There is a long history of guitar education at Utah State University. Founder of the
guitar program, Mike Christiansen, realized the need for guitar programs in secondary
education and worked to create a degree that prepares college students for growing
opportunities in guitar education. USU has 100% job placement for graduates of Guitar
Education who seek jobs in secondary education. Students are required, and given the
opportunity, to take classes in guitar pedagogy, instrumental methods, educational
practices, guitar performance, and to participate in university ensembles. Ensembles
include, but are not limited to, acousitc and electric guitar ensembles, jazz combo,
jazz big band, and choirs. The strength of the Guitar Education degree at USU is unrivaled
in the U.S.. With a strong faculty that is rooted in education, publication and performance,
this is truly a uniquely strong program and degree offered at USU.
In addition to applying for admission to the University, all applicants interested in pursuing a music degree must perform an audition on their major instrument to gain admission into the Department of Music. Specific audition information can be found here.
For additional information on ensemble opportunities at USU, see our Ensembles page.
USU Guitar Program Director, Corey Christiansen, is a celebrated guitarist. With several critically acclaimed albums under his own name as well as being a sought-after sideman, he brings a real-world perspective to USU. Many of this students have gone on to be in-demand performers, teachers and recording artists.
USU was recently named one of the top 25 programs in the U.S. for jazz guitar studies by Jazz Guitar Online
Many of our graduates go on to successful graduate studies, including the graduate program in Guitar Performance at USU, find employment within public school systems, run successful private studios, are recording artists, and find careers within the music industry.
USU guitar students and ensembles have received high praise from top artists around the country and have toured internationally. We strive to give our students the best education and best opportunities available within a collegiate structure.
Successful alums of the program include:
Pat Boyack - Celebrated blues guitarist, recording artist, resides in Dallas, TX.
Dylan Schorer - Fingerstyle guitar wizard, recording artist, studio musician and renowned author.
Sean Haley - Guitarist and studio engineer in Los Angeles. Sound designer for Line-6.
Brent Wheeler - Head of Guitar Studies at South Plains College in Levelland, TX.
Quint Olsen - Head of the CRAM Guitar Program in Las Vegas, NV.
And many, many others who have had successful careers contributing to music performance and music education.