• A guitar
Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music

B.M. in Guitar Performance

» Guitar Performance

In our program, you’ll develop a deep understanding of classical guitar through:

  • Performance at regional and national events
  • Study of the guitar's history and repertoire
  • Refinement of research and pedagogical skills. 

These skills are honed in conjunction with a strong liberal arts foundation that will allow you to flourish as a performer and a scholar.

Students enrolled in the guitar studies program can double major in other music programs, such as Music Composition and Music Education, as well as fields beyond music.

Students enrolled in the Music Education program are welcome to use the guitar as their major instrument.

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Program Learning Outcomes

There are four main program learning outcomes:

  • Musicianship: You will demonstrate fluent musicianship skills, including:
    • An understanding of music theory
    • Proficiency with aural skills and sight reading
    • Knowledge of different musical styles and historical eras
    • A demonstration of basic piano skills
    • The ability to rehearse and perform collaboratively, and to contribute to an ensemble
    • Proficiency with basic music technology
    • An understanding and demonstration of basic improvisation technique
  • Performance: You will acquire performance skills as a soloist on your main instrument, include knowledge in technique, historically appropriate performance styles and repertoire and sight reading.
  • Leadership: You will observe and experience leadership roles and professional opportunities in order to prepare for a career as a performer.
  • Pedagogy: You will employ pedagogical techniques and skills relevant to your instrument family.

More information about and program courses and requirements is available on our Guitar Performance catalog page.


As a ministry discipline, an understanding of music has helped countless people achieve myriad careers over the centuries. Today, a Guitar Performance degree from Chapman will prepare for careers in:

  • Professional performance
  • Guitar instruction
  • Elementary music education
  • Collegiate music education
  • Musicology

In addition, through the addition of a double major or minor, students may employ their Guitar Performance degree in even more diverse careers after graduation.

You’ll also be able to get free lifetime career advising from our dedicated Career Advisor for the College of Performing Arts. That means that you can get career advice and preparation from when you start to program to after you’ve graduated.

Performance Opportunities

Guitar students at Chapman University are provided with several curricular and extra-curricular performance opportunities. These include:

  • Solo recitals, including Junior and Senior recitals
  • The Chapman Guitar Ensemble concert
  • The New Music Ensemble concert
  • The Big Band and Jazz Combo concert
  • The annual concerto competition and solo concerto performances with the Chapman Chamber Orchestra

Additionally, students regularly perform at local, regional, and national events. Chapman University plays host to the Orange County Guitar Circle, hosting monthly concerts throughout the semester at which students are encouraged to attend and perform.

Further, Chapman University's Guitar Ensembles have toured and performed in Northern California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas.

Chapman student sitting in a chair
Student Story: Steven Gudino ‘20
Steven Gudino (double-major in Guitar Performance and Music Composition) won the 2017 Young Computer Competition.

Program Faculty

The Chapman University Guitar Studies Program is directed by Daniel de Arakal, M.M. An alumnus of Chapman University, de Arakal graduated cum Laude in 2010 with degrees in Guitar Performance and Music Composition. He earned his master's degree in Guitar Performance from the University of Southern California in 2012 before returning to Chapman to teach classical guitar.

In addition to directing the Guitar Studies program, de Arakal is an active performer, arranger and advocate for the guitar. He serves as the President of the Orange County Guitar Circle; one of Southern California's largest classical guitar societies. His "Introduction to Guitar Ensemble" series is published by Les Productions d'OZ.

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Guest Artists

Our program has a long history of hosting internationally-renowned guest teachers and performers to share their wisdom and musical prowess with students. Among these world-class guitarists are:

  • Manuel Barrueco
  • Carlos Barbosa-Lima
  • Thibault Cauvin
  • Eric Franceries
  • Christopher Laughlin
  • David Leisner
  • Enric Madriguera
  • Krzysztof Pelech
  • Randy Pile
  • David Russell
  • Uros Dojcinovic
  • The Gothenberg Combo
  • The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

Additionally, Chapman University's Guitar Program annually hosts the winner of the Guitar Foundation of America's International Concert Artist Competition; among the guitar's most prestigious prizes.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Joining a student club is a great way to expand your interests and community. You can join any of Chapman’s 230+ clubs and student organizations, but here are the ones Music students like to get involved in!

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Music Clubs and Organizations

Admission & Tour Information

All applicants are required to submit the Common Application, a Creative Supplement and an audition video. You may also be asked to perform a live audition by invitation.

You can learn more about applying here.

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Related Programs

Students interested in Guitar Performance are often also interested in:

You can explore all of Chapman’s undergraduate majors and minors with our program finder.

Contact Us

Program Questions
Daniel de Arakal
Director of Guitar Studies

Admission Questions

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