Learn At Home!
Learn about instruments, composers, music, and even how to conduct from the comfort of your home!


Sharon Isbin & Classical Guitar

This week’s lesson features Sharon Isbin, the guitarist who created the guitar program at the Juilliard School!

Originally from Minnesota, Sharon Isbin started learning the guitar in Italy when she was nine years old. Although she wanted to study science and space travel, Sharon continued to work hard on her instrument. At 14 years old, she performed with a professional orchestra for the first time and found her passion for performance. Sharon has been touring Europe annually in concert since she was 17 and founded the guitar department at the Juilliard School. To add to her extensive list of accomplishments, Sharon has performed for the Obama’s in the White House and won two Grammy awards. 

As You Listen...

  • In this video, Sharon Isbin is playing one of the most famous classical guitar pieces ever written, Francisco Tárrega’s Recuerdos de la Alhambra. This music requires the use of tremolo, a technique the musician uses to create the fast sound in her right hand. To make things harder, the melody is played at the same time as the tremolo! 
  • When listening to Sharon play this piece, does it sound like one person playing the music? Why or why not?
  • This piece was written about a Spanish palace that the composer had walked through. When you listen to Sharon play, what do you imagine seeing at this palace? (Hint: Tárrega loved the water fountains).

Fun Facts!

  • Our Music Director Yaniv Attar studied guitar with Sharon Isbin at Juilliard.
  • Sharon Isbin performed with the BSO for Yaniv’s first concert conducting the orchestra.

Learn more by checking out Sharon's biography and her life as a ground-breaking classical guitarist!

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You Can Help Keep the Music Going!

If you enjoy our weekly activities, please consider a donation to the BSO. The BSO does over 90 in-school performances each year, reaching thousands of students throughout Whatcom County.


Whatcom Arts Project

The BSO is a proud participant and a founding member of the new Whatcom Arts Project, a group of over 30 community arts nonprofits. The goal of the Whatcom Arts Project is to reach our community during this time of need to provide hope, entertainment, learning opportunities, and a sense of togetherness. Each week during the pandemic, the BSO posted learning activities and videos on our website and to social media as part of the Whatcom Arts Project.

To learn more about the Whatcom Arts Project and home friendly activities in our area, please visit: www.facebook.com/WhatcomArtsProject/ or https://www.bellingham.org/whatcom-arts-project/.