Pennington Music

Pennington Music

5.0 (2)
1 hire on

About this pro

My goal is to provide excellent music instruction to all ages from beginners to professionals in piano, keyboards, guitar, ukulele, bass, and voice. Building on technique and theory, I bring out the fun and passion of the music along with performance and studio skills. I have been a Music Producer at Northstar Post and Sound at Screen Gems over 5 years. My concert management includes numerous Grammy winners and Billboard Top 10 Recording Artists. Pennington Music provides composing, arranging, music production, keyboards/guitar lessons and performance. Credits inclue being the Producer and pianist/guitarist for the ‘Video of the Year’ (Positive Music Awards-National), pipe organ, piano, guitar for the Duke Chapel Children’s Christmas Eve Service (for 20 years), and Spoleto Festival of Churches Concert on Pipe Organ/Piano. Director Galilee by the Sea, A 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to music and community service Choir Director for UMC Annual Conference Session for Youth District Youth Coordinator for Durham and Wilmington Districts: Music Composing/Performance Pianist and Guitarist for numerous rallies, concerts, and other youth events Staff musician for Duke Chapel, pianist for the Modern Black Mass Choir, Composer of Joysongs (Children), Deep Water (Youth), cantatas and chorales Producer/Musician/Composer for the Pilgrimage CD.

Some additional credits include:

Founded SOUNDAMERICA as a concert production company for nationally touring acts Technical Director for major concerts including specialization in power distribution, structural rigging, delay towers, fireworks synchronization, hospitality coordination, and security management

Taught the seminars for the NACA (National Association for Campus Activities) at Vanderbilt and in Sound Reinforcement, Power Distribution, Rigging, and Concert Lighting.

Designed and manufactured the Architectural Acoustics Wall System for schools and theaters Acoustical Consultant for universities including James Madison Univ. (Tom Petty concert)

Won the Cray Supercomputing Fellowship at Duke University Teaching Assistant for Mathematical Models (Duke)

Concert Production/Stage Design & Management credits include Olivia Newton John, Phil Collins, Alabama, Luther Vandross, and Kenny Loggins.

I especially appreciate the many times when a student plays a song that goes far beyond their expectations! It is an honor to enable students to achieve their musical goals, and have a great time doing it!

It is also wonderful to see how family members and friends react to the music! I appreciate creating opportunities for recording and composing for students!

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Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Phone verified

2 Reviews


  • Mary E. Sunday

    Hi Phillip, It’s been a long haul for me recovering from my cerebellar stroke but now I’m ready to start lessons after January 29. I need to get our piano tuned.Could you teach on weekends? My husband might also be interested. He took lessons recently for 2 years but wo RT k became busier for John so he curtailed it. I’m glad to have found you again. Best wishes, Mary Sunday

  • Mary E. Sunday


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Initially my method is to teach using each student's favorite songs. These songs provide the context to teach about chords, arpeggios, inversions, and other music theory concepts. This provides the foundation for teaching improvisation and composition in the student's favorite styles.

The goals of the student are established. These include doing well at auditions, studio recording, live performance, or playing around the campfire! Many students enjoy learning to play multiple instruments, singing, and operating digital audio workstation software systems. Recording often becomes a central part of the lessons. This can lead to producing albums in CD, mp3, and other formats. 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Doctorate: Luther Seminary

Thesis in Contextual Music

Masters: Duke University

Internship at UNC-CH, Staff Musician

Undergraduate: Auburn University

Thesis: Applied Architectural Acousitcs

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

$40 for a 30 minute lesson individually scheduled

Weekly Lessons:

30 minute $120/month

45 minute $180/month

60 minute $240/month 

How did you get started teaching?

I have been playing piano since childhood, encouraged at just the right time by my grandmother who called out "Where's that beautiful music comin' from?" while I was swatting at the keys I could barely reach!  :)  As a teenager, my Mom got me a fine Kawai piano after I broke too many keys on the old piano playing Beatle songs! Over the years, I have taught friends to play by ear, eventually opening up the studio where my teaching schedule stays full with a long waiting list. I balance my schedule with teaching, recording, and performing to keep everything fresh and exciting!

What types of students have you worked with?

All ages (4 to I guess around 100), beginners to very talented professions, and about every version of everyone!

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

There are so many! Recently a student recorded a CD for her grandfather in his native language. The way his family describes his reaction is totally inspiring!

Every day I teach, my students create wonderful music, and remind me of why I thankful to be their teacher.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Find a teacher that understands your favorite songs and can play them the way you would like to play them. 

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What songs would be on your ultimate playlist?

Are you more interested in recording, performing concerts, playing for friends, or just for yourself?