Phillpotts guitar practice quote

Eden Phillpotts’ Magical Universe of Music

We’re not aware of most of the things we’re not aware of.

We need a little knowledge about any subject before it becomes “interesting”. And usually, the more we learn, the more interesting it becomes.

Until we read that book about moss, we don’t even notice that we’re surrounded by it. Until we grow our own geraniums, they’re just another flower.

Music, too, unfolds in layers.

At first, we’re happy just getting the notes.

Then we marvel at the virtuoso’s speed, and decide that maybe here is our next great quest.

If we’re lucky, we may learn some phrasing concepts and start to make real music.

As we progress, we learn to listen in new ways. Our tastes change and we become more discerning.

In time, as we hone our craft and our “wits grow sharper”, as Mr. Phillpotts put it, we learn to conjure the magic that once seemed impossible.

We evolve as musicians. It’s as if we stand on a hillside while a deep fog lifts, revealing first shapes, then outlines, then finer and finer details.

And for our part, we need only stay there and strain our eyes, looking for patterns, staying alert and curious as new worlds come into focus.


“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

Eden Phillpotts




allen mathews classical guitar

About Allen Mathews

Allen Mathews learned guitar as an adult, and has been a full-time guitar teacher for almost two decades to students age 4 to 96.  He has taught classical guitar at Reed College and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has been a guest lecturer and clinician at schools and universities throughout the U.S.  Allen is often praised for his creative teaching abilities, and his dedication to helping adults learn classical guitar.  He has a popular Youtube Channel offering regular classical guitar tutorials, and has gained fans worldwide for his weekly emails and articles at ClassicalGuitarShed.com.


Life is good, still enjoying [The Woodshed Program], the progress is life altering, I love it. The physical challenges of my situation have rained havoc for over half my life. In spite of those little pests this 40$ Yamaha classical who needed a new home and your course has given me the "part the clouds for the sun to shine through" outlook. You see, even when I am unable to play I know she patiently waits for my return as I do. A giant void in my journey was filled with light.


-Ken Montz

Hi Allen,
Greetings from the UK. I would like to thank you for providing such an excellent resource. The effort and skill which has gone into creating this program is very evident. I started classical guitar a year or so ago with a teacher but was unable to commit to same time regular slots each week.

The Woodshed Program was exactly what I was looking for. I have found the site very intuitive and well structured and have taken your advice and started from the very beginning of the program whilst still practising some of the pieces I was already working on. It is clear that I will benefit greatly from these early technical studies. There were clearly weaknesses and gaps in my knowledge even though I am still at an early stage. Once again many thanks for the program and very best wishes.


-Rodger Paylor


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