ensemble. Although the expectations for rehearsal and performance are often challenging, the ensemble will help perfect your sight reading skills and refine your practice disciplines.

Jesse McCann headshot

Jesse McCann - Guitar Area Coordinator

A top prize solo winner, Jesse has also led two award-winning guitar trios and is currently a member of the Oregon Guitar Quartet. He has had the privilege of studying with some of the world's leading guitarists and composers including Dusan Bogdanovic, Denis Azabagic, Jason Vieux, and David Tanenbaum.