Are you getting nowhere being self-taught? 

You most probably would have had a few experiences as a self taught player. I was one once too so I know what you have been through. Unfortunately it can take a while for the realisation to take hold that you are getting nowhere. Because of my own experiences I have a fair amount of empathy with this. So I am going to give up some of my precious practise time to tell you a few truths by using some common scenarios. The first one is...

You would like to play your favourite songs

You would like to learn how…

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A letter to a parent with regards to practicing and the parents/caregiver's role. 

  Independent Learning: A Universal Skill


  I would like to offer some advice which hopefully will enable your child to continue with his playing. He/she has done very well up to this point. He/she is learning a specialist skill, it is hard. Learning how to play at home is also hard. It is a universal skill which can be applied to anything the student wishes to become strong at. It will greatly assist in his/her ability to independently learn. If the environment is right the student will develop their…

Are You Getting the Best From Your Lessons? 

Are you really keen on learning how to play music? Do you want to help your children learn how to play? Well you can. Everyone has the ability to learn music. It is not a natural skill. No one is born with the ability to play. 

The most important element in succeeding with music is the teacher. They are not all the same. Anyone can advertise themselves as a music teacher. Here are some points for you to consider and some traps for you to avoid.

Reading Music  

Unfortunately the contemporary music…

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Is music notation taught at the very beginning of learning or is it delayed by six months or longer? 

A music student is at a distinct disadvantage if learning to read music is delayed. All music knowledge and technique comes from learning how to read music notation. It gives the student the ability to play the songs he/she would like to play. 

Too much time and money is wasted as a result of lessons consisting of songs, chords and tablature reading only. Very little useful knowledge is taught in such lessons. Learning tablature is not reading music.

What are the standards of the teacher’s current music students? 

I’m happy to say that my students are very well represented in many aspects of the community. From end of year school music prizes, gaining excellence in music performance, gaining recognition in local and national music competitions, to participating in a number of community events ranging from musicals to rock and jazz bands. Reading music, not including tablature, from the very beginning enables the musician to participate in these events.

Introducing Philip Hartshorn's D.S.M.

The Big Picture: Learning Guitar, Bass or Drums

Daniel Thompson

Phil is my first drumming teacher. “I couldn’t play before, but now I can, thanks to his great teaching! I have improved 100%. I really like the way Phil encourages me with my drumming. I love playing his electronic kits. I look forward to every lesson. I love playing and learning new songs. I like how kind and encouraging he is when I make a mistake.”

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Hugh Rudd

Phil Hartshorn is a great guitar teacher. He's friendly, funny and encouraging!!!

He is also very good at making people understand the situation. So don't worry about thinking that your kid comes home and tells you "I don't know what Phil was talking about". Because that won't happen.

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Michael Morgan

If you are considering taking lessons with Phil but are not sure yet, can I say give it a go, no matter which method you use. After starting with face to face lessons, I was surprised how efficient the internet based lessons are and the ability to log in from anywhere you have a connection and device is great. Phil is a patient and proficient teacher and his methods provide challenge and reward as you master your chosen instrument.

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