Testimonials

James More

Dunedin

I was looking for guitar teachers online. I decided to try Phil because his office was convenient and I wanted to learn how to read music. I've now been learning for just over two years.

Beforehand I used to learn songs through Youtube and tabs. It was annoying because I wasn't progressing and everything was hard. Because of Phil I'm tons better. I'm in a Jazz band and rock band now.

I've progressed a lot. I have gone from knowing two chords, to playing lead guitar, reading music and creating my own songs. It's super fun and you can really see yourself improving. I'm becoming a musician.

If you want to improve and learn to play in bands and not be stuck in a loophole of riffs and tabs I'd recommend Phil.

Jason Lyndsey

My neighbour told me about Phil. After talking to him I could tell that his teaching style would build a proper foundation. I have had lessons for just under two years now. Previously I had been trying to learn using Youtube. I would learn a few ideas but I could tell it wasn't going to lead to actually being able to play the guitar.

Phil helped my playing initially by showing how to overcome issues I was struggling with. The techniques I have learned I simply have not been able to find on the internet. I couldn't say what single thing has helped the most as it's all good, including the practise schedules.

If you are considering taking lessons with Phil but are not sure yet, I would say to you that if you are looking to build a good foundation and an understanding of theory so that ultimately you can play to the best of your abilities then Phil is the type of teacher you want to learn from. 

Emma and Daniel Thompson

Mum and Son Testimonial

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.”

Daniel Thompson


Daniel has had lessons with Phil since Feb 2018. He has had the majority of his lessons in person as well as the occasional lesson over the internet. We found out about Phil through a Google search for Drumming teachers in Dunedin.We decided to go ahead because the timing was good, the location was central, the cost was reasonable, and because Phil is an experienced teacher.

If you are considering taking lessons with Phil but are not sure yet I would like to say that Phil gets to know your child, their abilities and strengths. He works at their pace but also challenges and encourages them. His experience as a teacher means that he can work with kids, assess their level of learning and adapt the lessons accordingly. He works at their level and the children are individuals.

Emma Thompson
 

We found out about Phil through the local school newsletter. We had also heard good things. Scarlett has been with Phil for over three years now. Scarlett has come on leaps and bounds, especially since we started having two lessons a week. Working over Skype has been much more effective than I believed it would. The single thing in Phils lessons which has helped the most is his thoroughness and patience. I would say to someone who is considering taking lessons with Phil to just give it a go. If you need to use Skype for lessons don't worry they are great, and more fun than you would think!” - Rachel and Scarlett Rose

— Parent and Daughter Testimonial

I found out about Phil from my Google search. Based on his website he offered drums lessons and after contacting him by email, he was very encouraging that anyone, regardless of age, can learn to play the drums. I have now had lessons for 6 months in person. I plan to continue over the internet since I have temporarily left the country. Phil is the perfect teacher. He keeps you on track, is consistently patient and has the perfect balance of encouragement and corrective feedback. He only adds additional elements when he knows you are ready for them, so the pace is perfect. He is also fun to talk to about music as it is clearly his passion. I am a 1st time student. From knowing zero I now am playing songs and being able to play along with the basic beats of things I hear on the radio/online, etc. If you are considering taking lessons with Phil but are not sure yet I would say to you this: Do it! He is the perfect teacher: organized, patient, encouraging, and passionate. ” - Anna Crawford

— Student Testimonial for Drumming Lessons

We heard about Phil and his teaching. My sister started first, then I thought I would like to learn. I have since learned a lot of different techniques, and have made steady progress. Phil helps me learn how to practise and shows me how to measure my own skill. I would say to people who wish to learn that with Phil you will learn the proper way to play as opposed to endless strumming with little technique. I also really enjoy the jams.” - Matilda Sutton

— Student Testimonial

Michael Morgan

We saw Phil's ads. He looked to be a skilled teacher of a traditional style. We put our daughters into lessons with Phil initially, then I began. I have now had lessons for over two and half years. In person for just over a year then the rest have been over the internet.
I have not had another Bass teacher before Phil. I did try some self-instruction, but it proved to be too difficult. The self-instruction wasn’t fulfilling and created more questions than progress.
Phil takes a methodical approach to his teaching, and progress is steady and structured. I am now able to play the prescribed musical pieces in the text books at my level. My improvement is at my pace.
The single thing in the lessons with Phil which helped me the most is his patience. Having had musical tuition in other instruments in the past I appreciate his music reading approach as I know it is the way to progression and understanding.
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.

