Instructor profile

Phil Schurger



What do you love about music?

Music is a means of communication between diverse groups of people. Music brings together people and communities in a way that is incredibly unique.

Who is your favorite artist?

Jerry Garcia

What are your top 5 desert island albums?

Without a Net - Grateful Dead
Zero Hour - Astor Piazzolla
The Next Step - Kurt Rosenwinkel
Debussy Piano Works - Claude Debussy
A Love Supreme - John Coltrane

Do you play in a band or currently perform?

Phil currently plays with his jazz quartet, based out of Chicago, and his improvisational rock band, the Sun Gate.


Instructor Photo
Instructor Photo
Instructor Photo
Instructor Photo


Phil has been teaching guitar for over 20 years. He holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Music from Northern Illinois University where he studied with Fareed Haque. In addition to teaching at Sweetwater, Phil is also a Music Professor at the University of Saint Francis, where he teaches Music Theory, Ear Training, and Piano, as well as Guitar, Jazz Ensemble, and Electronic Music Ensemble. Phil has been playing professionally since the age of 17 and has played throughout the United States and Europe, sharing the stage with such artists as Fareed Haque, Ravi Coltrane, Greg Ward, Nick Roth (Yurodny Ensemble), and Bolokada Conde. In 2018, he signed with the Chicago-based Ears&Eyes label, releasing his album "Echoes of the Ancestors". Echoes received airplay in North and South America, as well as Europe, and was reviewed in the internationally recognized jazz magazine, Jazziz. Phil teaches all levels of students, and is as comfortable with beginners as he is with advanced players. He enjoys exploring a wide variety of musical styles and brings his enthusiasm and experience to his teaching!