Heralded as "a smart, tasteful, and genuine singer" and "a consummate multi-instrumentalist," Matthew continues to perform and broaden his range of musical experiences through diverse engagement in both the classical and non-conventional realms. Matthew has had the great privilege of performing around the world and working with some of today's brightest and most acclaimed singers, ensembles, and conductors such as Leon Botstein, Dale Duesing, Karen Brunssen, James Hall, Warren Jones, Phyllis Hoffman, Pro Arte, Canticum Scholare, and VOCES8.
As an educator, Matthew's 10+ years of teaching e
xperience in voice and drums has brought him to work with young musicians of all ages and skill types. Matthew's approach is technique driven, while at the same time, expressive, musically sensitive, and fun! Matthew's voice students will learn English and foreign language diction, ear training and sight-singing, proper posture, stage presence, confidence, and healthy vocal production suitable for all styles of singing. Drum students will learn the importance of snare drum rudiments, how to read drum charts, the nuances of various styles, as well as, develop dexterity and increase muscular function and independence. Matthew currently teaches voice and theory at Wyoming Seminary Institute in Wilkes-Barre, PA during the Summer, teaches voice at Fairfield School of Music, and owns and operates a full service analog and digital recording studio.
*** Lesson Details *** Being a musician is exciting, challenging, and of course, rewarding. Musicians are communicators; instruments of expression. I'm a firm believer in diligent practice habits and learning the fundamentals of one's craft. From there, the music can happen.
I offer a relaxed, comfortable learning environment that is both fun and productive. A stuffy, tense atmosphere promotes timidness, and insecurity, the opposite of the environment I foster in my studio.
Whether you're a beginner with a passion, or a professional looking to fine tune your proficiency, I can help you get to where you want to be. Diligent, concise, uncomplicated, and fun! That's how I teach.
*** Studio Equipment *** Various keyboards, full 5 piece drum set, full production and recording facility, music scores/sheet music
*** Specialties *** Classically trained vocalist, but can teach all styles and genres of voice. Recording engineer & producer. Versed in many styles of composition. Session drummer.
Kate R. October 22, 2015
In studio Verified Student
He helped me build my confidence as a singer and he caters to your needs as a singer. I definitely recommend him.
William P. August 26, 2015
In home Verified Student
So let me tell you about Matthew. I came into his lessons with some weird songs that originated from Japan and when we went over them, the songs were so fast that he could hardly believe that people sang them. But even so, he took on the challenge of something he hadn't heard of before and worked with me to improve what I needed to in order to take on the challenges I wanted to face. I feel within the past 12 weeks I've improved so much on breath control, posture, confidence, mixing my music, overall singing with chest, full voice and even in my falsetto. He'll teach you how to keep your voice nice and open, pays close attention to your movements so he can correct you, and is overall just so very knowledgable about the world of singing and more.
He's even agreed to take it to the next level with some research on how to do some dangerous sounding screaming. This guy takes any challenge you throw at him, makes sure you are informed about how each skill/warm-up/style is completed and if you practice, with his help, you'll be sounding so much better and stronger in no time. I'd hire him if I were you. He's a great teacher, a great guy, very flexible and a joy to learn from.
Miles D. May 26, 2015
In home Verified Student
I have wanted to sing since I was a kid, but never got around to taking lessons in high school or college. I signed up for Matt's weekly lessons on a whim and saw he had some good reviews. His students were right on.
Matt is very knowledgeable about different areas of music and in addition to teaching me how to sing, taught me how to tune my bass guitar and the basics of drumming at my request.
His practice room is nice, and its easy to find of 95. He's also a really chill guy and easy to take instruction from.
I would not be the person I am today if music wasn't the focal point in my life as it is. Not only do I absolutely love performing and studying music myself, but I adore teaching as well. Part of the musical experience is taking what you hear and what you learn from others and building on it to create your own musical contributions. I take the gifts other teachers and musicians have given me very seriously and subsequently feel the great importance of imparting my knowledge unto others.
