Guitar Seminar: Jazz, Rock & Beyond

Become a “Summer Trojan” and earn college credit.

The “Guitar Seminar: Jazz, Rock, and Beyond” is an immersive musical journey studying the electric guitar at the renowned USC Thornton School of Music and its Studio Guitar Program. This comprehensive program explores every facet of guitar playing and music for young aspiring guitarists. During the seminar, students delve into theory, improvisation, technique, sight-reading, songwriting, and playing repertoire from jazz, rock, and beyond while focusing on stylistic interpretation.

The seminar’s hands-on approach includes extensive lab sessions, where students break into smaller groups to practice and perfect new concepts with the guidance of skilled faculty and through clinics conducted by USC’s Studio Guitar faculty. Students will also embark on exciting field trips to Los Angeles’s iconic music venues. There will be no shortage of performance opportunities, from casual showcases of fresh material in front of your peers to evening concerts. The climax of the workshop will be two formal concerts open to family and friends, showcasing the incredible progress and new skills students have acquired. Repertoire and assignments are selected to challenge even the most advanced students, ensuring a transformative and enriching musical experience.

June 16 – July 13, 2024

Audition (see below in COURSE OVERVIEW)

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Classes in session
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Classes in session



  • Learn from Studio Guitar faculty in daily classes and through clinics with additional world-renowned guitarists and educators
  • Participate in off-campus field trips to experience music in Los Angeles (subject to schedule availability)
  • Students will present multiple performances showcasing their work that will be viewed by faculty, students, family, and friends

Topic of Study

  • The study of theory, improvisation, technique, sight-reading, songwriting, through a variety of genres
  • Learn rehearsal techniques and show preparation skills
  • Tone production and the learning about the equipment necessary to play with versatility
  • Preparing for college and entering the music profession

A limited number of students will be accepted based on an audition process in the form of a submitted video. Be sure to frame yourself in the center of the video so we can see and hear you play. The video recording needs to include:

  1. The applicants version of the jazz standard “Autumn Leaves” By Joseph Kosma. You should demonstrate your ability to play the melody, accompany with chords and improvise a solo.
  2. A selection of the applicants choice, in any style that best demonstrates your guitar playing abilities.

The video recording should be no longer than 5 minutes. Your performances can be in either a solo, group setting, or with a pre-recorded backing track.

Email video link to:


The USC Summer Programs is an excellent way to prepare you for college, both academically and socially. Being on a college campus and meeting people from all over the world is an opportunity that you won’t get as a high school student, so take it while you can!
Zeyaan Q.
USC Summer Program 2022