John Phillips

John Phillips

Florida Gulf Coast University


John Phillips is a Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University and recently served as Artistic Coordinator for the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. Prior to moving to Florida, he was on staff at the University of Western Ontario where he conducted the Symphonic Band and taught conducting and music education classes. He has also been a faculty member at the University of Toronto and York University in the departments of music and education. He previously taught at the University of Toronto and York University in the departments of music and education.

In demand as a clinician and consultant, Phillips shares his unique brand of music education through workshops with State and Provincial Music Educators’ Associations, the National Association for Music Education, and as a presenter at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Throughout his career, he has participated in numerous initiatives with Music for All including the National Concert Festival, the annual Summer Symposium, and the Bands of America Grand Nationals. He has recently been added to the Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician roster.

Phillips has adjudicated music festivals and events in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Indonesia. He regularly guest conducts honor bands across Canada and the United States. For twenty years he conducted the Wind Ensemble at the National Music Camp of Canada and was recently a guest conductor at the International Music Camp. Phillips has served as Judge Administrator for Drum Corps International since 2000 and was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame, Class of 2015.

Phillips is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario receiving undergraduate degrees in Music and Education. He pursued a Master’s Degree in Music Education at Boston University, a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at York University, and holds an Artist Diploma in Trumpet Performance from the Western Conservatory of Music. He received awards of distinction for conducting from the Ontario Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, and the Southern Ontario Band Festival. Other distinctions include an Honorary Life Membership award from the Ontario Music Educators’ Association and Honorary Life Membership in the Tri M Music Honor Society and Ontario Band Association. Phillips has also received excellence in teaching awards at both the Faculty of Music and Education at the University of Western Ontario.

Known for leadership in contemporary music education philosophy and pedagogy, Phillips’ endeavors in this area include:

  • Coordinator of the Arts curriculum review, revision and implementation at the Ministry of Education in Ontario
  • Project Manager and Producer for the Learning Through the Arts Video Series with Curriculum Services Canada
  • Program Officer for the Professional Learning Program at the Ontario College of Teachers
  • Principal of the Teacher In-Service Programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
  • Music Course Manager and Facilitator at the Ontario Educational Leadership Center
  • Board of Directors - Ontario Music Educators’ Association and Ontario Band Association
  • Editor of the OMEA journal The Recorder
  • Senior Advisor at Music Mentors International

Written contributions include articles for the Ontario Music Educators` Association journal, The Recorder, the Canadian Music Educators` Association Journal, the Ontario Band Association newsletter, In Harmony, and the Ontario College of Teachers journal, Professionally Speaking. In addition, he has been a contributor to the highly acclaimed series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, published by GIA.

As a trumpeter, Phillips performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Brantford Symphony, the Forest City Brass Quintet and numerous freelance engagements. He spent two summers at the Banff School of Fine Arts under the leadership of the Canadian Brass, studying with Fred Mills and Ronald Romm.

  Session Titles

10 Questions to Promote Critical and Creative Thinking in Your Rehearsal


Engage students in active musical learning through key questions that prompt critical and creative thinking in the rehearsal/classroom setting.

50 Shades of Great


50 tips in 50 minutes to better you and your ensemble

Bridging the Gender Gap


Strategies for programming with gender equality

Fishing for a Job: Use the right bait


Advice for job readiness and application success

Make Your Program E.P.I.C.


Using principles derived from the work of Chip and Dan Heath (Power of Moments), participants will discover ways to capture the power of moments in their teaching practice and students' experiences that are both defining and transformational.

Percussion Tips for Conductors


Bringing the back row to the front of our rehearsal mindset. Strategies for engaging percussionists in rehearsal and performance.

Seven Habits For Highly Effective Bands


When students behave in a musical way, the results are musical. By helping students to establish the correct habits, teachers prepare them to accept musical challenges with fewer hurdles. Forming correct habits takes time, patience and persistence.

Student Leadership Development


Strategies for building and developing strong student leaders.

Using Reflection to Strengthen Musical Learning


According to Dewey, "We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience." This session examines ways to use student reflection as a powerful tool in reinforcing their musical learning in both rehearsal and classroom sessions.

You Be the Judge!


This session will provide participants with the philosophical grounding to help convert the competitive experience into a positive learning opportunity for students.