Whether you want to be a professional, or just be competent enough to enjoy yourself, we all practice, st
udy technique and gain knowledge about music with really only one goal in mind: To have all the tools necessary to express ourselves adeptly through music. All the technique in the world will not make you a great musician. Similarly, you can be extremely creative and knowledgeable, but if you don't have the technique and vocabulary needed to express your ideas, you will find yourself very limited and suppressed musically.
My philosophy about teaching follows that I am here to provide you with those tools in a fun, exciting way. When I say "tools" I mean the whole toolbox. This includes giving you the technique, correcting bad habits, providing listening material, finding holes in your playing and much more. A good music teacher must be more than an instructor, but a mentor and an inspirational guide. My best teachers were the ones who could cultivate my playing not just through the physical aspects but ESPECIALLY through the cerebral. We ALL need encouragement and inspiration to get the best out of our natural talent. I love to encourage my students to do their best. To strive to not only complete exercises, but to execute them well. Every student is different, and therefore I will tailor their education with me on an individual basis. I expect a lot out of my students because I strongly believe in my teaching ability as well as their ability to learn and feel good about their progress.
My approach to providing all these things is modeled around my best experiences in learning and performing. I've studied under some of the absolute best players and teachers in the world. Here are just a couple:
World renowned drummer and educator
TOMMY IGOE from The Lion King on Broadway The Birdland Big Band Numerous instructional books and DVDs.
Highly sought after percussionist
TOM KOLOR Graduated from William Paterson as well as with a Masters from the Julliard School of Music Professor of Music at the University at Buffalo.
IAN FROMAN Professor of Drums at Berklee School of Music Professional, world renowned Drummer
I've also graduated Cum Laude from the University at Buffalo with a degree in Music Performance, Dean's List and Honor Roll awards.
Some of my experience includes being featured in Tommy Igoe's "Great Hands For a Lifetime" DVD which received 5 stars from Modern Drummer magazine in 2010. I've also played great venues like Gramercy Theatre and Central Park in NYC among others. I've played in Big Bands, Symphony Orchestras, Klesmer and Percussion ensembles, and more.
I really could go on forever talking about music, what it means to me, how I approach teaching, etc. When you love music and teaching as much as I do, you really can't help it. It's ingrained in you. Precisely as ingrained as I like to think being a fun, caring, disciplined, attentive teacher is in me. Whether it be for you or your child, I can easily promise that I will deliver the same success-bound mentoring that I have to my students for over 10 years running.
Can't wait to hear from you!
*** Lesson Details *** -I am here for you.
I would not teach if I wasn't very interested in the progress of my students. I want you to be the biggest, baddest, awe-inspiring drummer/percussionist possible. I want to ultimately end up at your shows and concerts and be able to say "That's MY student." You can always be guaranteed that when studying with me everything I assign has precisely that goal in mind.
-Strict or Laid Back?
Many people might ask if I'm strict, or laid back. My response is that I am excited and driven to help you reach success. I will never scold you because that sort of practice has no place in teaching. I also understand that learning isn't just a straight upwards incline of progression. We're all humans. Sometimes we progress astronomically in a short period of time and sometimes we have to fight hard to nail something. Sometimes we have a lot of time to practice, and sometimes we simply don't. My job is to make the most out of every situation and help you learn no matter what. That being said, I will still hound you to practice as much as healthily possible!
-What do you want out of music?
Probably the most important question I will undoubtedly ask you upon meeting you is why you are taking lessons. There is no way to formulate a tailored lesson plan if I don't know what it is you're working towards.
Like I said, I can't tell you very specifically what your lesson plan will be, but I CAN give you examples of what I almost always assign. Individually written out exercises, exercises from books, assigned reading/listening, song covers, chart writing/reading, improvisational exercises, rudiment study, warm-up routines, among others.
-Don't be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Mistakes are part of the learning process! If you aren't making mistakes then I'm doing something wrong. Never be afraid to make mistakes.
-You Get What You Give
I promise I'll be there for you. I'll be there to give you the material and show you the path, but you're going to have to be there for yourself as well. The more prepared you are for our lessons, the more you will grow from the time we spend together.