Alex Campbell

I saw Phil mentioned in the school newsletter. I decided to go ahead because Phil was not based at school. I thought his level of teaching would be higher which is what I wanted. I have had lessons for four years, including Skype lessons. I had lessons previously but it didn't work. I tried the internet but that didn't help. It was very frustrating. 
Taking lessons with Phil has meant I can now play really well. All aspects of his teaching are good, really good. The single thing that has helped me is the high standard in everything. He has shown me how to play the chords correctly, to read music, which is so important, and dynamics. 
You should take of take lessons with Phil. If you are thinking about it just go ahead. I started with guitar. I have now added drums. 

Friends recommended me Phil Hartshorn 2 years ago when I was looking for a guitar teacher for my then 7 year old son, Hugh. Since then we have not looked back. Phil has been fabulous; consistent, patient, supportive, inspiring, clear, communicative and fun. He has also been flexible in his approach, both in terms of his teaching practice, his ability to relate to his students, and his ability to provide stimulating lessons whether in person, or virtually, via Skype. As we have had various trips out of the country, this has been invaluable as Hugh's lessons have been able to continue despite our comings and goings. And with consistency comes progression, fulfillment and enjoyment. Most recently lessons have changed from being solo to duo, combining levels and pupils and opening up the social component and interplay. Apart from being fun and motivating, it brings music to life and connects like minded young musicians. Hugh says the lessons have gotten even better! I think Phil is highly professional, dedicated and inspiring. He is a great teacher. Phil rocks!” - Michelle Rudd

— Parent's Testimonial

A J Keys

If you are considering taking lessons with Phil but are not sure yet, can I say just do it. Lessons with Phil will help incredibly with your playing. You will notice a huge improvement.

I had been playing guitar for a couple of years. I knew about Phil because he was well known in the guitar circles as a prominent teacher and musician. I decided to begin lessons with Phil because I wanted to learn a different style of guitar and felt I couldn’t move much further with my teacher at that point. My previous teacher was classically based. I have had seven years of lessons with Phil.
During that time I have learned a great deal. Interestingly it felt like I wasn’t improving much but looking back I have improved in large amounts. Phil has taught me better rhythm, better reading of music, and better technique. As someone with a bit of natural rhythm he has helped me establish that and turn it into a really good base to build all my guitar playing from, as well as developing my own personal style of guitar and personality as a musician.
Phil is a tough and disciplined teacher. Phil is very precise with the skills and concepts on the instrument. There is comfort behind the frustration felt when learning and applying a new skill that Phil wants to see you be the best musician that you can be. Sometimes it can seem to take a long time to improve, however he is patient and articulate. In time you will notice huge improvements in your playing. 
I would also note that you will only improve as much as you put in. Phil can only work with you in your lessons. Practice and dedication in your own time is up to you. Don’t leave it just up to Phil to test your skills, challenge yourself and also ask him if you need help learning a piece, either for your own enjoyment or for a particular reason.

Mya Tsakmakis

We decided to take lessons with Phil because he was very keen about all aspects of guitar. Mya has been doing lessons with Phil since 2010. Phil is Mya’s first guitar teacher. She has consistently developed several aspects of guitar including reading music. Her confidence has grown with her ability. “I couldn’t play at all, and not confident. Now I am onto Book 1 from Berklee University” If there is one single thing Phil helped me the most with it would be learning the notes. 
If you are considering taking lessons with Phil but are not sure yet, I know that Phil is a great teacher and makes you feel very comfortable with learning new things. He is very enthusiastic with his work and he makes sure you enjoy what you are learning.

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