I am a private teacher of Guitar, Bass and Drums. In 2016 lessons will be available in Dunedin City. My new students will be joining an existing group of students from the Wakatipu, and other parts of the world. The most important ingredient in learning the specialist skill of music is the quality of the tuition. It is my passion to provide that to people no matter where they are.

Some more information about me...

Since 2007 I have been committed to providing people with the highest quality tuition on Guitar, Bass and Drums. My ongoing musical development, starting in 2001, is guided by tutors involved with the top New Zealand music institutions and are considered to be world class. I have recently been informed that my playing and study on guitar has reached a level which only a handful of people in New Zealand hold.

My teaching experience is based upon the principles gained from a ten year full time role as a primary teacher. During that time I gained an interest in I.C.T. I realized I could combine my two interests of music and computer technology by creating a web site which would complement my music teaching, be available to anyone, and reward my students for their practice. I called the site The Golden Pick & Sticks.

Please read my student testimonials.

Even more information about me... 

I admit I was ‘shaking pretty hard” when I packed in a comfortable career to join the Wakatipu’s tiny band of full-time music tutors. In October 2007 I left my mainstream teaching job to go solo. And despite initial worries about heading out on my own, I’ve never looked back. Ever since I have had a steady stream of students - from-seven-year-old kids to middle-aged budding rockers – visit my home to learn how to play guitar, drums and bass.

I was a regular teacher for 10 years. For the last 18 months I taught in Arrowtown but had more and more people coming to me in the evenings and at weekends for music lessons. As a gigging guitarist myself, I was also out doing a lot of live work and basically I didn’t see the sun.

I began playing music at an early age and toured New Zealand as drummer with The Jonahs, who were popular on the capital’s rock scene. But it wasn’t until I started to take guitar lessons at the age of 30 that my musical future started to take shape. I’d been self taught, or wondering in the wilderness I prefer to say, on guitar and drums for almost 20 years. I had a great time with all the bands I was in, but I wasn’t really getting anywhere.

I’d picked up a lot of bad playing habits and I couldn’t read music, which was a major problem. But as soon as I started taking lessons it opened up my world. To this day I still get regular tuition. I probably always will. I'd just like to thank Kevin Downing for his on going support and knowledge. I get a great deal of pleasure out of seeing my students make music. My own experience has taught me how beneficial it is to have a teacher.


My first guitar was a classical bought from Joe Gaird (I think) in Newtown Wellington. He had very long fingernails. I couldn't pick it up straight away because of my left handedness. I was pretty happy when the strings were changed around. My second guitar was a Maya dreadnought. Same thing had to happen with the strings. I bought it from the same shop with my pocket money.

Our family was brought up with a drum kit always around. We could all play a beat before we could even touch the pedals. My first professional gig was as a drummer. It was a dance band in the Horowhenua. While at Victoria University I drummed in a very egocentric Toys from the Attic and then had a great time with The Jonahs.

While down south for the first time I got involved with the Irish scene, and met another Wellingtonian named Carl McRae in Queenstown. Together we performed an acoustic guitar based band called Dizrhythmia. We recorded in Dunedin, and had our work completed by Chris Ward. Then he was a starving audio engineer, now he is with Peter Jackson.

All of a sudden nothing happened.

Early family life took over. Everyone was busy. So I started to record solo. It was a development of my skills in all areas of music. “I just didn’t want to stop playing when the bands stopped and the families took over. I wanted to get better. 

Flying Nun, Beatles, Bowie, R.E.M, Tom Petty, Staightjacket Fits, Jonahs, Jean Paul Satre Experience, with a few guitar licks from T Bone Walker, Alvin Lee, Robin Trower and BB King thrown in, could describe my music. It could also have an awakening of my heritage which you only start to feel when your beginning to mature in years: an English Kiwi tinge. Classic English bands mixed with bands heard in Wellington in the late '80s early 90s, before Bodega, when the Clarendon was king.



Solo Instrumental

Within my set I have attempted to include a number of sources which have given me the inspiration to keep on playing. These influences come from American and English Blues, Rock, Jazz, Chord Melodies, and Folk. Please Listen...


Classic Rock Duo

Middlearth is a classic hits format. Fours hours of music from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and a few 90s classics thrown in too. Neil Middlemass sings and I'm on guitar. We have been playing regularly all over Central Otago since 2008. Read on...


Queenstown Jazz

During the winter 2011 the Queenstown Jazz Orchestra (QJO) was formed. I'm happy to say I'm the guitar player. Click here to go to our Facebook page.

Introducing Philip Hartshorn's Dunedin School of M

The Big Picture: Learning Guitar, Bass or Drums

Matilda Sutton

Phil helps me learn how to practise and shows me how to measure my own skill. I would say to people who wish to learn that with Phil you will learn the proper way to play as opposed to endless strumming with little technique. I also really enjoy the jams.

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Hugh Rudd

Phil Hartshorn is a great guitar teacher. He's friendly, funny and encouraging!!!

He is also very good at making people understand the situation. So don't worry about thinking that your kid comes home and tells you "I don't know what Phil was talking about". Because that won't happen.

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Michael Morgan

If you are considering taking lessons with Phil but are not sure yet, can I say give it a go, no matter which method you use. After starting with face to face lessons, I was surprised how efficient the internet based lessons are and the ability to log in from anywhere you have a connection and device is great. Phil is a patient and proficient teacher and his methods provide challenge and reward as you master your chosen instrument.

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Rachel and Scarlett Rose

The single thing in Phils lessons which has helped the most is his thoroughness and patience. I would say to someone who is considering taking lessons with Phil to just give it a go. If you need to use Skype for lessons don't worry they are great, and more fun than you would think!

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AJ Keys

AJ KeysIf you are considering taking lessons with Phil but are not sure yet, can I say just do it. Lessons with Phil will help incredibly with your playing. You will notice a huge improvement.

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Dunedin School Of Music Location