Mastering an instrument takes time and effort both by student and teacher. The sooner we get started the sooner you get on that path. I'm ready whenever you are.
*** Studio Equipment *** detached studio 3 professional drum sets seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment *** Numerous practice pads and snare stands. I expect my students to only provide their own Drum Sticks and books.
*** Specialties *** I pride myself on being as versatile as I possibly can be. I can aptly teach most styles including Jazz, Rock, Funk, Latin, Hip Hop\R&B, Classical, and more.
Thomas L. October 9, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Eventhough it was just our first lesson, Asaf is a patient teacher and gave lots instruction.
Sophia P. September 15, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Very informative, we went over terminology, how important it is to have the proper sticks and the correct way to hold them. Reading the music and playing the proper beat. We did a lot for 1 lesson, my daughter loved it.
Bindia M. December 20, 2012 Verified Student
Flexible teaching methods!
Asaf is just brilliant. During the first session, my son was very distracted by the other things in the music room ie lights, instruments etc but Asaf managed to engage him by being extremely flexible in his teaching ie he is not wedded to any order and has a lesson plan in mind but goes with the flow and the interest of the child - this ensures that all that was intended on being covered is, and as a result of the flexibility, my son just loves these drum lesson and Asaf. Asaf makes him focus and has built a great teacher/student relationship in only 3 session. I would highly recommend Asaf.
I have been teaching classical snare drum and drum set for close to 10 years now. I emphasize become a diverse drummer with experience in all styles of music.
Music is my passion, and my life. I have grown up surrounded by music since I can remember, from my humble beginnings hanging out with my father in his friend's music store, to managing a music store of my own!
Since I was a young boy, all I ever wanted to do was play the drums, and I have been fortunate to do so for close to two decades. I have been molding young minds in the way of the drum since 2008, as I was on my way to receive my B.A. in Music from Western Connecticut State University. I teach in a very traditional, well rounded style, catering to what and how the play wo
uld like to learn. We will work on everything from your basic sticking techniques, on up to complex rhythms and drum beats/patterns as they advance. I have a very laid back attitude, and really enjoy passing along my knowledge.
I hope to be able to help you on your musical journey!
Hi! I've been teaching drums for 14 years. My goal is to teach students the fundamentals of drumming so they can express themselves fully on the instrument.
Curriculum: Stick control & reading notes. (on pad) Next you'll learn the 26 rudiments followed by these three books: Syncopation - Reed Advanced Techniques - Chapin (drum set) Modern Rudimental Swing Solos - Wilcoxon
Like any good teacher I strive to get to know my students and teach each one according to his/her strengths.
My name is Max and I'm a drummer. I've lived in NYC since 2000 when I moved here to study at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. There I was fortunate enough to study with many of the greats including Joe Chambers, Charli Persip and Cecil McBee among many others. Also at The New School, I also met my mentor, Michael Carvin.
Since graduating I've played with many bands including Francis and the Lights and Dinowalrus.
I first began teaching at a summer camp back in 2001. In the past year I've started teaching again and love it! I'm a very patient teacher and I acc
ept all levels. If you have any interest in drumming I can help you get where you want to be.
"I've had 12 lessons with Max T. I now feel confident in the basics and excited to learn more. Max is patient, kind, and intuitive to my level of learning each week. He appreciates and understands where I’m at, and is able to direct and inspire me for the next lesson. Max is knowledgable and talented, but most important, I feel like he gets me and my potential, while keeping me grounded. That’s what keeps me motivated. And playing. I recommend anybody who wants a start at expressing themselves on the skins to take a dive into it with Max. You won’t be disappointed."
Dean Noble - current student
DW N. January 28, 2015
I've had 12 lessons with Max. I now feel confident in the basics and excited to learn more. Max is patient, kind, and intuitive to my level of learning each week. He appreciates and understands where I’m at, and is able to direct and inspire me for the next lesson. Max is knowledgeable and talented, but most important, I feel like he gets me and my potential, while keeping me grounded. That’s what keeps me motivated. And playing. I recommend anybody who wants a start at expressing themselves on the skins to take a dive into it with Max. You won’t be disappointed.
