Andy Philip

Name: Andy Philip

PhD Research area: Improvisation in music education

Department: Reid School of Music

Supervisor: Dr Katie Overy



Since completing his MMus in Musical Theory and Analysis at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Andy has been active as a freelance guitarist and composer. His diverse performance work has ranged from a regular guest principal with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) to playing for the Australian X-Factor, and has seen him work alongside Renée Flemming, Brian May and Ronan Keating. Andy was also resident guitarist on the Olivier Award winning show, Wicked the Musical in the West End for 12 years.

Andy co-founded the youth jazz project jazz-A-nory which combines live music and storytelling to introduce jazz and musical improvisation skills to young children. In early 2020 the project received funding from Creative Scotland to develop performances and workshops for Early Level and First Level primary school children and their families. Andy is also a youth mentor for City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in their education and outreach programmes and works with Orchestras For All through their Modulo programme.

Research interests:

Andy’s research focuses on the use of improvisation as a teaching and learning tool in music lessons, with a particular focus on the efficacy of improvisation as an aid to understanding and internalising music theory. To this end he is interested in the ways that children play with musical materials to make sense of them, and also in parallels between the acquisition of language and music skills.


Society for Musical Analysis Post-Graduate Bursary, 1998

Final Year Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Goldsmiths College, 1998