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Reviews of Phil's Work

From Andi Steinberg on 5/14/2017

I went to Phil because I am looking to improve my singing with the guitar technique. We talked about a lot of things and Phil came up with some very good points. He is easy to talk to and I feel comfortable. We have just begun and I am looking forward to improving my performance technique.


From Michael S on 5/1/2017

Excellent method of teaching! You will be jamming and soloing in no time. It was awesome to learn how to read music instead of doing tablature.

From Steve E. on 5/10/2017
Phil was professional, organized, accredited, and hardworking. He prepared several days in advance for the gig we hired him for, providing diversity and individuality.
He is a rare talent and I look forward to working with him again in the future.
Phil is the best guitar teacher you'll find.
Extremely knowledgeable and attentive to your individual goals, with years of professional experience to back it up. Want to be a true musician? Learn from one!
By Lee G. on 4/25/2017

Original and Amazingly Talented

Phil is an outstanding Writer/Singer/Performer!
Highly recommend a live performance.


By Sunny H. on 1/31/2017 
Ukulele, In Home

Phil is an absolute delight! We had a great time working with Phil learning the basics of Ukulele. He prepared a great lesson for us while creating a fun atmosphere for people of different musical backgrounds. Highly recommend Phil!


By Greg on 1/10/2017 
Blues Guitar, In Studio

Phil is a phenomenal teacher - right from the start, he will get you on track with exercises and practice routines that keep you focused on learning to play the guitar. He will cover the areas that you must know to become proficient on the guitar, including forms, modes, chords and progressing toward learning to read music. 

After struggling to teach myself to play the guitar, I realized that I had hit a wall in my self-instructed learning and I needed to find a guitar teacher. I found Phil through word of mouth - and I have made great progress under his tutelage.

If you want to learn to play the guitar, Phil is the teacher you want - if you just want to learn to play songs, well, there’s YouTube.


By Sarah on 1/4/2017 

Singing, In Studio

Phil has been so great to learn from. He is very professional and I appreciate the way he gives meaningful and honest criticism when needed. It took some time, but I'm not shy about my voice anymore! Thank you, Phil!


By Mark on 1/6/2017 
Guitar, In Studio

Took vocal and guitar lessons from Phil and both helped me tremendously and gave me the skills needed to be a professional musician. Highly recommended!


By John on 1/4/2017 

Vocal Training, In Studio

Are you kidding me??

Who is still trying to figure out how great Phil Circle is at what he does?
He's well known for a reason: he's the best.

His approach to voice (with me, at least) is to address the entire body as part of your instrument. By making me aware of everything from my posture to keeping my jaw loose, he has drastically improved my range and control!!

He's an amazing guitar player & songwriter too and I often run into fellow musicians that have studied with him for those things also, but I (for now) only have experience with him for voice lessons. He has me sing through exercises with guitar that are hugely helpful- singing octaves, matching note and timbre, etc.
It's a vocal workout! But it gets results and he really makes it a ton of fun!!


By Megan on 11/6/2016 

Vocal Training, In Studio

Phil has the techniques and know-how to get the best out of you vocally. He'll also work with you on music theory if asked, which helped me greatly with improving my ear. Outstanding and highly recommended teacher!!

Phil is knowledgeable and intuitive, you will never stop learning and being challenged to be the best musician you can be.


By Dave on 11/4/2016 

Guitar, In Studio

At 39 I decided it was time to learn to play guitar, I had wanted to do it for years but just hadn't. So I bought an electric guitar and played around for a month or so before deciding lessons were in order. 

I shopped around for someone cheap, don't do that, they are cheap for a reason. I eventually came across Phil and we hit it off well. He is very well versed in blues and rock music which I was looking for. He knows music theory and breaks it down well. He's a straight shooter and will call you out when you're lazy, but always gives kudos and encouragement when appropriate. 

It's nice when your teacher has practical real world experience to back up the teaching. Phil can back up his teaching and truly loves entertaining people, he puts on a great live show. 

I would certainly recommend Phil as a teacher as well as a musician. Phil is a "Rock Star"!

Years later I am still playing guitar and now bass with a band several times a week and having a blast. 

Thanks Phil. 

By Ed on 11/3/2016 

Vocal Training, In Studio

Phil is great. I took vocal training lessons from him years ago and still use training materials we created. My voice improved a lot, it's clearer and stronger now, thanks to Phil. Add to it that I sing in different language and Phil was able to customize his lessons to accommodate it and you have a best teacher your money can buy. Speaking of money - the rates were very reasonable! You can't go wrong with Phil as a teacher!


By Jeremy on 11/3/2016

Singing, In Studio

Phil is a great teacher. He really helped give me confidence in my ability to sing. And the lessons I had with him gave me skills that I can always go back to when I need to practice or warm up. I highly recommend him.