The student will be instructed on the basics of proper playing techniques, music theory, and musicianship. They will learn to read music and also play by ear which will make them a well rounded player
About Luther A.
Mr. Luther unique talents as educator, instrumentalist, conductor, vocal coach, cinematographer, composer and arranger make him a sought-after teacher. Currently, Luther is working with the Bridgeport Board of Education at Roosevelt Elementary School for President Obama's Arts and Humanities Turn-Around Arts Initiative he is the Executive Director and Program Director of Blackwell's School of Music and Film and Minister of Music Director for New Hope Missionary Baptist Youth Singers located at 1100 Park Ave. in Bridgeport, CT.
Denzel September 20, 2015
Vocal Training ·
Very positive instructor. Gives constructive criticism and has made noticeable changes in my vocal abilities
Karen September 14, 2015
As an adult, I had previously taken piano/keyboard lessons prior to meeting Mr. Blackwell. He is very patient, teaches at a comfortable pace, gives a reasonable amount of homework (assignments can easily be completed between lessons) and has a gentle spirit. You would be fortunate to have him as an instructor.
Warren R. September 14, 2015
Vocal Training ·
Very intuitive in identifying a students strengths and weaknesses. Very patient and detail oriented, look no further.
Students are raving about their Drum instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by alejandra
"He was great with my 8 year old son. Too bad he had to relocate, we truly miss him"
San Antonio, TX teacher:
Review by Shelly
"Matthew is a fantastic drum teacher. My 8 year old son recently started lessons with Matthew, and he is so excited to come home and practice. Matthew's
home studio is immaculate and inviting for budding musicians! Thank you Matthew for making our son's first experience with lessons challenging and fun at the same time. I am even learning musical terminology with my son ( I even secretly practice the drums when no one is around - it's like 2 for the price of one!)."
Seattle, WA teacher:
Review by Eric
Eric is by far one of the best teachers I've had. He is very knowledgeable about what he teaches, and he makes the material easy to und
erstand. He is very nice and easy to work with."
Salt Lake City, UT teacher:
Review by c
"Ed is the BEST drum teacher in the area!
Our son has been taking drum lessons with Ed for many years. He really enjoys his weekly lessons and listening t
o Ed perform at various venues. Ed is very inspirational! Not only is he a fabulous teacher but also a true mentor! He encourages our son to always do his best not only at playing drums but in all aspects of life. Ed performs with many bands and is versed in all types of music. Based on his experience, awesome talent and wonderful teaching skills, he is truly the best drum teacher in the area!! We highly recommend him!"
Philadelphia, PA teacher:
Review by Maggie
"Sam is terrific teacher. He's been working with our 8-year-old boy for just a short time, but in that time, our son has made amazing progress. Sam's le
ssons are well-structured, but he lets our son choose the songs he wants to learn. He also makes each lesson fun and is good at adapting if our son finds something easier or more challenging than expected. Sam is also really nice to work with-- professional, punctual, and courteous. We all highly recommend him."
Santa Cruz, CA teacher:
Review by Alex
"Paul is an awesome teacher! He is super positive, friendly, joyful, and professional. He was always on time and always adequately prepared for the lesson.
He is not only a fantastic musician, but also very supportive in helping you accomplish whatever your goals are as he cares about you as a person. I highly recommend Paul!"
San Bernardino, CA teacher:
Review by Geoff
"Shawn has the innate ability to help you extract the music and musical ability inside of you. He's got great feel, timing and loves teaching and playing
drums. He's got the bigger picture in mind when it comes to the song(s) you might want to learn or play and helps you get to the spot where the song becomes a part of you."
Nashville, TN teacher:
Review by marty
"Heath is a great musician AND a great teacher. Excellent communication."
Houston, TX teacher:
Review by Cheryl
"Man, I've never felt so inspired to release all of my passion and intensity into the drum. He truly awakened the potential that I didn't even see in mysel
f. Highly recommend him, not only because of his impeccable technique, but his drive to watch his students succeed."