Get To Know CMA Guitar Teacher Kathryn Phillips

Get To Know CMA Guitar Teacher Kathryn Phillips

We recently sat down with our new beginner guitar, ukelele, and percussion teacher Kathryn Phillips. We are so excited to have Kathryn as our newest team member and we couldn’t wait to introduce her to you.

Coletrain: Where are you from and what brought you to Buena Vista, CO?

Kathryn: I grew up on a farm in Missouri and went to college in Kansas City where I graduated and spent the last year. I did a bit of traveling growing up and in college and I’ve been thinking about moving west for the past few years. I like Kansas City but being from a small town, I was getting tired of the City. After visiting Buena Vista for the first time in May, a lot of opportunities opened for me to move. I didn’t think I would move this year, but I am so thankful I was able to.

Coletrain: What got you started on the guitar?

Kathryn: I grew up listening to music. The earliest music I can remember is my mom blasting George Thorogood’s album bad to the bone in our house. She also loved Elvis, Michael Jackson, and AC/DC as well as Baroque operas and hymns she would sing for church.

My parents started out my formal music training on piano but I never really got into it (unless I was learning Star Wars music). I had always been intrigued by the guitar but had never had the chance to try playing one. However, when I was ten, my church offered a free guitar class. I had grown up listening to guitar music and now I would be able to play it. I borrowed a guitar, went through the few weeks of the class, then asked my parents if I could get a guitar and take lessons.

Coletrain: Who are some of your favorite artists? Are you listening to anyone on repeat right now?

Kathryn: I started out playing a lot of blues and love listening to B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and John Mayer. Recently, I’ve been into older punk. The Kills, Pixies, the Breeders, Black Flag, and Nirvana. I’ve also been into Gregory Alan Isakov, Madisen Ward and the Mamma Bear, Fleet Foxes, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash lately.

Coletrain: When you’re not teaching at CMA what do you like to do for fun?

Kathryn: I love hiking and camping. I’m excited to start skiing here soon. I also love art. At the moment, I’m doing a lot of antler and shell carving and comic book art.

Coletrain: Did you always know that one day you’d be a multi-instrumentalist? Can you tell us how you also got started on the Uke and Drums?

Kathryn: I never thought of being a multi-instrumentalist when I was younger, it just kind of happened as I liked all kinds of music and sounds and wanted to play them. To the annoyance of my siblings, I was constantly tapping on things and making music out of whatever was around me. I would credit drums to a six-month stay my family had in the Cook Islands when I was six. The music there was all drums with some ukulele and guitar and there was music everywhere (give Te Vaka beats a listen). As I got older, I was able to play drum sets here and there and finally got a kit when I was in high school. I got a ukulele and bass in college. It seems like everyone needs a bass so I picked it up. As for Ukulele, I was gone for a summer in college and couldn’t bring my guitar so I brought my ukulele. I learned all the music I had downloaded on my computer, which was mostly Twenty-One Pilots and Elvis. But since then, I’ve enjoyed using the ukulele in-band and jam settings.

Coletrain: What are you most excited about when you think about teaching for CMA?

Kathryn: Seeing students progress is the biggest joy for me. The diversity of skills and ages of students is also a very exciting part of CMA. I am excited to keep learning as well as I start my journey with CMA.

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