The European Guitar Teachers’ Association was founded in 1990 following preliminary meetings instigated by Gordon Crosskey, professor of guitar at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music. John Williams has been its Honorary President since that time. Its original stated aims were to improve the standard of guitar teaching, to raise the status of the instrument within the musical mainstream and to widen interest in guitar playing. Much has already been done to achieve these aims and EGTA (UK) today acts above all as a resource and a discussion place for guitarists concerned with developing themselves as teachers, and their pupils as players.
The Achievements of EGTA (UK)
EGTA (UK) has used its resources to enable projects to be born, to develop and to flourish. The ‘EGTA Series’ published by Chanterelle — including the One+One and Solo Now! books, along with The Baroque Book and The Classical Book — is an early example of EGTA(UK)’s vision. All the books have become extremely popular and are used internationally, not least as set pieces in the syllabuses of the leading examination boards. Latterly our own journal, Guitar Forum, developed into the first scholarly publication in English devoted to the guitar, to international acclaim. Guitar Forum grew out of EGTA(UK)’s Guitar Journal, and the articles first published there are gradually being made available on line, attracting thousands of visits each month.
EGTA(UK) members were substantially involved in the development of A Common Approach, the national curriculum project for instrumental and vocal teaching published in 2002 by the Federation of Music Services and the National Association of Music Educators. This document is an essential reference book for those teaching the classical guitar in schools across the United Kingdom today.
In additional contribution to the association’s stated aims, members of EGTA(UK) were intimately involved in reviewing and editting the 2009 and 2019 guitar exam syllabuses of the ABRSM.
EGTA(UK) founded the National Youth Guitar Ensemble. As the years rolled on NYGE became an established and respected source of the best guitar ensemble training available. Its twice annual courses culminated in large concerts across the UK and the recording of a CD.
EGTA(UK) is administered by a national committee which also organizes the annual conference. Previous chairmen have included Gordon Crosskey, Michael Lewin, Hazel Davies, Colin Tommis and Neil Preston. All members can submit proposals to the committee for consideration to run local meetings, concerts and seminars under the EGTA(UK) banner.