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 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
EGTA has increasingly 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 Classical Book, is an early example of EGTAs 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, has developed into the first and only scholarly publication in English devoted to the guitar, and its international acclaim is growing. Guitar Forum grew out of EGTA’s Guitar Journal, and the articles first published there are gradually being made available on line at www.egtaguitarforum.org, attracting thousands of visits each month.
EGTA members were substantially involved in the development of A Common Approach, the national curriculum project for instrumental and vocal teaching published by the Federation of Music Services and the National Association of Music Educators. This document is being widely endorsed as an essential reference book for those teaching the classical guitar in schools today.
EGTA founded the National Youth Guitar Ensemble. As the years roll on NYGE has become an established and respected source of the best guitar ensemble training available. Its twice annual courses culminate in large concerts across the UK and future plans include the recording of a CD.
EGTA is administered by a national committee which also organizes the annual conference. Previous chairmen have included Gordon Crosskey, Michael Lewin and Hazel Davies. Notable visitors to EGTA events in recent years have included Julian Bream and Graham Wade. Members are kept abreast of news and events, and are encouraged to become actively involved within the Association. All members can submit proposals to the committee for consideration to run local meetings, concerts and seminars under the EGTA banner.