Derek Arvidson

Teaching CNIB classDerek has been playing guitar for 27 years off and on.  In that time he has taken classes for over 4 years.  This includes a semester in music at Campbell Collegiate with their classical guitar class.  After graduation, Derek pursued private lessons at B-Sharp Music, briefly with Ken Burton and then extensively with Tim Mrazek.  This study began with electric styles and later to include a strong focus on classical guitar.  Derek had participated in summer intensive program under Tim Mrazek for both the electric guitar course and acoustic course.  At this time, Derek achieved his Advanced Rudiments in theory through the Royal Conservatory of Music with Honors.  Derek has continued his education through the years studying under Philippe Meunier at the Conservatory of Music for a summer, and recently for a summer in 2009 under Ron Ayre with private classes.  At present, Derek is studying under Master Teacher, Jason Vieaux through Artistworks Online Classical Guitar Lessons.

Derek currently is attends master classes, seminars and music workshops when available and promotes the same for other artists.

In 1992, Derek taught electric guitar classes privately, and pursued various band projects.  The most notable result was the band project Magenta Reign who received praise for their stage debut before disbanding.  In the time since, Derek has sought to promote guitar amongst friends and associates by freely sharing his knowledge with informal lessons.  Derek has also been listed in the Rosemont Mount Royal Community Association 2011 for their Classical Guitar community class.

Derek has now furthered his passion for classical guitar by working with the re-establishment of the Regina Classical Guitar Society.  He is currently serving as the president and is involved in many aspects of education, promotion and outreach programs with the RCGS.  To further support his classical guitar qualifications and the educational aspects involved with the RCGS, Derek has chosen to undergo testing through the Royal Conservatory of Music.  His first attempt resulted in his passing the grade 4 practical test with High Honors and achieving the RCM Gold Medal Award for guitar in Saskatchewan.  He is now currently working on his grade 8 with the RCM.

Derek is currently teaching professional classical guitar lessons privately, and supporting the RCGS as a volunteer instructor with their educational and outreach programs including a program with the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, and classical guitar classes with the CNIB.  With the introduction of his Southern Saskatchewan Guitar Project, Derek is reaching out to smaller communities to provide a combination of internet and in person lessons for those who would otherwise have no access to a quality classical guitar educational program.  Derek is also piloting a unique guitar classroom education program from the Austin Classical Guitar Society.  The is an educational resource structured to deliver classical guitar in a classroom environment delivering orchestral performances for classical guitar.  At the current time, there are only 3 locations in Canada offering such a program, Regina being one of those locations through Derek’s unique initiative for guitar and classical guitar education.


Newspaper Article from the Regina QC LeaderPost

Derek Arvidson keeps classical guitar alive

by Andrew Matte, photos by Troy Fleece

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012

Regina’s Derek Arvidson believes the guitar is a classic. And that’s why he’s working so hard to help elevate its status in Regina.

The classical guitar teacher player and instructor has worked for more than a year to help re-establish the Regina Classical Society, in part because he’s found so many people eager to help. He admits, however, that he’s also motivated by his detractors.

“I was told at one time that Regina wasn’t sophisticated enough for the classical guitar,” Arvidson said. “This irritated me because I knew that people were better than that.”

Seven-year-old Zhu Lian Arvidson, left, takes a guitar lesson from her father Derek.

Seven-year-old Zhu Lian Arvidson, left, takes a guitar lesson from her father Derek.

Qc Troy Fleece

Indeed, he’s found that Regina is classical guitar friendly. Musicians, music fans and community groups have supported Arvidson’s work ever since he decided to breathe new life into the dormant society.

“We aren’t here to build membership, to collect money or anything like that. We just want to introduce the guitar to people, to bring the classical guitar to anyone who wants it.”

Arvidson learned last year that the society, an informal group of classical musicians, had all but died over the last decade. Launched in 1982, the society held recitals and organized lessons and social events for its members before interest fizzled. In 2011, Arvidson picked up where the society founders left off by holding a couple of informal barbecues for Regina classical guitar players and their fans. In recent months, he’s ramped things up to match the growing interest in the society- he’s helped organize recitals, meetings and even free lessons for anyone interested in learning how to play- or just enjoy -music played on the nylon-stringed instrument. There are about six active members but the list of new members keeps growing, he said.

NiuGuitar001“What happened is that we started to bump into new people, either people interested in joining us or interested in helping us,” Arvidson said.

After the first couple of informal meetings, members of the society performed at a fundraiser for the Chris Knox Foundation. Members are also slated to perform at a Government House in July.

Members of the society have recently started to offer classical guitar lessons at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre. Arvidson himself has gone one step farther by offering free lessons to anyone for the rest of the summer, all in the name of raising the profile of classicial guitar music.

“I’ll do anything but our members are limited to the time they have away from their jobs and families,” said Arvidson, adding the society is also working with the CNIB in helping develop Braille sheet music for vision-impaired guitarists.

So far, he has eight students. And he expects the list to grow.

“The reason I can do this is because I am building a base for the guitar for the city. And I can steal the time here and there, and it’s practice for me,” he said.

“And if anything else pops up, then we’ll likely jump at it.”

For information, contact Arvidson at

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2012


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