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Classical Guitar with Christopher Parkening

Christopher Parkening with guitar studentsPhotograph by Mark Westling

Ranked #1 in "The Ten Very Best Colleges for Classical Guitar Performance"

Thank you for your interest in the Classical Guitar Department at Pepperdine University chaired by America's reigning guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening.

Pepperdine University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in Classical Guitar. The music program, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), also includes a rigorous core curriculum comprised of theory, history, private lessons, ensemble participation and numerous performance opportunities. This curriculum combined with Seaver College's top-tier general education program provides students with both depth and breadth during their undergraduate tenure.


"In training future generations of guitarists at Pepperdine University, it is my goal to emphasize the importance of playing with beauty, warmth, and lyricism" says Professor Parkening, the recognized heir to Andrés Segovia's legacy.


To fulfill this goal, we commit to educate, equip, and empower our guitar students. If you come to Pepperdine, we will—

  • educate you to the highest level so that academic discovery enriches artistic creation;
  • equip you with the skills and tools needed to compete in the 21st-Century; and
  • empower you to utilize and share your talents in service to others.


Chris Parkening adjusting his student's guitar strings while on stage. Student is seated, cradling guitar.

In 2014, Pepperdine University was ranked #1 among "The Ten Very Best Colleges for Classical Guitar Performance" by Music School Central. The Pepperdine University Classical Guitar Department was founded in 2002 by Christopher Parkening who sought a platform to mentor future guitarists. What started with a few guitar majors enrolled in private lessons has now expanded to both majors and minors–and many other students—who participate in a wide variety of courses and programs provided by the Classical Guitar Department.


Applied music majors with an emphasis in classical guitar study a curated repertoire list which presents a balance of both technical and expressive challenges.

Each semester, classical guitar majors participate in:

  • seven private lessons and a master class with Christopher Parkening;
  • additional weekly private lessons with adjunct professors Anastasios Comanescu and Kevin Enstrom;
  • a recording session at a professional studio in Los Angeles;
  • a monthly Guitar Concert Series (Raitt Recital Hall)
  • a challenging core curriculum (Performance Skills for Classical Guitar, Guitar Ensemble, Guitar History and Literature).
  • weekly studio classes with Christopher Parkening.
  • two one-hour Group Guitar Classes (open to all Pepperdine students).
  • Pepperdine student-led Malibu Library outreach concerts.

Additional opportunities may include on- and off-campus performances at special University events in Malibu and surrounding cities.


Are you interested in declaring a minor in music with an emphasis classical guitar? If so, please contact Kevin Enstrom to receive more information.

Non-Music Majors and Minors

The Classical Guitar Department also offers programs for non-music majors/minors who wish to increase their knowledge and skills on the guitar. These include:

  • Group guitar workshops
  • Beginning Guitar I & II
  • Private lessons with Anastasios Comanescu and Kevin Enstrom
  • The monthly Guitar Concert Series (Raitt Recital Hall)

Learn More


Applicants who wish to major or minor in music with an emphasis in classical guitar performance must:

Are you interested in declaring a major in classical guitar performance?

Or, perhaps, you would like to pursue a minor. Even if you simply want more information about a program or event, we would like to hear from you. Please contact us with any questions you may have. We look forward to meeting you.


Listen to our Students

Fine Arts Recruitment Office

In order to apply for and audition for our arts degrees, please explore our majors and look for the supplementary application requirements needed in addition to applying to Seaver College. We encourage you to plan a visit to our campus so that you will be able to learn firsthand what we offer in the arts.

Secondary Teaching Credential for Fine Arts Students

Students seeking a secondary credential in art or English (Theatre) must satisfy all of the major requirements. More information about the credential program can be obtained from the Humanities and Teacher Education Division of Seaver College.

Learn about teaching credential options at Pepperdine

Fine Arts Division Minors

Academic Catalog

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Fine Arts Division

Contact Our Division

Fine Arts Division
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263-4462
Division Office Location: CAC 200

Fine Arts Recruitment Office
Fine Arts Recruitment Office Location: MB 301

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