The pedagogical value of L?o Brouwer?s ?tudes Simples: a perspective on preserving an exquisite, yet neglected custom

24 Feb 2015

The decline in the status of the classical guitar is, for many, a cause of concern, calling for viable answers to restore its place in the expressive arts tradition. In this article, I explore a pedagogical style specifically intended for young and/or inexperienced players. It is argued that this endeavor could prospectively benefit a range of guitar teachers, their locality or nationality notwithstanding. Following the brief overview of guitar methodologies, the article presents some of the key pedagogical goals and ideas of the universally-acclaimed Cuban guitar composer L?o Brouwer (1939?). Employing the first 10 studies of Brouwer?s ?tudes Simples for analysis, I illustrate the composer?s pragmatic presentation of a range of mandatory techniques. It is argued that Brouwer?s pedagogical approach meaningfully contributes to the restoration and elevation of an exquisite, yet neglected musical custom.