By Mike on 9/22/2010

Singing, In Studio

Phil is a highly talented guitarist/songwriter who brings it all together with superb vocals. He blends elements of rock, folk, indie, jazz, and blues which creates a masterful musical performance.


By Matt on 9/22/2010

Collaborator, In Studio, On Stage

Phil Circle is a top notch professional musician. I've experienced playing shows with him, attending one of his many hosted open mic nights and collaborated with him on guitar and music lessons. I would highly recommend working with Phil and any of the services he offers. He will not let you down. Whether your hiring him for a gig, to host an open mic night or taking music lessons, you will be very pleased with his abilities.


By Helena on 9/16/2010

Singing, In Studio, Collaborator

Once in a blue moon you run across a teacher that is so deeply knowledgeable and so passionate about that knowledge, that just being in their presence instantly improves your abilities. (Perhaps he knows; his record label is named Guilt by Association...) 

Add some masterful, specific and active instruction and miracles are possible. Mine being the acquisition of the courage and confidence to sing competently with my current band, after years hiding behind the bass. (Thanks, Phil.) 

Phil also is a gifted singer and songwriter and I've seen him play live several times. His music is eminently relatable without being predictable; audiences leave sated, having heard reflections of many of their own life stories conveyed via creative lyrics and complex musical arrangements. 

You should listen, then book him to play your venue or event - today.

Awards or Certifications

Guitar Lessons Chicago

Summa Cum Laude

Music Coaching - From An Experienced Teacher

I'm always taking on New Music Students

Privately or in Small Groups

Live in Person or Live Online

Ongoing Weekly or One Session

You Choose.

I've taught both privately and in the classroom (in schools from Pre-K to College, in classes and through workshops), and have been a working musician and teacher for more than 25 years. I have a degree in music from Columbia College Chicago (Summa Cum Laude). My students have included everyone from absolute beginners to working professionals like myself. Many of my past intermediate and beginning students have gone on to careers in music. Many have come to me after establishing themselves professionally.

My approach in private instruction involves tailoring the lessons to the specific needs of each student, while making sure that he/she has the knowledge and technique that's most useful to succeed in their creative endeavors. Whether you approach music as a hobby, a potential career, or are already working in the field, I seek to leave nothing out.

To this day, I continue to work at building the most effective approach to music education. It's a never ending process and I delight in the prospect of continued growth in this field.



Creative Block?

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Last Minute Audition Prep?

Just Want To Give Me A Try?

I'll give you 20 minutes LIVE ONLINE for $10!

Let Me Help You Now!



And we'll get to work in the first 20 minutes free, day or night...


The 20 Minutes (for a) 10 Spot

Let's get to work.

Instruments and Various Music Related Subjects - Taught by Phil Circle

I can work with you in any of the following.

Combine two or more subjects, if you like.

Beginning to Advanced Guitar.
Beginning to Advanced Contemporary Voice.
Music Theory as it Applies to Your Instrument or Specific Needs.
Songwriting Techniques (Creative and Structural/Theoretical).
Music Business for the Frontline Musician
(What Works and What Doesn't, How to Market Yourself Without Losing Your Identity).
Studio and Recording Techniques (From a Production and Arranging Standpoint).
Beginning Bass Guitar.
Beginning Piano.
Beginning Ukulele.

I teach from my private home studio in Rogers Park, Chicago.

I can do house calls in near proximity to my neighborhood...up to 9 miles.

There will be an additional fee for these, that depends on location/distance and time of day.

I can schedule lessons six days a week, daytimes and evenings. Times are based on immediate availability and may change.

I can teach duos or small groups and offer a group rate for these lessons. This can be (and has been) very effective for bands looking to up their game a bit, or who are planning on working in the studio.

I can give (and have given) just a single session for that brush up lesson in anticipation of a big gig or audition.

Typically lessons are for one hour, once a week.

Online Lessons - The Take-LessonsĀ® Classroom

For Online Individual Or Online Group Lessons


Visit my Take Lessons Profile


I use this site for ease of set-up and payment of ONLINE LESSONS. Their classroom is perfectly laid out for easy use on both ends.

You need Google Chrome and an internal or external mic and camera. It can also work on iPads, iPhones and Androids!

My profile on Take Lessons has a basic availability, but my schedule is far more flexible.

Contact me here for additional options related to days and times.


I'm Worldwide!


Video Classroom

To watch videos of Phil Circle discussing various topics related to music coaching...




And you'll visit his "Music Coaching" collection of videos.

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Upcoming Shows - Venue or Webcast

  • Jun 16
    LiveWire Lounge,  Chicago
  • Jun 29
    Carries,  Springfield
  • Jul 7
    Friendly Tap,  Berwyn
  • Jul 16
    Anonapalooza,  Geneva
  • Aug 5
    Evestock,  Camp Douglas


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Guitar Lessons Chicago