Phil Sargent’s teaching philosophy is rooted in instilling passion and inspiration in his students. He explains, “I feel it is my duty to find out what moves them – whether it be type of genre, harmonic device, or results from a certain technique – and use that as a vehicle to help them achieve their goals.” He thinks of inspiration as having two parts: “there’s the intellectual, and then there’s the emotional, heart-strings part of it.”
In addition to teaching private guitar lessons, Phil instructs CCM’s Rock Lab ensembles. “I remember being that age and that first time playing with a drummer in a band…and that was it for me.” He loves the energy that his students bring when they experience playing in a band for the first time themselves. “The kids just light up.”
An active composer and performer, Phil leads his own group whose compositions draw from a variety of influences, most prominently the odd meters and eastern tonalities of ethnic Balkan music and modern jazz improvisation. In addition to writing for them, he composes and has released recordings with genre-bending groups Iskar and The Industrious Noise Trio. Phil also performs nationally as a sideman in the Sonic Explorers, Bruno Raberg Nonet, Rick DiMuzio Quintet, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol Jazz Orchestra, John Funkhouser Quartet, Brooke Sofferman Perspective, and a variety of other ensembles ranging from straight-ahead jazz to the avant-garde
Phil completed his studies in composition and jazz performance at the University of New Hampshire, and classical guitar studies at Plymouth State College.
Phil loves spending time with his wife and two boys, reading, and meditating.