Aaron Shearer, A Life With the Guitar (2004)

by | Oct 6, 2007 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Aaron Shearer, A Life With the Guitar (2004)

Documentary on the classical guitar pedagogue
Studio: Michael Lawrence Films
Video: 16:9 color, but letterboxed all around
Audio: PCM stereo
Length: 55 minutes
Rating: ***

Aaron Shearer published his first guitar study method book in l959, and it has been used by so many classical guitarists that he has become the most influential classical guitar author and teacher in the 20th Century. His basic methods have started many of the finest classical guitarists on their careers. Most of the film was shot while 83-year-old Shearer was a guest at a guitar master class at Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory led by Manuel Barrueco, one of his former students.  Shearer tells us about his unusual life, and his meetings with Andre Segovia, who did not encourage Shearer’s approach to teaching the basic of guitar playing to students. We see him working with several students, and are treated to performances of works by BACH,K VIVALDI, TORROBA, BARRIOS, VILLA-LOBOS, BROUWER, SCARLATTI, NAZARETH and RODRIGO.  Three of the selections are performed by Manuel Barrueco.

An interesting point is that Shearer feels guitarists more than any other instrumentalists often have serious physical ailments due to the unnatural posture playing the guitar.  He has recently invented a special classical guitar strap to remedy this. This video would primarily interest students and teachers of the classical guitar, being perhaps a bit specialized in viewing for the layman.

 – John Sunier 

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