Phyllis has been playing piano since the age of five. When she ws seven, she played her first church service (her father was a pastor of the church). At eight, she played her first wedding.
At age nine, she began private flute lessons and played and went to a contest with the high school band.
At age twelve, she became the official accompanist for the junior high choir.
At age twelve, when she was tall enough to reach the pedals on an organ, she started studying classical pipe organ with a prominent teacher, Ellen English. She also played at her father's church, a large Methodist church.
Upon entering high school, she became the school organist and played for assemblies, etc.
When she received her driver's license, she was employed as organist at churches. She was on her way to her chosen profession.
She went on to study music in college, earning a Bachelors and Masters in Organ Performance, and even though no minors were required, she minored in Piano, Accompanying, Classical Guitar, Voice, Theory, and French. She was given honorary organ lessons with the late world-renowned organist, Virgil Fox.
By age twenty-on, she was a Director of Music/Organist, responsible for two adult choirs and two services.
She took a hiatus from the every week commitment for about twenty years and worked in the travel business, working for airlines, then owning a wholesale travel company. She enjoyed traveling all over the world.
In 1989, she returned to music. She became a recital organist and clinician for the Baldwin Company, accepted church organist/director positions, and started teaching independently. Since her return, she has taken additional educational courses in piano pedagogy, new research on how one learns, how children learn, choir directing, children's voices, and began studying violin (prompted by an Austrian violin she inherited from her grandfather).
She was recently honored in 1999 by the Roland Corporation as one of thirty-three top teachers in the United States, primarily due to how she used technology in her teaching, music lab, group teaching and ensembles, and recording.
Phyllis belongs to the American Guild of Organists, Indianapolis Piano Teachers' Association and Group Piano Teachers of Indiana. They also sponsor recitals, composition contests, and various student events that allow her students to participate.
She teaches not how she was taught, but how she wishes she had been taught.
Her philosophy is that everyone benefits from music. Some of her students have become music professionals and teachers. Quite a few play in church but most of them have learned to play just for the pleasure of it. Their lives have been enhanced by the music process as has their understanding and appreciation of it.
Phyllis does not accept only students who make her look good as a teacher. She wants students whose life will be enhanced because of it - and that's most of you.
She is sure that you have read about the cerebral benefits of music. Playing music helps that one little part of the brain which coordinates the right and left brain. It also helps develop spatial concepts. Music is very therapeutic. One can even get a degree in music therapy. Music therapy is used to heal, with Alzheimer disease, with Autism, and the list goes on and on. And, you can play music the rest of your life.
Music is Phyllis' hobby as well as her profession.