Hello! As an adult beginner seeking to learn the guitar, I can tell you several things I've discovered through experience. Things I can state with complete confidence.
1) Learning to play guitar can become overwhelming rather quickly! With all the information available on line, through books and from friends who say they can show you, it's quite easy to waste a lot of time learning stuff that really isn't productive over the long haul. Sure, you'll learn quickly at first because you're starting from zero, but once you learn the fundamentals, now what? This is where the majority of guitarists languish for years rehashing the same old stuff and never really improving. You need competent guidance!
2) Speaking of competent guidance, I've had numerous teachers who were really good guitar players but after a couple of months watching them play, you begin to wonder why YOU aren't getting much better. They're good, you're not and you're not getting much better. You're wasting precious learning time. Playing and teaching are 2 separate issues. Being able to relay information is probably more important than the ability to play when looking for a teacher. Phil can not only play but excels at explaining music concepts so they are readily accessible to students seeking knowledge. He was the first instructor I was exposed to who had a prepared, written game plan. A step by step road map to mastering the instrument that he explains patiently and intelligently. He loves both playing and teaching the guitar and it is abundantly clear when you talk to him about the subject. I have yet to have a session with him where I didn't feel that I was better after our lesson than I was before it, and that is the main reason one seeks out an instructor. So they can get better!
3) Phil treats lessons like a professional. He's never been late or surprised by my visits. He is always prepared and that's one of the things I like best. He makes me feel like I'm his only student and that MY progress is what's most important. I'm not just a time slot to fill or a check to grab and cash. No ego or showing off his skills for large chunks of the lesson. My skills and my improvement is what matters most and my entire lesson, from start to finish, is devoted to that.
4) Music theory is a bit spooky, especially for the beginning student. The problem isn't the complexity of the subject but how it's explained and mapped out. Yes it can be complex but in order to truly understand the instrument, you must understand the underlying concepts of music theory. What I liked most about my initial interview with Phil was his interest in what I was looking to accomplish. I was questioned about my goals. What did I want to accomplish. Learn music theory? Learn to read notation? Learn to just sit on the couch and play the blues or rock or pop music? A combination of some of it or all of it? He had a path for any/all of it tailored to my wants and needs. I'm thrilled with the path I chose and my progress on that path but I'm reminded by Phil that the plan can change as I grow and learn which is as it should be. Flexibility in learning means more options which also means constant learning without stagnation or hitting a wall that equates to more wasted time.
If you seek professional, intelligent and skillful instruction as it relates to the guitar, I urge you to seek out Phil and discuss your musical goals with him. He has helped me both understand music as well as the instrument. It's quite a thrill to honestly believe you are improving quickly at playing the guitar. I look forward to continuing to improve with Phil's guidance and honestly feel my goals are well within reach. Both my playing as well as my understanding of music is growing daily and I eagerly anticipate what the future holds for me and my guitar journey with Phil's assistance!