Byers, Thomas (Fine Arts: Guitar)

Welcome to the NPA Guitar Program 2018-19!

Thank you for the opportunity to begin or continue working with your children. I truly look froward to imparting the joy and reward of hard-work and the impact of artistry to the students this year. I’m available to speak with anytime over email or during my office hours: Monday – Friday, excluding Tuesadays 7:35-8:00am


ADVANCED AND ENSEMBLE MEMBERS: Nails are required at these levels, in addition to the materials above please ensure you have the following kit.
Exceptions for certain sports are just fine but please have nails at a healthy length by first day of school! 



All materials are necessary the first week of school.

Conference Grading Rationale and Description

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Course List

moreAP Seminar


AP Seminar presents opportunities to engage in the world of academic and real-world researching, writing, and presenting. Through College Board tasks and thematic material chosen by students and instructor, students will develop and master skills that directly relate to college and professional level expectations within the realms of researching, writing, and presenting.

All work will be distributed via Google Classroom.



Click here to download the AP Seminar syllabus (PDF)

moreAdvanced Guitar


Advanced guitar focuses on higher levels of reading music and in the context of jazz, rock, blues and other traditional styles of American music. Students will begin a serious study of theory, arranging, and improvising at this level. The class text for this class is the freshmen textbook at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts called A Modern Method for Guitar Vol. I by William Leavitt. Furthermore, students will begin to refine their ensemble performing techniques in anticipation of the following course, performance ensemble.

Google Calendar:


moreBeginning Guitar


Beginning guitar focuses on developing professional level technique and ensemble skills. Beauty, artistry, and interpretation in an ensemble setting will be the dominant feature of this course. Reading, and interpreting music will thoroughly introduced as well.

moreAP Research


The AP Research course allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, issue, or idea of individual interest. In AP Research, students cultivate the skills and discipline necessary to conduct independent research and inquiry in order to produce and defend their scholarly work. Students design, plan, and implement a yearlong investigation to address a research question they have generated, developed and revised. Through this inquiry, they learn research methods, employ ethical research practices, and access, analyze, and synthesize information. Students reflect on their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of thei scholarly work through a process and reflection portfolio (PREP). The course culminates in an academic paper of 4,000–5,000 words (accompanied by a performance, exhibit, or product where applicable) and a presentation wit an oral defense component.


Click here to download the AP Research syllabus (PDF)

morePerformance Ensemble


Performance ensemble explores a wide range of guitar ensemble literature and uses all previous experience to perform professional level ensemble arrangements. This class gains performance experience by recording, performing at national competitions and amassing over an hour of concert ready material to be performed at concerts and openings for international artists. This class may be repeated and students can expect a unique musical experience each and every year in this group. Advanced guitar topics will be addressed via the ensemble music.

moreIntermediate Guitar


Intermediate guitar focuses on solo finger style guitar playing. Students will develop a fluency in their plucking hand and read music all the way to the 12th position (fret). Quarter one will focus on introductory etudes and beginning to perform for others comfortably. Quarter two will focus on introductory guitar literature for concert performances. Quarters three and four follow the same path though use much more advanced materials from guitar masters of the past and present and in different styles from blues to flamenco.