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About Matthew HM
Matthew is a teacher, musician and composer based in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Whether composing his own music, playing or teaching, Matthew believes passionately in the power of music to touch the heart and move us deeply.
Matthew's musical journey has encompassed both a classical training including a music degree, as well as an interest in exploring and assimilating various other influences from traditional musics from around the world. Since 2002 Matthew has been fascinated by improvisation as creative expression, and has felt this to bring a new and exciting dimension to his performing, composing and teaching.
He has a one-to-one teaching practice in piano, clarinet and improvisation in Stroud and Bristol, and many students have come seeking support with improvising and finding intuitive ways to engage with music to complement a more classical approach.
As a performer on clarinet and piano, Matthew has accompanied singers and played solo at concerts and festivals in the UK and abroad. He has played clarinet with the band Faeland and appears on their recent album. Musicians and audiences have commented on the sensitivity and heart-focused quality of Matthew's playing.
Much of Matthew's own music takes its inspiration from natural landscapes and the timelessness of ancient chant. One current project, Songs of the Forest, seeks to weave a magical and contemplative tapestry of sound using piano, clarinet and voices in a way that evokes the beauty and power of mountains, rivers and forests and the interconnection between forest species. Matthew believes passionately in music as something to be experienced actively rather than heard passively, and part of his composing work seeks to explore ways in which non-musically-trained people can engage and be a part of a moving musical experience. He wrote a participatory multi-faith 9-part chant for the 2018 Sacred Music Festival in Stroud, which embodies this conviction about the power of music to unite people and to build bridges.
Teaching in Piano, Clarinet and Saxophone
Matthew has been teaching and mentoring in Music since 2005, both in piano, clarinet, and saxophone, and in music theory and appreciation, composing and improvising. He has taught both children and adults during this time, both in schools, one-to-one and in groups.
He is passionate about sharing his love of music, and believes strongly in making music education an accessible and enjoyable experience. He seeks to bring a holistic approach to music teaching, tailoring the lessons to what pupils are most interested in learning. He seeks to connect the experience of playing an instrument with the listening experience, and to teach tools for students to understand and appreciate the building blocks of music. He is keen on including improvisation and ear training in the range of skills we can cover as well as playing from sheet music. He covers classical repertoire and grades for students who would like, and has prepared students for jazz and rock and pop exams as well as classical. as well as other genres.
Matthew teaches and most genres including classical, jazz, folk, ambient, post-classical, Indian classical, Eastern European, Balkan and Klezmer music.
A first lesson will include a chance for a student to talk about what they'd like to get out of the lessons, as well as some simple ways to start making music together. There will be the option to ask any questions as well as to talk about what approach to the sessions and learning would suit students best.
Matthew welcomes complete beginners as well as advanced students and everything in between. No previous knowledge will be assumed. Matthew likes to stress that he sees his job as to support the student in an affirmative and non-judgmental way.