Studying with Phillip Kloeckner was the most musically metamorphic experience of my life. During a time when I was beginning to prepare for auditions in a new field and a new country, Phillip gave me access to his endless and invaluable supply of positive and thoughtful musical instruction. I left every lesson feeling completely inspired, knowing that with the right work anything would be possible. Motivational teaching of his caliber is rare to come by, and Phillip is absolutely one of a kind.
Student (Malmö, Sweden)
I started learning the organ under Phillip as a college student. While I had some background on the piano, I had never played the organ before, and the prospect of coordinating both hands and feet at the same time seemed incredibly daunting. To my surprise, after just over a year with Phillip, I was able to play hymns at religious services with very reasonable preparation time, perform a work by Olivier Messiaen at a formal recital, and play for nearly a thousand prospective students at one of the university’s admissions events. Phillip showed constant and deep care for me as his student, both in his efforts to advise me in musicianship skills and to help me grow into a better person. I regularly experienced conflicts with my practice and lesson times due to schoolwork and my job, but Phillip was easily able to accommodate me. More importantly, he had a phenomenal ability to detect when I was stressed and did his best to help. There is no doubt in my mind that Phillip’s guidance, both personally and in keeping music part of my life, was essential in my success getting into graduate school.
Student (Boston, Massachusetts)
Phillip is an outstanding teacher. I was a bit surprised at first that he started me with pedal technique, having already had a background in organ and pedal playing myself. However, I was impressed that after taking the time to do the pedal exercises that my pedaling improved beyond the skills I already had. I immediately noticed that my pedal playing was more accurate after this initial phase of organ study. I especially appreciate his sensitivity to diverse learning needs. I know, for example, that I have always struggled with rhythm. There was one day in winter quarter where I just wanted to cancel my lesson because I was so frustrated with a particular passage and its rhythm. However, this turned out to be one of my best lessons, because Phillip very patiently had me go over the passage slowly, he broke down the rhythm into simpler parts, and taught me a particular hand motion, which I had not considered, that helped me get through this tough spot. He literally said, “there is a solution to everything” in music. I have never encountered such a positive attitude toward learning than in my organ lessons with Phillip. In being patient with me, he has also taught me to be patient with myself, and this I believe has been one of the greatest lessons that can be carried on beyond the organ bench.
Student (Los Angeles, California)
In my brief time with Dr. Kloeckner he guided my skills at the bench to a height I never deemed possible. Good teachers find your weaknesses, but Dr. Kloeckner finds them, works with you until you’ve overcome them, and does this with a saintly patience. He is genuinely proud of your accomplishments, and cannot wait to help you overcome the next hurdle.
Student (Durham, North Carolina)
“The program of instruction that you have advertised and delivered is compact and efficient, but uncompromising in its emphasis on basic technical competencies and the musical seriousness with which one approaches repertoire. These features make your teaching philosophy essentially the only one satisfactory to students with serious long-term interest in organ music.”
Student (Chicago, Illinois)
Phillip is a wonderfully encouraging, positive teacher, and the program of precise technical training offered has made a noticeable improvement in the singing of the churches I serve, in addition to making complex organ repertoire accessible to me. I would recommend studying with him to anyone who wishes to become more comfortable with the technical demands of this instrument and to develop at a higher level as a musician.
Student (Crete, Illinois)
“What sets Phillip’s teaching apart is his emphasis on the fundamentals of organ playing and the techniques of learning a piece. Phillip teaches not just how to play the organ, but also how to be an organist.”
Student (Chicago, Illinois)
Phillip is a perceptive, encouraging, and accessible teacher. His method provided me with a clear understanding of the subtle differences in technique and style in different regions and epochs through direct engagement with the music. Working with him has made me a more curious student and a more deliberate musician.
Student (Wheeling, Illinois)
I came to Professor Kloeckner with the desire to grow in musicianship and comfort as an organist. He is knowledgeable, clear, musical, and spiritual in his teaching approach. His patience, coupled with a deep passion for organ, motivated me as a student. I particularly benefited from my study of technique with Professor Kloeckner, and in that time of study I gained several very practical aids for practice. In addition to his love for teaching and students, he is committed to practice and performing and provides venues for his students to do the
same. I have grown as a thinking musician and a lover of organ during my studies with Professor Kloeckner.