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Teacher Feature: Philip Godfrey

Meet our voice and piano teacher Philip Godfrey!

When did you begin studying? What was your motivation?

I started studying voice when I was 15 years old. I was cast in my school’s musical and decided to take lessons with Dr. Stevens, who teaches at Chandler Gilbert Community College.

Did you have a teacher that made an impact on you? If so, why?

My mom is a chorale teacher and has her own private studio, so I grew up listening to opera and chorale music. When I was young, she would teach me ear training and we would sing in choirs together.

Why did you choose your instrument? What do you love about it? What do you find challenging?

I chose my instrument mainly because of my mother and because of high school musicals. I love singing because it is a natural instrument that takes years to master. Being a natural instrument is the most challenging part about singing. Everything a singer does directly impacts how they sing, even down to how much water they drink.

What do you enjoy about teaching?

I enjoy seeing the improvement that make from week to week. I especially like seeing someone reach their goal in music, or feel more confident when singing in public.

Were there any challenges that surprised you?

The biggest challenge of teaching is listening and reacting. The teacher has to listen to every little thing that could be improved, and then choose which thing is most important.

What aspects of music education do you find most important to your instrument?

I think the health of the performer is the most important. A singer’s voice is very delicate and needs to be as healthy as possible. The same can be said about piano. Good technique is important when playing to reduce injury when the player gets older.

What do you want your students to ultimately learn?

I want my students to learn how to be good musicians and healthy musicians. If they can read music at a high level, and play their instrument healthily, then everything else will come in time.

If you could do anything in music what would it be?

If I could do anything in music. I would probably want to be a musical theater singer on tour. I love Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis.

Who are the musicians and artists that you admire most?

I admire my mom the most. She has taught me so much about music and made me love music.

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