Growing up in Montana, Matthew began playing guitar when he was 8 years old. He credits his first guitar teachers with helping him develop a love for music at a young age. Early on, they encouraged him to play in recitals and get involved at his local church, where he played until going to college.
Matthew studied music (B.M. Worship Leadership) at Evangel University in Springfield, MO where he completed his internship at his church, Central Assembly of God. He studied guitar (classical, finger-style, contemporary), piano, pedagogy, and improvisation. Matthew also worked as a studio musician for various bands and nonprofit organizations.
After college, Matthew worked as a worship pastor for several years before moving to Nashville to begin his master’s degree at Belmont University (M.M. Composition). While at Belmont, Matthew studied with composers David McKay and Mark Volker. In addition to completing his master’s degree, Matthew is an active songwriter and session musician.
Matthew believes in each student’s ability to not only play their instrument, but to develop their unique voice and creative style. For the last 10 years, Matthew has taught all levels and various styles including pop, singer-songwriter, CCM, finger-style, and classical.
Matthew’s Teaching Philosophy: “I believe that each student has a unique set of gifts and musical interests. I work to identify these strengths and expand them through technical instruction and musical examples. In my studio, In addition to learning the fundamentals of music, each student will develop their unique ‘voice’.”
Questions & Answers
What is your favorite down-time activity to reduce stress?
“Hanging out with my dog. I still have no idea what breed he is… but he’s perfect.”
What are you most passionate about professionally?
“I am most passionate about developing musical creativity in myself and others. I believe that you never “graduate” from an instrument and that there is always something new to learn. After 19 years, I am still learning new musical techniques and ways to write… that excites me. As a mentor, I have a role and responsibility in someone else’s musical development. I strive to help my students find their own voice and creative style.”
What’s your favorite local spot to spend time at when you’re not working & what do you do there?
“The Factory — I read, study, people-watch, and try out guitars at Artisan Guitars (not sponsored… yet)!”
What type of music did you grow up listening to?
“I grew up listening to country music. I sang an Alan Jackson song for my first recital in 2002. I’m still a fan of country. Some of my favorites right now are Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Eric Church.”
What is your favorite all time movie?
“Star Wars. Of course. I dressed up as Darth Vader for many a Halloween.”
What is your favorite quote?
“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard”