I am a history professor at CCSU, and Matt came to my attention through the recommendation of our Music faculty. Prof. Linda Laurent knew I was looking for a student or former student who could teach a 50+ history geek who hadn’t played in over forty years. She immediately responded that Matt was my person.
Matt is an excellent teacher, in part because he is a good listener. We started in January, and before we did anything he asked what my goals were, how quickly I wanted to move along, and why I wanted to learn to play. He then had me play a little of what I had been tinkering with and we set up a plan. Knowing that I never intend to audition for an orchestra, but that I was hoping to use music as recreation, relaxation, and as a means to enjoy learning something new, Matt then structured our lessons. We meet every second week for an hour.
During the lessons, Matt is great. We first talk about what I got to, what I enjoyed, what went well, and where I had trouble. He then has me play a bit (only stopping me when I’m WAY off track), and then he reminds me about technique or form. We use a couple of books, but he does more than just “assign” the next piece. We talk about what skills and methods the piece is helping me learn. He asks how I practice a new piece, and then I attempt to learn something new while he is there so he can watch my process. His corrections are clear and helpful, never judgmental. If I am not getting something, he will play a bit to show me or have me try other ways to figure it out. I’ve especially enjoyed his explanations about music theory. He gives a very clear explanation of chords, scales, and why certain notes go together. I can then hear that (surprisingly!) in my own halting attempts. That’s cool.
This approached has worked for me. I’m sure Matt will have a different, and equally effective, approach for a young child just learning or a high school student hoping for a music scholarship. I can't recommend him more highly.