Phyllis Blake began piano studies at five years old, and pipe organ in high school with Charles Marsh. She attended Cal-Western University as an organ major where she completed her Junior recital studying with Douglas Ian Duncan. She played recitals and worked professionally as an organist in San Diego churches and as an accompanist. She transferred to San Diego State University, where she studied composition with David Ward-Steinman, before moving to Orange County. She finished her studies at California State University, Fullerton, where she received both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in music composition and theory under Donal Michalsky. She also studied piano and harpsichord with Burton Karson, and conducting with Daniel Lewis. After leaving CSU, she taught theory and piano part-time at CSU, UCI, and Fullerton College, and continued professional performance as an organist and choir director.
After joining the faculty at Santa Ana College, she designed the college's first music computer lab and wrote the first curriculum for computer assisted instruction in theory and musicianship. She now teaches musicianship, theory, composition and piano. In addition, after deepening her experience of non-Western music during a sabatical year of study and travel to Asia, she designed SAC's course in world music, including an honors section, taught regularly at SAC. She has served as Chair of the Music Department, Senator for Fine and Performing Arts Division, and as Chair of the Faculty Development Committee. She has been certified as a Trainer for ISW, a Canadian organization which offers post-secondary teacher training. She has taught at SAC since 1986.